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Stef Bon wrote:
Hi Mark an others like Tom,

first of all there seams to be a misunderstanding. I meant with
template a guide given by the teacher
to me, as a layout the teachers expect the results will have.
So not the technical term for it, it's just a document in the docx format.

Yes, I realised that; apologies if I wasn't clear. I was trying to explain the background to the problem, and probably ended up rambling on a bit!

In summary: .doc is a more reliable format than .docx for transferring between MS Office and LibreOffice. If you can get whoever supplies the template to save it from MS Office into that format, it will probably work better for you.

Nonetheless, I will do the following:

a. whenever I can I will provide the results in PDF format. But that
won't solve the problem when LibreOffice does not read the tables good
in the first place.

That's a good idea, if they don't need to be able to modify the file.

b. what should I ask the institute what format is best? I've
understood that the ODF format is not supported by MS Office. What

Support for ODF is improving in newer versions of MS Office, so it might be possible to save from MS Office directly into ODF. If that doesn't work properly, the older MS Office formats (.doc for Word, .xls for Excel) generally work better than the newer .docx or .xlsx formats.

c. I will provide a bug report. With stripped data. I really think
that the importing and exporting "foreign" formats like docx, and
especially the different versions of it, is very important. You speak
about different versions. I know with Samba, the project leaders are
provided the latest details from microsoft about the different
versions SMB2, 2.1 and 3 to get maximal compatibility. Isn't that
possible with their docx format?

I don't know much of the details. From my understanding, Office Open XML (OOXML - the format used in docx, xlsx, and related files) is a supposedly open standard. i.e. anyone can get the details of how to read and write files in that format. But that standard allows some data to be included in an application-specific format, which MS does to make it easier for themselves to port MS Office to using it. Unfortunately that means it's not so easy for anyone else to figure out how to read and write those parts of the file.

These compatibility problems are the reason that several governments and other organisations have started moving over to using ODF instead of Microsoft's formats for their files. That way they're not dependent on a single company continuing to support the format in order to read their files in future. I don't know about other countries, but there's some info about the UK's implementation at:

and, specifically relating to editable documents:

From a quick search, it looks like the Dutch government are already doing something similar:


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