OpenDocument and the office experience

WHAT’S INSIDE?

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OpenDocument format offers a new approach to data storage and document exchange for office applications. But what does ODF mean for the user? What’s inside an ODF file? How portable is ODF? We examine these questions in this month’s cover story.

The process of adopting Open Document Format (ODF) as an open format for office applications in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was nothing short of a political thriller. It is hard to believe a humble document format could cause so much controversy and political intrigue. OpenDocument, however, is more than just a document format. ODF represents a new approach to the problem of data exchange for desktop applications, and it heralds the end of the era in which software vendors could exert control over the office tool market by maintaining exclusive knowledge of the formats for file storage.

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