Viewing .docx in Suse 10.2

Candace, 06 March 2007, Comments Off on Viewing .docx in Suse 10.2
Categories: Hellmares, Linux, Microsoft, Organizing

Jeff wouldn’t give up so I guess I couldn’t either. He saw my last post and has had suggested several solutions for opening a .docx but without Word 2007 it’s a major challenge for now. If I had Word 2003 there’s an update but I’m an OpenOffice user on both my Linux and Windows machines so for now I’m stuck — or so I thought. Eventually OpenOffice will have a translator but for now I’ve found this workaround.

This isn’t a complete solution but it’s easier than getting the original file sent again in a different format. If the person didn’t realize they sent you a .docx the first time they may not even realize there’s a “save as type” feature and more than one option. Lots of users just save in the default format and have never heard of Rich Text Format (.rtf) for example. You’d think Microsoft would have made the default format something all ’round compatible…uh…right. They’re trying to force Office 2007 on the world but I can be patient now that I’ve found this temporary fix.

So the file I have was uploaded to the university’s learning management system. I logged in, navigated to the page, and saved the docx onto my computer. From the downloads window I have two choices: the first is to click on “open” and a window comes up unzipping the document with Ark. The second option is to right-click on the file in the downloads window, and open the containing folder. Clicking on the file opens it in Konquerer (or Ark depending on whether you picked choice one or two) and there are several folders, including one called “word”. In there is a document called “document.xml”. This is the one that gives the content of the essay, even though it’s stripped of its formatting.

I also tried a few “open with” options and saw the same document in KDevelop. Opening document.xml with Utilities>Editor>Kate or gedit shows the content of the document with its tags if you want to see what the formatting could be…

If I knew more about how to assemble all the pieces of the docx with its theme and settings maybe I’d get a better looking document. I should have listened more to Rob all those times he talked to me about xml.

So it’s neither a beautiful nor elegant solution but at least now I know what the guy wrote. What do you think Jeff? More tips?


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  1. Jeff Schiller
    06 March 2007, 10:29 pm

    Hm, I guess the only thing I can suggest is – did you try that converter that Novell had (slashdot link)? If you’re using Novell’s Suse, aren’t you using Suse’s OpenOffice?

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