Common open source office not fully compatible with MS Office


Since OpenOffice (by Apache) started full version of compatible office suite to MS Office till now evolved to LibreOffice, I am bit disappointed and excited.

Excited being there is free office suite and better features than MS Office.
Disappointed being the basic full compatibility with new and past MS Office document format are not totally solved.
It will be a greater milestone if these full compatibility is really integrated into open source office of any brand.
Have seen and used other brands (softmaker, kingsoft …etc) that are fully compatible but don’t understand why it is still not happening in open source offices?

I do really hope the next coming upgrades and versions will really solve and make FULL compatibility integration. Bless All !

As far as I know, kingsoft office (a.k.a. WPS) is Not open source. They focus on compatibility of they product to microsoft, several years before LibreOffice born. Neither odt and odf supported. They even refused to support the open document format as their built-in format.


well that’s my point, it’s not matter of open source or not but users ease of use from old/new ms office to LO. It is a close and very significant gap I see LO can explore into to greatly release the platform to all new and old ms office users.

OP: @max-office

In my humble opinion LibreOffice will never be 100% full compatible with MS-Office. Older MS-Office binary formats are closed format poorly documented or not documented at all. So reverse engineering and other techniques are needed to maintain compatibility. Recent MS-Office documents are little mess. There is ISO standard of Microsoft office document that nobody really follows. And there is the Microsoft way on solving document compatibility. But I think we have brighter future. MS-Office 2013 also supports ODF format (because some governments want to have open document format to avoid lock-in) that is main LibreOffice document format.

There is also another problem, how do you declare “FULL compatibility”? There is no official test to confirm that some document is in full compatibility. Opening files with MS-Office can’t be the only way of measuring, because MS-Office also have bugs and there are plenty of different versions of MS-Office. What does FULL compatibility means? Compatible to which version of MS-Office…

But we should also ask ourselves if we really need to send office document to our friends/coworkers etc. In a lot of times PDF document is all what we really need. So creating spreadsheet in Writer, Calc and export to PDF and send PDF file by mail.

P.S. “Since OpenOffice (by Apache) started full version of compatible office suite to MS Office till now evolved to LibreOffice” - this statement is not totally correct. LibreOffice didn’t evolve from Apache OpenOffice. Both Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice have evolved from product owned by Oracle (previous Sun, previous StarOffice). If interested in history of then please read: - Wikipedia

Thanks for the feedback and updates. Well the history side might be not so correct but let move on.
As commented earlier and quoted again as follows:
well that’s my point, it’s not matter of open source or not but users ease of use from old/new ms office to LO. It is a close and very significant gap I see LO can explore into to greatly release the platform to all new and old ms office users.
LO should explore a plug-in or similar to close the gap on these groups of ms office compatibility. Well understand how to judge “FULL Compatibility”, i think at least 99% when any .DOC files are opened in LO, the formatting and layouts should not change or become distorted as will put off new / old ms office users from boldly taking the great change over to LO. My point is from the users view, not developers view.

In my humble opinion, the best thing LO must do for ease use is make better and more ergonomic user interface. I mean, it must ergonomic and easy for both mouse user and keyboard user.

max-office: The best thing to do if you want to help move LibreOffice in the direction of better usability or sth else, is to participate yourself.

That’s the beauty of OpenSource. If you have coding skills, contribute code, if you have design skills, contribute to the design departement. If you have organizational skills participate in QA.

LibreOffice is moving in that direction. But it’s moving very slow. If you test the latest master build on your platform you will see that there is an awesome new startcenter in the pipes. A flat icon set is in the works. The color picker has been cleaned up. Those things and more will hugely improve the user experience. I personally can’t wait to see those changes make it into a stable release.

So let’s move this forward together and spread the word. We need to get users to participate actively. The best way to ensure things move forward is: move those things.

@nighthome, can you please post some print-screens of features you are talking about from LibreOffice master. I currently don’t have a spare PC to install master and also don’t want to break my currently v4.0.5 excellent working environment.

sorry, i cannot post pic yet becos not enough ‘karma’ points to do it… maybe next time when enough ‘karma’ is awarded.

Yes definitely will contribute the best way i can. in fact since open source office started with STAR OFFICE (by SUN JAVA) have been participating, though not active. then later by Apache Open Office (since last year) news of it taken up by Oracle. Unfortunately does not know how to code, will really love to code it given the right time and commitment i can give to opensource. So can only contribute now by feedback on end-users experience and expectation.

Does like to alert Opensource office importance on the user experience. Even though some LARGE corporate has shifted to openoffice, its really the small-medium users like me who can really pushed ahead the adaption from MS Office to OpenOffice. As i highlighted with KingOffice example, it’s a one-2-one replacement of MS Office with very little hiccups to end users, especially on their default ms office documents to kingoffice.

technically i understood now the reason behind different format standards with open office.
However i still stress this very important gap. Does really look forward to a beautiful plugins or updates narrow this compatibility gap (not user experience). I am fine with less user-friendly interface of openoffice because it is free (why complain?) However in reality the day to day work, we face more default ms office users and documents, you have to make a choice to stay more toward ms office then open office, BECAUSE of this compatibility gap. I might not have wrote a feedback on this but do use kingoffice and LO and open many ms office documents with it, you will feel the pressure the need to align and spend more time keeping ms office documents in order in LO then with kingoffice.

I’m not an expert. But use spreadsheet since 1990 daily until today. I knew what is bad, good, and better for a spreadsheet thing. I uninstall WPS for linux after 30 minute testing. That was operating system issue for me. MS Office is best (yet expensive) in windows world, but Libre is best in Linux world. All I can do for now is submit some bugs found, submit some enhancement request (that not exist in both Libre and MS), etc. I know the bug won’t fix in an instant, and enhancement will not come and ready to apply in a minute. Even if the bug won’t fix and my enhancement not accepted, at least, I left my trace there.

totally agree with u !

Sure can.

Start center with irrecognizable documents to choose from on startup:
New Icons and color picker: