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Hi :) 

Ok, several points;  (again just my own personal opinions which often put me at risk of being 
thrown off the mailing-lists for being too blunt) (err, and i'm English not US)

1.  To analyse you might find it better to add 2 programs into the mix.  

1.a.  On the OpenSource side perhaps Calligra/KOffice or AbiWord (AbiWord is smaller and faster but 
Calligra is more fully featured) or any other OpenSource office programs.  So, just 1 of these 2 
would help;

1.b.  On the MS side a lot of companies are still on MS Office 2003 while a lot of others are on MS 
Office 2010 now or moving to it now that 2013 has been released.  It's still very rare to be using 
2013 or 365 and will be for the next couple of years.  Perhaps add MS Office 2003 to the analysis.  

Even a quick analysis between the different versions of MSO will flag up a lot of differences in 
the handling of their ooxml formats and even some in their handling of their older formats.  By 
contrast even an in-depth analysis of the 2 different OpenSource programs (LibreOffice and 
whichever other) will show that both Doc and Odt are handled very much the same by both OpenSource 
programs.  Also a Doc created by any OpenSource program will also look very much the same in both 
versions of MS Office.  

A few people have reported that when MS Office users have troubles sharing documents because the 
formatting has gone too strange then it's the LibreOffice user that is able to fix it so that all 3 
sides can read it the same way.  

2.  So, during the migration and for external communications in the near(ish) future you will see 
that it is best to use the older MS formats

Doc, Xls, Ppt

and so on.  NOT the ooxml ones.  

DocX, XlsX, PptX

The ISO standard as registered with the ISO committees does NOT seem to be the same as any of  
their implementations of it.  I guess they have a legitimate argument in saying that "accidents 
happen", as they tried to use in the court-case over their RTF (=Rich Text Format).  Actually even 
if you decide to stick with MS then it's still probably better to use the older formats for greater 
interoperability even between the different versions of MS Office (even between 2007, 2010, 2013 & 
365).  In the mid-term future an increasing number of external people will be using ODF but it's a 
little way off yet.  I think almost every single one of the responses agreed on using the older 
formats for greater interoperability.  

3. Are you only getting advice from MS about the migration?  Do you have people from the Free 
Software Foundation involved in the process?  If you are only accepting advice from MS then their 
lack of understanding about OpenSource will typically steer you into as many problems as they can 
manage to find.  That would explain your current difficulties.  We have seen this over and over 

4.  The promise from MS sounds good BUT if it would be that easy for them then why haven't they 
done it already?  Why don't they just do it rather than make promises which may or may not happen?  
In the case of the RTF court cases it seemed that MS were better at making promises and blaming 
other people than actually delivering the results they promised.  For a successful migration you 
need to involve OpenSource experts such as the people at FSF.  

Actually the "lining up" issue looks like a styles or a fonts thing to me, but any editable format 
is going to look different on different machines or in different programs.  It's only Pdf that is 
meant to look the same on all and the main reason for that is that it is not meant to be editable 
and is meant to ignore all local conditions.  Just because fonts have the same name doesn't mean 
they are identical.  

I think there are 2 ways of generating Pdfs in LibreOffice.  

1.  File - "Export to Pdf" or "Save as" 

2.  File - Print - "to file" and change the format from ".Ps" to ".Pdf"
The 2nd way embeds the fonts into the document.  The first way has more flexibility about the 
configurations&settings used in the Pdf, such as if you want it to be improved for screen-readers 
or have different amounts of, or type of, compression (do you want a lot of swirls and a very 
light-weight document for emailing or do you want it print-quality).  The 2nd way is not easy to 

I hope this helps!
Regards from 

Tom :)  

From: Milos Sramek <>
Sent: Tuesday, 7 May 2013, 8:28
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Compatibility LO/MSO


thank you all for your answers. In fact I take part in a larger scale
testing of interoperability of formats, since open source software is
currently considered by Slovak administration as and alternative to the
standard MS stuff. If everything goes really well, there will be a
transition period when open source (say, LO) and proprietary
applications will be used in parallel and documents in various formats
will be interchanged. Therefore, we want to understand the situation and
prepare a guide (use this feature, avoid that feature), which would help
in creating documents which can safely be opened by the other tool.

I am aware of the fact that "open" standards like OOXML, which are
more-or-less in hands of only one company (even if it is an ISO
standard) will always be a problem. Simultaneously, MS support of ODF
will probably never be perfect. But a state administration does not need
complex features and formatting - therefore we want to prepare the guide
which would tell them, what is safe to use.

The discrepancies between rendering of odt and docx files by the other
applications are really big. Jean-Francois pointed to "Styles. Or lack
of. " I've heard this also from other people. So, is it really possible,
that a program, when opening a document, applies some additional
formatting, which can change appearance in comparison to the original?
Should this be considered as a bug, or is it a feature (which can be
eventually switched off) ?

As an example I created a simple document in LO40 (MS2013), stored as
odt (docx) and opened and printed in MS2013 (LO40) :
In the pdf (overlay of rendering in bork applications) you can see that
the major difference resides in interline spacing. Do you have and idea,
where is  the reason?
ODF 1.1 and OOXML transitional were used, the used fonts were available
on both computers. Line spacing does not seem to be a big issue, but one
can see inconsistent line spacing nearly everywhere. So, from the point
of view of interoperability it is perhaps a blocker, since the
displacement is sometimes a couple of lines per page.

If this is a bug in LO I will file a bug in its Bugzilla. If it is a bug
in MS2013, we will ask MS to correct that (there is a guy from Microsoft
in our team who promised to do that). If they do not correct it, it will
be a nice argument against using MSO at all.

I will be grateful for each advice on how to analyze the problem and how
to sort out the reason.

With best regards

Dňa 06.05.2013 18:31, Regina Henschel wrote / napísal(a):
Hi Milos,

Milos Sramek schrieb:

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)

Do you mean, that you write to .odt and open the document then in

Are you writing with ODF1.2 or with ODF 1.2 extended? In case of ODF
1.2 extended, you cannot expect that MSO can read it the same way,
because is might contain parts which are specific to LO.

Do you write and reopen the document on the same machine? Otherwise
make sure, that you have installed the same fonts on both machines.

  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 one application writes ODF (without extended) and another
application reads this file and shows it with large differences, then
there might be errors in the application, but it can be shortcomings
in the specification as well. In such cases you should provide sample
documents and detailed descriptions, so that it is possible to

Kind regards

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