If you frequently use the previous version of Microsoft Word as your primary word processor, you may have occasionally received word documents which end with the file extension ODT. When you try to open the file with MS Word, you receive a message which informs you that Windows cannot open the file since it must know what program created it.
An ODT file refers to the document which is created with the open source program known as OpenOffice. This is a free office suite which is used by many individuals and businesses to reduce costs associated with full blown office suite programs. OpenOffice does just about everything a paid office suite is able to do minus the excessive cost of purchasing and installing the program.
ODT stands for Open Document Text and is actually an XML-based text file format. Although you may have found it frustrating to open this type of file format with a previous version of Microsoft Word, the good news is the ODT files are very versatile since they contain a very basic structure when compared to other word file formats. This makes an ODT file easy to open.
Opening Files with an ODT Extension
If you have the version of Microsoft Word older than Word 2007, you may want to consider an upgrade to the 2007 version or higher which has the reading capabilities for ODT files built-in to the application. Although MS Office is not cheap, it is still an option if you receive a lot of files in ODT format.
Another option for opening ODT files is to download and install OpenOffice from OpenOffice.org. The office suite is free to download plus you can set it to automatically open files in ODT format. If you have enough room on your PC hard drive, this is an easy solution for opening this format.
You can also opt to install the add-on which allows you to open ODT files in older versions of Microsoft Office. You obtain the add-on for locations online, such as Sourceforge, which offer free add-ons and file converters. Additionally, you can opt to download a file converter which will automatically convert the ODT file extension to the older DOC format which enables you to save and read the file in the older version of Microsoft Office.
An ODT file is created in Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XML), which is a standard format for text files in the open source environment. Since OpenOffice is an open source program created by a community of programmers, the office suite operates on this type of file format. If you find yourself receiving more files with this extension than in the past, this is because OpenOffice offers just about all of the capabilities of an office suite for free with tech support readily available through the open source community.