Three plugins for converting between Microsoft Word (.DOC) and OpenDocument Text (.ODT) file formats have been announced in the last two weeks: daVinci (OpenDocument Foundation), Open XML Translator (Microsoft), and Conversion Technology Preview (Sun Microsystems). Here’s a quick summary; see also Andy Updegrove’s article And Now There are Two: Sun Announces its ODF Plug-in.
daVinci, from the OpenDocument Foundation, is supposed to work with Microsoft Office 97, 2000 and 2003. A “proof of concept” plugin, called the ACME 376 Compatibility Kit, was announced on 25 January; it can be downloaded from the daVinci page. I have been unsuccessful at installing the installation file; despite downloading it several times, I get a “not a valid installer” error message when I attempt to install it (on Windows XP). I’ve seen no independent reviews that I can point to.
Open XML Translator. Release 1.0 announced 2 February. An add-in to Microsoft Word 2007 (using OOXML) to allow opening and saving OpenDocument format (ODF) files. Open source (BSD license), developed by French company CleverAge and Sonata Software Ltd. of India, and funded by Microsoft. Available for download from SourceForge.net. The first of a series of tools; translators for Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations are being developed.
Some early reviews of the Open XML Translator:
Open Document to Office Open XML converter: not good, Tim Anderson
Is Microsoft’s ODF converter DOA?, Zaine Ridling
Conversion Technology Preview from Sun Microsystems, announced 7 February. A plug-in application for Microsoft Office 2003. The early access version of the plug-in, to be available as a free download in mid-February, will allow two-way conversion of Microsoft Office documents to ODF. The initial plug-in supports the conversion of text documents (.doc/.odt) only, but full support of spreadsheet and presentation documents is expected in April. From the announcement: “Users of accessibility devices [are] now fully able to participate in organizations switching to ODF…”
If anyone has pointers to other reviews of any of these plugins, from people who have actually tested them, please mention them in the Comments.