What is the .odt file extension

File Extension ODT - file extension ODT

If you frequently use an earlier version of Microsoft Word as your main word processing program, you may have occasionally received text documents with the ODT extension. If you try to open the file with MS Word, you will get a message stating that Windows cannot open the file because it needs to know which program created it.

An ODT file refers to the document that was created with the open source program known as OpenOffice. This is a free office suite that is used by many people and companies to reduce the cost of complete office suites. OpenOffice does exactly what a paid office suite can do, but without the high cost of buying and installing the program.

ODT stands for Open Document Text and is actually an XML-based text document format. While you may have found it frustrating to open this type of file format with a previous version of Microsoft Word, the good news is that ODT files are very versatile because they have a very simple structure compared to other word processing formats to have. That makes it very easy to open an ODT file.

Open files with an ODT extension

If you have a version of Microsoft Word older than Word 2007 then you may consider upgrading to version 2007 or higher. This has the readability for ODT files integrated in the application. While MS Office is not cheap, it is an option if you are receiving 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 a free download and you can install it to automatically open files in ODT format. If you have enough space on your PC's hard drive, this is an easy solution to open up this format.

You can also choose to install an add-on that will allow you to open ODT files in older versions of Microsoft Office. You can get the add-on on the Internet, for example at Sourceforge, where free add-ons and file converters are offered. Additionally, you can download a file converter that will automatically convert the ODT file extension to the older DOC format, which will allow you to save and read the file in the older Microsoft Office version.

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 in this type of file format. If you find that you are receiving more files with this extension than in the past, it's because OpenOffice offers the same capabilities of an office suite for free, plus you get technical support from the open source community.

This article is about the file extension ODT and is translated into German.