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David, I use your good answer as a template for mine, OK?

For simple documents, the compatibility is quite high with MSO and LibO. Under ‘simple’, I mean first of all documents containing no embedded objects (for example, an Excel table embedded into a PowerPoint presentation makes it rather complex and problems are inevitable).

My experience:

  • Writer:

    • DOC is normally better than DOCX, however, DOCX is less problematic with page formatting;
    • use styles as much as possible (also, convert direct formatting to styles as much as possible);
    • cell contents rotation in text tables is a problem (not supported by Writer and there is no good way to convert, say, a mere 3-line text in a cell rotated by 90° into something that would look good in Writer).
  • Calc: simple spreadsheets are just fine, but for large and complex files I would recommend Apache OpenOffice (it performs even more stable than Excel). That's for very tables. As for charts, I have never seen an Excel file containing them that would look fine in Calc and had to re-create them (same for Writer, inter alia).

  • Impress: the worst degree of compatibility: if a presentation is, well, fancy (lots of objects, color transitions etc.), severe distortions are always present in my experience.

  • Math: Math formulas in a Writer document will appear distorted if exported to Word, however, opening them and closing (even without any editing) makes them look fine. Don't know why.

And general advise: never do ongoing work in foreign file formats, use only ODF in LibreOffice. Only after you have finished it, export to something else.