Ubuntu: Microsoft Office to Libre Office without change it settings



Question:

I installed ubuntu but all my documents are in MS office formats. Now, if I open MS word file in Libre Office Writer. It opens the file but makes a lot of changings in settings, fonts and other indentations. Any solution?


Solution:1

The only application that is guaranteed to correctly open MS Office documents is MS Office.

You knew that (or you should) when you used it in the first time: you have been storing your data using a closed, proprietary format, managed by a closed, proprietary set of applications.

LibreOffice tries to read MS Office documents the best it can. It uses a mix of reverse-engineering the files and using the published OOXML "standard" to do this, but the conversion is not perfect (and probably it never will be). This is due to complexity of the files, closeness and sometimes different philosophies in the program design (just as an example, background color and highlight are treated in fundamentally different ways in LO and MS Word, and similar things happen to some of the conditional formatting in spreadsheets). Most documents that use VBA (Visual Basic Macros) will not work.

Now, you can try to minimize damage (having the exactly same fonts installed helps a lot, although some of the standard fonts in MS Office are non-free), and LO 5 is reportedly better at it, but in the end, you will not have the exact same document unless you buy and use MS Office.


Solution:2

Do you have the same fonts on Ubuntu as you had for Windows? Even a one pixel difference in a font metric can cause the entire document to reformat, and the results can be significant, although if you really know what you're doing, it can be much less so. Lines will rewrap, but if you don't do layout that depends on font size, it shouldn't be a major change. So the first thing to do is to make sure you install all the fonts that are used in the document, and see how it looks then.

Other changes are due to different defaults. If you don't specify things like padding in tables, around images, etc, you might find a big change due to different defaults. If you always set everything, it should come out more or less the same. But again, anything that depends on font size might change.

If you were to give a word file to another word user who has customized a lot of defaults, your document might look different there, too.


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