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What is OpenDocument?

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on 14/11/2011 16h45
The OpenDocument format (ODF) is a free, ISO-standardized format for documents (.odt file extension), spreadsheets (.ods), presentations (.odp) and more. Used widely throughout the world, ODF is supported by a variety of programs, including the free LibreOffice suite and OpenOffice.org.

Users can read and write OpenDocument files without agreeing to proprietary software licenses and programmers are free to write applications that support ODF without fear of patent claims or licensing issues. Governments, businesses and archivisits can use ODF to ensure critical documents can be read for years to come, without being forced to pay for updates to proprietary reading software.

Using free formats is one of the easiest and most important things we can do to defend software freedom. We aso need to reject proprietary formats from Microsoft Office and Apple's iWork (.doc[x], .ppt[x], etc.). At the FSF, we use only free formats in our office and we're proud to work with the LibreOffice project as a member of its Advisory Board.

If the OpenDocument format sounds good to you and you'd like to start using it or spreading the word about free formats, then these links are a great way to get started.

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