How to Open an ODT File in MS Word

By Bryan Clark

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular pieces of word processing software on the market. Open Office is the open source version of the popular Microsoft Office suite (which includes Microsoft Word), and the most popular free alternative. Both are massively popular, but the true problem lies in compatibility. Open office uses .odt format as the default to save your text documents, while Microsoft Word uses .doc as its default. The two are essentially the same, but just different enough to confuse Microsoft Word. Don't fear though, there are work-arounds to these compatibility issues.

Microsoft Office 2007 & Newer Users

Step 1

Install Service Pack 2 (See Resource 1) for Microsoft Office 2007 (or newer).

Step 2

Click the Microsoft Office button.

Step 3

Select "Open."

Step 4

Select ".odt" or "all file types" in the file type list (right below the files).

Step 5

Double-click the file to open. Alternatively, you can right-click, and select "open" --or-- you can click once and then click the "Open" button below the files.

For Older Versions (Office 2003)

Step 1

Open Google Docs (See Resource 2). If you have a Google account, you won't need to register, but you might need to log in. If you don't have a Google account, you'll need to create one now.

Step 2

Click "File" and "Open" to open the file.

Step 3

Save the file by selecting "File" and then "Save as." Here you can change the file type that you are saving. If you have an .odt, you can save it as a .doc file.

Step 4

Open the .doc file in Microsoft Word.

Tips & Warnings

  • Downloading Open Office (See Resource 2) is an easy way to convert your file type from .odt to .doc so that you can open in Microsoft Word. It's free and easy to install. You can always delete it after the conversion.