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February 2, 2007

Microsoft Word OpenDocument translator ready

Posted by David Hunter at 1:39 PM ET.

In July, Microsoft got around a particularly sticky problem with a variety of governments who insisted on OpenDocument Format (ODF) support from their office software products by creating the Open XML Translator project which would provide freely available plug-ins to translate from Office 2007′s Open XML format to ODF (and vice versa). Today, the project released the first plug-in for translating Microsoft Word documents:

The Open XML Translator is now available for download in version 1.0 from, a site that acts as an online repository for open-source projects. The software also can be found on Microsoft’s Web site here and here.

Microsoft funded the work on the translator, but did not contribute any code to the project, said Jason Matusow, senior director of intellectual property and interoperability at Microsoft. The company provided architectural guidance and management to the project, he said.

A French company called CleverAge contributed the code and built most of the Open XML Translator, while Aztecsoft in India and Dialogika in Germany did the quality assurance and testing.

The Open XML Translator allows Microsoft Word documents based on Open XML to be translated into ODF and vice versa, Matusow said. Once downloaded, it can be used as a plug-in for Microsoft Office 2007, the documents of which are based on Open XML. Developers also can build it into software they are developing.

The Microsoft press release describes the next step:

The second phase of the translator project, including translators for Spreadsheet (Microsoft Office Excel) and Presentation (Microsoft Office PowerPoint), will begin in February. Regular customer technology previews will be posted to beginning in May 2007, and the final versions are scheduled to be available for customers in November 2007.

Filed under Microsoft, ODF, OOXML, Office, Office 2007, Standards, Word

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One Response to “Microsoft Word OpenDocument translator ready”

  1. Native Open Document Format support to be added in Office 2007 SP2 | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft has given up on the third party translator route to support the Open Document Format (ODF) for office documents that is so beloved by governments and open standards advocates. Office 2007 SP2 scheduled for 1H2009 is now slated to have built-in support for ODF: The 2007 Microsoft Office system already provides support for 20 different document formats within Microsoft Office Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint. With the release of Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) scheduled for the first half of 2009, the list will grow to include support for XML Paper Specification (XPS), Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5, PDF/A and Open Document Format (ODF) v1.1. [...]

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