USER Perspectives on Open Document Format (ODF)

Search CPTech
Search Listserves
Open Document Format (ODF) Overview

OpenDocument format (ODF), short for the "OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications", is a document file format for saving and exchanging editable documents such as text documents (memos, reports, books), spreadsheets, charts, and presentations. The OASIS industry consortium developed this new open standard document based upon the XML-based file format originally created by

While the term "ODF" might be "new" to some, for many end users struggling with the existing lack of inter-operability of file formats, the concept behind it is not. The "universal" open format works with many brands of software (proprietary and non proprietary) and is less likely to become obsolete.

Comparing the current situation created by the monopoly on word processing to the openness, creativity and innovation in the field of authoring tools for the web (.html), it becomes clear that making ODF the mandated standard would have a great impact on access, competition, cost savings and data sharing.


File extensions (like .doc, .rtf, .pdf)
used for OpenDocument documents
Your ODF files
look like this:
  • .odt for word processing (text) documents --->
  • yourtextfiletitle.odt
  • .ods for spreadsheets                             --->
  • yourspreadsheetfiletitle.ods
  • .odp for presentations                            --->
  • yourpresentationfiletitle.odp
  • .odg for graphics                                  --->
  • yourgraphicfiletitle.odg

    Latest Documents

    October 22, 2006. Bob Sutor. ODF at Harvard..

    October 21, 2006. James Love. "When Standards Are Political -- ODF (the Open Document Format)". Huffingtonpost.

    October 20, 2006. Cambridge, MA. Workshop on consumer and user perspectives on the benefits and risks of Open Document Format (ODF). TACD and the Berkman Center, Harvard.
  • Discussing Open Document Formats. Meeting notes on the ODF Workshop (10/20/06). Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School.

  • About Search Events Listserves Blogs Publications