Support for the OpenDocument Format in Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft, as part of its commitment to Interoperability with the European Commission, includes support for ODF 1.1 in Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Word 2010, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. With the inclusion of ODF support in Office 2010, Microsoft added a file format selection screen to enable you to select the default file format for these products.

In this article


How do I choose my default file format?

The Default File Types screen appears when you launch Excel, Word, or PowerPoint for the first time after you install Microsoft Office 2010.

Default File Types dialog box

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What products are affected?

  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

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What should I know before selecting the default file type?

The selection of a default document format could affect, to a certain extent, the manner in which you can use Microsoft Office and the way you exchange documents with users of other productivity applications. Document formats were initially developed to reflect the features and behavior of one or more applications (the features and behavior of productivity applications can be quite different). For example, OpenDocument Format (ODF) was originally developed to reflect the features and behavior of OpenOffice-based productivity suites and OpenXML was originally developed to reflect the features and behavior of Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office now provides support for ODF and gives Microsoft Office users the opportunity to save their documents in ODF. However, because Microsoft Office and OpenOffice features are not exactly the same or are not implemented the same way, Microsoft Office users who use the features that are not fully Supported (see below for a list of links for these features) in ODF may experience changes in the editability of the document and sometimes see a loss of content when saving their document in ODF.

For more information on the level of support in ODF 1.1 for commonly used features of Office, see the links below. This shows which Office features are fully, partially, or not supported in the ODF 1.1 format.

  • Supported    Both the relevant application in Office and the relevant part of ODF 1.1 support this feature. Content, formatting and usability will not be lost.
  • Partially Supported    Both the relevant application in Office and the relevant part of ODF 1.1 supports this feature, but formatting and usability might be affected. No text or data is lost, but formatting and how you work with text, graphics or aspects of the document might be different.
  • Not Supported    The feature in the relevant application in Office is not supported in the relevant part of ODF 1.1. If you plan to save your document in ODF 1.1, do not use this feature or you risk losing content, formatting and usability of that part of your document.

To learn more about ODF generally, see:

OASIS standards organization

ISO organization

To learn more about the differences in file formats, see:

Differences between the OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format and the Excel (.xlsx) format

Differences between the OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) format and the PowerPoint (.pptx) format

Differences between the OpenDocument Text (.odt) format and the Word (.docx) format

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Do I have to make a choice as soon as the screen appears?

Yes, you have to make a choice before you can move forward with using Excel, Word, or PowerPoint for the first time. Once you make a choice for one of these applications, your choice of default format will apply to the other two applications without further action on your part.

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Can I change my mind and choose a different format later?

Yes, you can change your mind at a later time and choose a different format.

Here are the steps for Excel 2010.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Under Help, click Options.
  3. Click Save, and then under Save workbooks, in the Save files in this format list, click the file format that you want to use by default.

Here are the steps for PowerPoint 2010.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Under Help, click Options.
  3. Click Save, and then under Save presentations, in the Save files in this format list, click the file format that you want to use by default.

Here are the steps for Word 2010.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Under Help, click Options.
  3. Click Save, and then under Save documents, in the Save files in this format list, click the file format that you want to use by default.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010