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Hi :)  
My own personal views from observations, NOT TDF's view and nothing to do with anyone else involved 
with LibreOffice is as follows.  Check the voracity for yourself.  Don't rely on what people 
spoon-feed you!  

There are 2 problems in play.  

1.  Any document in any editable format will display differently on different machines with 
different printers attached and different settings&configurations.  

2.   MS is unable to follow a standard.  Even the so-called standards they created themselves.  The 
OOXML is implemented differently in each of their versions such that a document written in MS 
Office 2007 may well display differently in MS Office 2010 on the same machine.  If you install 
2010 yourself then you might notice their disclaimer that even on the same machine if you have 2 
versions of their OS, say Xp and Win7, then MS Office 2010 documents may well be different on each. 
 None of their implementations seem to match the ISO standard they managed to push through as an 
ISO format.  

As for their attempts to follow the ODF they carefully went for the old 1.1 version when everyone 
else had already moved to ODF 1.2.  Their reasoning sounded solid.  The 1.2, despite having been in 
use for years, had not been fully released and was still being called a beta release.  So, MS 
Office 2010's 'support' for ODF was based on an ancient format that no-one was still using at the 

If you look back at the court case about MS's "RTF" format which they had designed to allow all 
programs to be compatible with each other then you might notice similarities with the current 
situation with their OOXML format.  

MS are a profit making company and they need to find ways to get people to buy their new versions.  
'Accidental' incompatibilities with their older formats pushes everyone to buy their newer versions 
at around the same time in order to be able to read/write each others documents.  The MS formats 
are subject to radical change at the whim of 1 single profit-making company.  

Of course any program has a few issues but when they are spotted in LibreOffice it's easy to post a 
bug-report about it.  If MS's implementation of their format is a bit off then it's practically 
impossible to post a bug-report or get anyone to listen to the problem

The only formats that currently seem to truly work just fine across all different programs are the 
older MS formats.  The ones that don't end in X, so NOT DocX, XlsX and the rest of the OOXML ones.  
The ones that do seem to work best are the Doc, Xls and so on.  However, ODF is starting to be used 
more often by more people.  For longer-term storage of documents it might be wise to store them in 
ODF but for current active collaborations the Doc, Xls and so on are more widely used at the 

The ODF ISO standard is set and agreed by an independent organisation called OASIS.  Many different 
companies, including TDF, have at least 1 person sitting on the board at OASIS in order to make 
sure that there is agreement about the standard itself and acceptable variances in it's 
implementation.  It's not going to suddenly change if IBM release a new version of Lotus Symphony.  
So it's a lot more stable, predictable and reliable.  Also because it's implementation matches the 
standard that has been written up, published and fairly easy for everyone to access it means that 
the format is 'always' going to be possible to read certainly for longer than the old Rtf, Doc, or 
DocX.  So the future is ODF.  

Regards from 

Tom :)  

From: Milos Sramek <>
Sent: Sunday, 5 May 2013, 10:01
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Compatibility LO/MSO


I observe that LibreOffice and MS Office display even simple documents, 
containing just a few paragraphs with numbered and bulleted lists, 
differently. These differences are from both sides: a document is 
created in LO, stored in odf and opened in MSO (2013) and vice versa: 
created in MSO, stored in docx and opened in LO.

I would like to understand the situation and to know
- if it is just a bug (perhaps on both sides)
- if some standard local settings are applied, which result in different 
- if it is a fundamental problem residing deep in the ODF and OOXML 
- if the reason is somewhere else

Do you have an idea?

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