Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9

 
 
By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2008-06-06
 
 
 

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9

By Jason Brooks

Compare Documents

Acrobat's new Compare Documents feature analyzes two PDF documents and identifies all of the inconsistencies between them. I opened the same Word document in Office 2007 and OpenOffice.org, converted both documents to PDFs, and turned Acrobat 9 on the pair.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - The Bottom Line

Acrobat 9 provided a brief summary of the changes between the two documents I was comparing. Interestingly, the OpenOffice.org-rendered document made for a larger PDF document than did its Office-rendered cousin. I could see the changes by scrolling through the documents, but it would have been better if Acrobat listed out the changes on this overview page.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - The Bottom Line

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Logo Askew

OpenOffice.org rendered a 935-by-227-pixel logo at 936 by 234 pixels-

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Logo Askew

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Contents Oddities

There was another odd, though slight, inconsistency in the document's table of contents: OpenOffice.org rendered 146 periods between the section name and page number, while Office rendered 145 periods.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Contents Oddities

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Minor Inconsistencies

For the most part, OpenOffice.org handled my test Word document well.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Minor Inconsistencies

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Em Dash Adventures

OpenOffice.org rendered double dashes from the Word document as em dashes-

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Em Dash Adventures

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - An Errant Insertion

Acrobat 9 highlighted a chunk of misplaced text as a new insertion, but this inconsistency stemmed from a pagination error on the part of OpenOffice.org.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - An Errant Insertion

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Pagination Error (Continued)

Acrobat 9 flagged a missing table header row as having been deleted, but the row had strayed to the previous page.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Pagination Error (Continued)

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Moved Object

Elsewhere in my test document, Acrobat 9 correctly flagged a document element as having been moved from one page to another, rather than having been deleted from one place and inserted in another.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Moved Object

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - The Other Attribute

In several portions of the document I analyzed, Acrobat 9 reported, somewhat mysteriously, that the "other" attribute had changed.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - The Other Attribute

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - OpenOffice.org 2.4 Versus 3.0

I downloaded a test version of the upcoming OpenOffice.org Version 3 and compared that version's Word document rendering with that of OpenOffice.org 2.4-

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - OpenOffice.org 2.4 Versus 3.0

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - OpenOffice.org 3.0 and OOXML

Since support for Microsoft's new Office Open XML formats is one of the new features in OpenOffice.org 3.0, I fetched another document from Microsoft's Web site-

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - OpenOffice.org 3.0 and OOXML

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Jumbled Bullet Lists

The troubles that the OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta encountered with OOXML included misplaced images and jumbled bullet lists. I expect to see the suite improve its handling of OOXML documents as it moves closer to its release.

Measuring Office Format Compatibility with Acrobat 9 - Jumbled Bullet Lists

Rocket Fuel