Coming Soon: ODF for MS Office

The OpenDocument Foundation has announced that it has created an Open Document Format plugin for Microsoft Office 97 and up. Distribution plans are still up in the air, but it may be released publicly as part of Google Pack. (Linux-Watch)

Just because Microsoft refuses to support ODF (Open Document Format) never meant that someone wouldnt write a plug-in to enable Microsoft Office users to read and write ODF documents. Well, its happened.

In an interview with Groklaws Pamela Jones, the OpenDocument Foundation Inc.s co-founder and president, Gary Edwards, said the Foundation will be presenting Massachusetts with an Office plug-in that will allow Office users to open, render and save to ODF files, while also allowing translation of documents between Microsofts binary (.doc, .xls, .ppt) or XML formats and ODF.

In the interview, Edwards said that the Foundation has "completed testing on an ODF Plugin for all versions of MS Office dating back to MS Office 97.

The ODF Plugin installs on the file menu as a natural and transparent part of the open, save, and save as sequences.

As far as end users and other application add-ons are concerned, ODF plugin renders ODF documents as if it were native to MS Office."

Edwards hopes that this plugin, which also supports accessibility add-ons, will end any further debate about whether ODF is suitable for government use. Microsoft has continued to take pot-shots at ODF as being unsuitable for business or government users.

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