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How to Save an OpenOffice File as a Word Document

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/30/2010

Looking for an affordable alternative to Microsoft Word? You can download OpenOffice, which is an open-source software suite that includes a word processor. If you need to share your files with Word users, you can save them as Word documents.

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    What is OpenOffice?

    OpenOffice is a suite of programs quite similar to Microsoft Office. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that unlike Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is an open-source software suite distributed free of charge. This makes OpenOffice a potential time and money saver, particularly when you need to complete school or work projects at home but do not have Microsoft Office installed on your personal computer. An added benefit is that OpenOffice is compatible with Microsoft Word. For example, you can convert OpenOffice to Word documents, so that you can access the files on your work or school computer. Learn how to save as Word using OpenOffice's word processor.

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    Saving a Single File as Word

    Open Office - Save as Word 

    If you only need to convert OpenOffice to Word on an occasional basis, all you have to know how to do is save as Word from the File menu. When you are ready to save the document, go to the File menu and select Save As.

    Open or create a document using OpenOffice Writer. When you are finished or at the point where you want to save the file, go to the File menu and select Save As or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S. The Save As dialog opens.

    Enter a name for the document in the File Name box. In the Save As Type drop-down, select a Microsoft Word format, such as Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc). Click Save. A prompt window will ask if you want to use this format. Click the Keep Current Format button to save as Word.

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    Changing the Default Saving Format

    Open Office - Default Save 

    If you want to convert OpenOffice to Word every time you save a file, you can change the default save format. Start OpenOffice Writer. Go to the Tools menu and select Options. Expand Load/Save in the left pane of the Options dialog box. Select General under Load/Save.

    Select Text Document in the Document Type list. Select Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP under Always Save As. Click OK to apply the changes.

    You can change other settings to make sure your OpenOffice Writer documents will work and look the way you want them to when they are opened in Microsoft Word. Start OpenOffice Writer. Go to the Tools menu and select Options. Expand Load/Save in the left pane of the Options dialog box. Select VBA Properties under Load/Save. Make sure the options under Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP are selected so that macros are preserved if you work with a document created in Word.

    Expand OpenOffice Writer in the left pane of the Options dialog box and select Compatibility. Clear all of the Use OpenOffice 1.1 check boxes and make sure the remaining check boxes are all selected. Click the Use as Default button to ensure that your files are all compatible.