Open Document Format (ODF): guidance for UK government

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.

Mac operating system

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free, open source productivity suite available on a variety of operating systems. The not-for-profit Document Foundation supports the development of LibreOffice. The suite includes:

  • Writer - for word processing
  • Calc - for spreadsheets
  • Impress - for presentations
  • Draw - for drawing and flowcharting
  • Base - for database frontend management
  • Math - for formula editing

LibreOffice is suitable for large-scale use. It offers:

  • support for ODF-version 1.2
  • support for exporting formats to PDF/A

For a full list of features see the feature comparison with Microsoft Office.

This application is available with a Welsh user interface and a Welsh dictionary to allow spell-checking when working in the language.

Mae rhyngwyneb Cymraeg ar gael ar gyfer y cymhwysiad hwn yn ogystal â geiriadur Cymraeg er mwyn i chi allu gwirio’r sillafu wrth weithio yn yr iaith.

Collabora Office

Collabora Office is an open source, paid for productivity suite from a major contributor to LibreOffice. It offers a number of subscription options as well as support contracts for businesses. Collabora’s products include:

  • GovOffice which includes 5 years support for the public sector
  • Collabora Online which is a LibreOffice-based online office suite

Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft Office for Mac is a paid for productivity suite that can be part of an Office 365 subscription. It also includes on-premise and cloud-based deployment options and support for enterprise deployment is available. All Microsoft products are interoperable with Office and so are third-party tools such as Dropbox.

Microsoft Office for Mac applications that support ODF include:

  • Word - for word processing
  • Excel - for spreadsheets
  • Powerpoint - for presentations
  • Outlook - for email, contacts and calendar

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac provides ODF support for Apple OS X. You will need the Microsoft online service when opening ODF files. Microsoft Office for Mac supports ODF-version 1.2 (read-only).

The Office 365 roadmap has details of the regular Office 365 updates.

Windows operating system

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free, open source productivity suite available on a variety of operating systems. The not-for-profit Document Foundation supports the development of LibreOffice. The suite includes:

  • Writer - for word processing
  • Calc - for spreadsheets
  • Impress - for presentations
  • Draw - for drawing and flowcharting
  • Base - for database and database frontend
  • Math - for formula editing

LibreOffice is suitable for large-scale use. It offers:

  • support for ODF-version 1.2
  • support for exporting formats to PDF/A

For a full list of features see the feature comparison with Microsoft Office.

This application is available with a Welsh user interface and a Welsh dictionary to allow spell-checking when working in the language.

Mae rhyngwyneb Cymraeg ar gael ar gyfer y cymhwysiad hwn yn ogystal â geiriadur Cymraeg er mwyn i chi allu gwirio’r sillafu wrth weithio yn yr iaith.

Collabora Office

Collabora Office is an open source, paid for productivity suite from a major contributor to LibreOffice. It offers a number of subscription options as well as support contracts for businesses. Collabora’s products include:

  • GovOffice which includes 5 years support for the public sector
  • Collabora Online which is a LibreOffice-based online office suite

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a paid for productivity suite that can be part of an Office 365 subscription. It offers a variety of pricing plans, subscription and licensing models. It also includes on-premise and cloud-based deployment options and enterprise deployment support is available. All Microsoft products are interoperable with Office and so are third-party tools such as Dropbox.

Office applications that support ODF include:

  • Word - for word processing
  • Excel - for spreadsheets
  • Powerpoint - for presentations
  • Access - for database management
  • Outlook - for email, contacts and calendar

Microsoft Office supports:

  • cloud collaboration (without change tracking for exported documents)
  • ODF 1.1 in Office 2007 (as of Service Pack 2)
  • ODF version 1.2. In Office 2010, 2013 and 2016

The Office 365 roadmap has details of the regular Office 365 updates.

This application is available with a Welsh user interface and a Welsh dictionary to allow spell-checking when working in the language.

Mae rhyngwyneb Cymraeg ar gael ar gyfer y cymhwysiad hwn yn ogystal â geiriadur Cymraeg er mwyn i chi allu gwirio’r sillafu wrth weithio yn yr iaith.

Linux operating system

AbiWord

AbiWord is a free, open source word processor. Features include real-time collaboration, using a direct connection between computers to make it more secure.

AbiWord supports ODF-version 1.2.

Calligra Suite

Calligra Suite is a free, open source office suite and supports ODF-version 1.2. Its tools include:

  • Words - for word processing
  • Sheets - for spreadsheets
  • Stage - for presentations
  • Kexi - for databases
  • Karbon - for vector drawing

Gnumeric

Gnumeric is a free, open source spreadsheet application with a user interface that looks similar to Microsoft Excel. It has a configurable data importer and exporter and can scale up to moderately large data sets (1 million cells).

Gnumeric supports ODF version 1.2.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free, open source productivity suite available on a variety of operating systems. The not-for-profit Document Foundation supports the development of LibreOffice. The suite includes:

  • Writer - for word processing
  • Calc - for spreadsheets
  • Impress - for presentations
  • Draw - for drawing and flowcharting
  • Base - for frontend database management
  • Math - for formula editing

LibreOffice is suitable for large-scale use. It offers:

  • support for ODF-version 1.2
  • support for exporting formats to PDF/A

For a full list of features see the feature comparison with Microsoft Office.

