Compatibility with Excel on Mac

Hello there!
First of all thank you for your product.
I would like to make it my main office set of tools.

  • The execution of macros are faster with LO calc than with Excel.
  • Like the bright GUI
    That is very positive.
    However i have a few major issues that prevents me to do so for 100%:
  • LO seems to not convert correctly the conditional formatting from Excel in calc
  • How to have LO (writer, calc) to import Office documents properly with all the correct formats and fonts
  • when i make changes in LO and recall the file with Office (mostly with Excel) they will crash there…
    Maybe somebody can help me…
    Thank you very much.

M$ Office and LO are not transparently compatible. You will always experience divergences.

You can hope for roughly 75% compatibility with common documents. Don’t expect full success with macros. These need careful examination to make sure the semantics is preseved.

In Calc, conditional formatting is one aspect where both suites chose different venues.

In Writer, be prepared for huge differences. You’ll need to fully review your document. I’d recommend to create from scratch a template containing all your preferred styles and base converted documents on it. M$ Word knows only of paragraph styles while LO Writer is much richer. The consequence is a Documented converted from Word will show an awful chaos of numerous character and page styles trying to translate Word formatting. Clean this mess and base the converted document on your template.

Also, Word and Writer have a different specificatio for pages. In Word, margins define the area allotted to text; header and footer are located inside the margins. In Writer, margins are absolutely no-print areas; therefore, header and footer are taken from the printing area, decreasing text estate. In principle, the import filter does the simple arithmetic to translate this difference but result is not always as accurate as you could hope for.

VERY IMPORTANT: once you have imported/converted your document in LO, store them in native format .ods (Calc) and .odt (Writer). Otherwise, every time you open a document, you’ll incur a new translation from Office format to LO’s and again from LO format to Office’s when saving. This will cause cumulative discrepancies with adverse effect on formatting persistence.

A frequently disregarded point is fonts. Installed fonts are not the same on all systems and even on all computers under the same OS. The metrics are different, resulting in change of formatting. If your case is only switching from Office to LO on the same computer, you can ignore this point.

If co-workers are still under Office, you have two options:

  • send them LO documents; Office claims it can read them, so let them experience the nightmare of compatibility and realise that Office is not the navel of the world

  • convert your LO document only just before sending it, keeping it in native format on your computer (for Writer, you can attach a PDF version to act as a formatting reference)

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and “upvote” by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

In case you need clarification, edit your question (not an answer) or comment the relevant answer.