Open .docx documents in Linux (OpenOffice)

Well, as for now it is not a problem anymore to open Microsoft Office 2007 .docx documents in any Linux distribution coming with OpenOffice suit. It may be Ubuntu (Feisty, Gutsy, Interpid whatever), almost any version of Fedora/RedHat/Centos, *SUSE, Mandriva and of course Debian (as per my personal opinion it’s the best one).

What is .docx actually? It’s Microsoft’s file format representing word processor documents and named OpenXML (as an attempt to create open and free international standard). Today .docx is default format for Microsoft’s word processor Word.

There are myriads of online converters between OpenXML and OpenOffice formats including .docx, .xlsx, .odt and many etc but sometimes it’s much more better to just open received .docx file in Linux offline (if there is temporarily no Internet connection or for security/private reasons etc).

So, just download the following package to certain directory like /usr/src, here are the commands to do it:

1. cd /usr/src
2. sudo wget

The next step is to unpack the contents of the archive (.tar.bz2 is definitely well compressed file) and copy 3 files to OpenOffice’s system directories:

3. sudo tar -xvjf odf_filter.tar.bz2
4. sudo cp OdfConverter /usr/lib/openoffice/program/

5. sudo cp MOOXTypeDetection.xcu /usr/lib/openoffice/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Types/
6. sudo cp MOOXFilter_cpp.xcu /usr/lib/openoffice/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Filter/

As you can see from picture below now it’s possible to natively open .docx files in openoffice under Linux. Of course such “native” support may imply some artefacts in opened files due to file formats incompatibility so it’s also a good option to ask your friends to convert .docs into .pdf before sending you 🙂

openoffice openxml .docx

P.S. Thanks to guys from mypapit.

P.S. Here are several online converters .doc(x) <-> .odf <-> .pdf:

1. ZAMZAR (possibly the best converter), 2.


Stefan Durand

My name is Stefan, I'm the admin of LinuxScrew. I am a full-time Linux/Unix sysadmin, a hobby Python programmer, and a part-time blogger. I post useful guides, tips, and tutorials on common Linux and Programming issues. Feel free to reach out in the comment section.

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