This application is available with a Welsh user interface and a Welsh dictionary to allow spell-checking when working in the language.

Mae rhyngwyneb Cymraeg ar gael ar gyfer y cymhwysiad hwn yn ogystal â geiriadur Cymraeg er mwyn i chi allu gwirio’r sillafu wrth weithio yn yr iaith.

Collabora Office

Collabora Office is an open source, paid for productivity suite and a major contributor to LibreOffice. It offers a number of subscription options as well as support contracts for businesses. Collabora’s products include:

  • GovOffice which includes 5 years support for the public sector
  • Collabora Online which is a LibreOffice-based online office suite

Android operating system

AndrOpen Office

AndrOpen Office is free, has a similar user interface to LibreOffice and works best on a tablet screen. Its 5 components are the same as OpenOffice/LibreOffice and include:

  • Writer - for word processing
  • Calc - for spreadsheets
  • Impress - for presentations
  • Draw - for drawing and flowcharting
  • Base - for frontend database management
  • Math - for formula editing

You should be aware that:

  • it contains ads
  • you can pay to remove ads
  • you can pay for extra cloud storage
  • it requires Android 4.0.3 operating system or above

Google applications

The Google productivity apps are free and support reading and writing in the formats ODT (open document text), ODS (open document spreadsheet) and ODP (open document presentation) files are:

  • Docs - for word processing
  • Sheets - for spreadsheets
  • Slides - for presentations

These Android applications all have features similar to the Google web-based versions. You will need to check if each Android application works on your device and operating system.

Microsoft applications

The Microsoft apps for Android are free and have read-only support for ODF files. These apps are:

These apps have a similar look and feel to the paid Office versions. You will need a Microsoft account to create and edit documents. Office 365 is required to create or edit on tablets with a screen larger than 10.1 inches. These apps require Android 4.4 or above and at least 1GB RAM and include in-app products available for purchase.

Mobisystems OfficeSuite

Mobisystems OfficeSuite is a free office suite with file manager and PDF support. You can use in-app purchases to buy support for ODF and remove adverts. Mobisystems OfficeSuite requires version Android 4.1 operating system or above.

iOS operating system

Microsoft applications

The Microsoft apps are free and have read-only support for ODF files. These apps are:

You will need a Microsoft account to create and edit documents. These apps require iOS 10.0 or later and include in-app purchases when using Office 365.

Google applications

Google apps are free and give read and write access to ODF files. These apps include:

  • Docs - for word processing
  • Sheets - for spreadsheets
  • Slides - for presentations

These apps require a Google account and iOS 9.0 or later. They are free to install and support collaboration within documents.

OfficeSuite

OfficeSuite - Office Editor is a free productivity suite and a file manager from MobiSystems. This office suite requires iOS 9.0 or above and can open ODF files. The suite includes a premium version available to buy.

Web and cloud-based productivity software

Collabora

Collabora Office is an open source, paid for productivity suite and a major contributor to LibreOffice. It offers a number of subscription options as well as support contracts for businesses. Collabora’s products include:

  • long-term service support and security updates
  • cloud, or on-premise deployment

EtherCalc

EtherCalc is a collaborative online spreadsheet that allows multiple users to do real-time editing on a shared spreadsheet. EtherCalc supports ODF version 1.2 and has no setup requirements for the browser version.

G Suite

G Suite includes 3 products that support ODF:

  • Docs - for word processing
  • Sheets - for spreadsheets
  • Slides - for presentations

G Suite allows multiple users to edit a shared document at the same time. The products can run on 2 mobile platforms:

  • Google’s officially branded version of Android
  • Apple iOS devices

G Suite is a commercial online application that users must register to use. The main features include:

  • text editor, spreadsheet, presentation software
  • support for importing ODF version 1.1 and 1.2
  • support for exporting ODF version 1.2
  • online Google forms for data collection in online spreadsheets

OX Documents

OX Documents is a free, open source and collaborative office suite. It lets multiple users edit a shared document at the same time.

OX Documents has a range of products that support ODF version 1.2 including:

  • Ox Text - for word processing
  • Ox Spreadsheets - for spreadsheets
  • Ox Presentations - for presentations

You can buy commercial support for OX Documents.

Wodo

Wodo.TextEditor is a simple ODF text editor that can be added to a website, mobile device or desktop application. It lets users view ODF documents and do basic edits on them from any device that lacks software with ODF support.

Wodo.TextEditor is a free open source application that works in a browser. It is fully customisable and supports ODF version 1.2.

Other tools, add-ons and services

Other tools that support ODF 1.2 include:

  • web viewers, such as ViewerJS, that let you make ODF documents accessible on your website
  • software libraries, such as Apache ODFToolkit, that allow automated ODF document access
  • metadata removal software, such as Datadistiller and MetaClean
  • the Google search engine that can run searches for ODT, ODS, and ODP files and their content