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Alternatives to Microsoft Office on Ubuntu: Solving the ODT to DOCX Conversion Issue

Ubuntu 7

In the world of Ubuntu, the need for a reliable office suite is paramount. While Microsoft Office is a widely used software, it’s not readily available for Ubuntu users. This often leads to the common issue of converting ODT files (Open Document Text), used by many open-source office suites, to the more universally accepted DOCX format. This article explores various alternatives to Microsoft Office on Ubuntu and provides solutions to the ODT to DOCX conversion issue.

Quick Answer

LibreOffice, OnlyOffice, SoftMaker Office, WPS Office, and Google Docs are all viable alternatives to Microsoft Office on Ubuntu. By setting these alternatives to save documents in the DOCX format by default, you can avoid the need for ODT to DOCX conversion.

Microsoft Office Online

Microsoft Office Online is a cloud-based version of the traditional Microsoft Office suite. It allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on documents online using their web browser. This is a free service, accessible by signing in with a Microsoft account.

To use Microsoft Office Online, simply navigate to the Office website, sign in with your Microsoft account, and start working on your documents.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that is highly compatible with Microsoft Office formats, including .docx. You can set LibreOffice to save documents in the .docx format by default, thus avoiding the need for conversion.

To change the default save format in LibreOffice:

  1. Open LibreOffice and navigate to Tools > Options.
  2. In the dialog box, go to Load/Save > General.
  3. Under Document type, select Text Document.
  4. For Always save as, choose Microsoft Word 2007-365 (.docx).
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

Remember, while LibreOffice aims for compatibility, there might be some discrepancies in document formatting and features when compared to Microsoft Office.

OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice is another open-source office suite that provides excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office formats. It offers a desktop version that can be installed on Ubuntu and supports viewing and editing Microsoft Office documents.

To install OnlyOffice on Ubuntu, you can use Snap, Debian package, Flatpak, or Appimage. For example, to install it using Snap, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo snap install onlyoffice-desktopeditors

In this command, sudo gives you superuser privileges, snap calls the Snap package manager, install is the command to install a package, and onlyoffice-desktopeditors is the name of the package.

SoftMaker Office

SoftMaker Office is a commercial office suite known for its high compatibility with Microsoft Office formats. It integrates seamlessly with Ubuntu and is often preferred for its superior compatibility with complex .docx documents.

Although it is a commercial solution, SoftMaker Office’s pricing is more affordable compared to Microsoft Office. You can download a free trial from the official website and decide if it suits your needs.

WPS Office

WPS Office is a free office suite that closely resembles the Microsoft Office interface. It offers good compatibility with Microsoft Office formats and is user-friendly, especially for long-time Microsoft Office users. However, it does contain some ads.

To install WPS Office on Ubuntu, download the .deb package from the official website and install it using the following command:

sudo dpkg -i wps-office_*.deb

In this command, sudo gives you superuser privileges, dpkg is the package manager used to install .deb files, -i is the install command, and wps-office_*.deb is the name of the package.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an online word processor that can be accessed through a web browser. It offers collaboration features and compatibility with Microsoft Office formats. It is a good alternative if you prefer a cloud-based solution.

To use Google Docs, navigate to the Google Docs website, sign in with your Google account, and start creating or editing documents.

Conclusion

While Microsoft Office might not be readily available on Ubuntu, there are numerous alternatives that provide similar functionality and compatibility. Each of these alternatives has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to choose one that best fits your specific needs. By setting these alternatives to save in .docx format by default, you can easily avoid the ODT to DOCX conversion issue.

Can I use Microsoft Office Online for free on Ubuntu?

Yes, Microsoft Office Online is a free service that can be accessed through a web browser on Ubuntu. Simply sign in with your Microsoft account and start working on your documents.

How can I change the default save format to .docx in LibreOffice?

To change the default save format in LibreOffice, open LibreOffice and go to Tools > Options. In the dialog box, navigate to Load/Save > General. Under Document type, select Text Document. For Always save as, choose Microsoft Word 2007-365 (.docx). Click OK to save the changes.

Is OnlyOffice available for Ubuntu?

Yes, OnlyOffice offers a desktop version that can be installed on Ubuntu. You can install it using Snap, Debian package, Flatpak, or Appimage. For example, to install it using Snap, run the command sudo snap install onlyoffice-desktopeditors in your terminal.

How compatible is SoftMaker Office with Microsoft Office formats?

SoftMaker Office is known for its high compatibility with Microsoft Office formats. It integrates seamlessly with Ubuntu and is often preferred for its superior compatibility with complex .docx documents.

Is WPS Office free to use on Ubuntu?

Yes, WPS Office is a free office suite that closely resembles the Microsoft Office interface. You can download the .deb package from the official website and install it using the command sudo dpkg -i wps-office_*.deb in your terminal.

Can I use Google Docs on Ubuntu?

Yes, Google Docs is an online word processor that can be accessed through a web browser on Ubuntu. Simply navigate to the Google Docs website, sign in with your Google account, and start creating or editing documents.

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