How To Get .docx Working in Linux 04/09/08

Occasionally I receive a file in .docx format, which for me was useless; and I’ve had to ask the sender to give me the document in .doc format instead. However, there’s a better solution for those of us who encounter the .docx format. It does take a couple of minutes to set up, but is easy to use thereafter.

There are two ways to do this. The “Long” way and the “Short” way.

The Long Way:

We’ll need three tools:

  1. OpenOffice. The premier open source office suite.
  2. An odf converter. That’s what facilitates the .docx capability.
  3. Alien. This is an application that converts archive formats. It allows us to convert packages from other distributions to our format; (I’m using Ubuntu Linux) and then install it.

First, we can get the odf converter here:

OpenOffice.OpenXML Translator 1.1.0

In my case I would use odf-converter-1.1-7.i586.rpm (and will use alien to convert it for my Ubuntu Linux platform). To download the converter, I had to create a username and password.

I’m pretty sure that the majority of us may already have open office installed, so we just need to install alien like this:

sudo apt-get install alien

Now we just need to use alien to convert the file:

alien -ct odf-converter-1.1-7.i586.rpm

Extract the .tgz file you are left with and (within the extracted directory):

sudo cp usr/lib/ooo-2.0/program/OdfConverter /usr/lib/openoffice/program/<

sudo cp usr/lib/ooo-2.0/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Filter/MOOXFilter_cpp.xcu /usr/lib/openoffice/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Filter/

sudo cp usr/lib/ooo-2.0/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Types/MOOXTypeDetection.xcu /usr/lib/openoffice/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Types

However, you’ll want to use the short, easy method below! ;)

The Short (Recommend) Way:

There is a plugin available for openoffice that will convert the format so that we can open .docx files. OpenXML Translator

From the download page:

The OpenXML Translator provides support for opening and saving Microsoft* OpenXML-formatted word processing documents (.docx) in

After the download, just double click the .deb file and start openoffice. You should be good to go!

You did choose the “Short Way” didn’t you? :)
I really hope this helps someone.

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4 Responses to this article

Mikhael September 25, 2009 Reply

Both the long and the short way work very well!

teo constantinescu March 3, 2010 Reply

why did you include the conversion step in the long way provided ubuntu comes with rpm archive support out-of-the-box?

UbuntuLinuxHelp March 3, 2010 Reply

@teo constantinescu

Because this was written for an older version of Ubuntu. ;) :)

Also, on Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10, I have no RPM support.

As I understand, to install packages, they should be in .deb (not .rpm).

teo constantinescu March 3, 2010 Reply

by “rpm archive support” I meant the possibility of right clicking it and choosing “extract to…”. btw, I’ve tried the “long way” and it didn’t work – perhaps it doesn’t anymore with the 3.+ versions. I’ve also read that OpenOffice 3 translates the documents in open formats out of the box, which it didn’t for me. I’ve finally stumbled upon OdfConverter which seems to work fine, I think I’ll stick with it.

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