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I'm no expert, nor can I tell you why you're having those issues, but I can confirm that there are many differences in the way Word and LO Writer work. I use a lot of outline styles and they just don't translate well between the two programs. For me the differences seem to be in the spacing between the outline number/letter and the following text. I see the same issue with footnotes that also have automatic numbering. I think the difference lay in the way each program inserts space after bullets or automatic numbers. I think that Word inserts a <tab> character whereas LO inserts space using a different method (but I could be wrong).

Also, there are fundamental differences in page structure that I have noticed.

LO uses page styles to distinguish between different types of page formatting, whereas with Word, you use section breaks and format the pages directly. This doesn't translate well between programs. I have used both for years.

I would absolutely love to see Open Source software become much more successful, but I fear that will only happen when the ODT file format becomes the industry standard. If your primary concern is being compatible with the MS "standard," I fear that Open Source will always come up short because there are just too many differences between file formats. I have long given up trying to use LO and/or OO any time I am sharing documents with a Word user. It just don't work.

But, Tom is correct in saying that even within the MS world, there are significant differences between different versions of the same program. In 2007, when MS adopted the DOCX format, my employer's older Word program couldn't open the newer files.


-----Original Message----- From: Milos Sramek
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 3:28 AM
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
formating, 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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