Open Document Format (ODF): guidance for UK government

Information on the ODF standard and how to move your organisation to ODF-compliant document solutions.

The UK government has selected ODF 1.2 as the standard for editable office documents to be used across government. ODF1.2 was selected as the standard for government because it:

  • allows citizens, businesses and other organisations to share and edit documents with government - and the other way round
  • allows people working in government to share and edit documents with each other
  • is compatible with a wide range of software
  • is a reliable long-term solution for storing and accessing information

This guidance gives general information on the standard, as well as more detailed information for chief technology officers and government procurement officers.

  1. Introduction to Open Document Format (ODF) An overview of ODF, how it works and why your organisation should use it.
  2. Procure ODF solutions An overview of steps you should take when procuring applications or services dealing with editable documents, to ensure they comply with the ODF standard.
  3. Base ODF solutions on user needs How to find the best ODF-compliant document solution for your organisation by understanding your users' needs.
  4. Validators and compliance testing An overview of how validators and testing can ensure that applications dealing with editable documents are ODF-compliant.
  5. Platforms and devices An overview of the platforms and devices that work with ODF, as well as security and accessibility considerations.
  6. Accessibility How to ensure your ODF document solution is accessible to people with disabilities.
  7. Privacy and security How to ensure your organisation's privacy and security when using ODF document solutions.
  8. Avoid macros in documents Why macros shouldn't be used in documents and what alternatives ODF can offer.
  9. Integrate ODF with enterprise tools How ODF fits into the way your organisation processes documents.
  10. Extensions, plugins and custom solutions How to ensure that software offering added functionality to document solutions meets the ODF standard.
  11. Collaborate on documents An overview of the different options for collaborating on ODF documents.
  12. Change tracking in ODF An overview of the change tracking options in ODF: their benefits, risks and alternatives.
  13. Embed fonts in ODF documents How to embed fonts in ODF documents, and guidance on choosing fonts.
  14. Corporate styles and templates Best practice for working with styles and templates in ODF.
  15. ODF spreadsheets and formulas Important considerations when working with spreadsheets and formulas in ODF.
  16. Support and training Training and support options for the different users of ODF in your organisation.
  17. Find out which software tools are compatible with ODF The software productivity tools in this list are compatible with the Open Document Format (ODF). This is not a full list, and there are other options available. You should assess what your users need from productivity and document handling tools.
  18. Costs and benefits of ODF Useful information for building a business case for moving your organisation to ODF.