Ubuntu HowTo: Open .docx File In OpenOffice

If you have received a .docx file from your friends, most likely that you are not able to view it in Ubuntu’s Open Office. To fix this, you need to install the odf-converter.

First, go to http://download.novell.com/SummaryFree.jsp?buildid=ESrjfdE4U58 http://download.novell.com/Download?buildid=GuM6LMM9SR4 and download odf-converter-1.0.0-5.i586.rpm. It is about 3 MB.

The odf-converter file is in rpm format, which is used by RedHat Linux. To use this file, we need to convert it to tgz format. The application we are using to convert this file is alien

In your terminal,

sudo apt-get install alien

After downloading, start the conversion

sudo alien –to-tgz –script /dir/odf-converter-1.0.0-5.i586.rpm

where “dir” is the directory you saved the file.

Now, extract the file to a folder

tar xzf /dir/odf-converter-1.0.0.tgz

After extraction, copy the following files to the OpenOffice folder

sudo cp /dir/odf/usr/lib/ooo-2.0/program/OdfConverter /usr/lib/openoffice/program/

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

That’s it. Open your OpenOffice and enjoy the .docx document.


  1. The Novell link is broken. At least for me :)

  2. Here is a link for the newest version. odf-converter-1.1-7.i586.rpm


  3. @Kristjan: thanks for the link update.

  4. Thanks! I tried but didn’t work at first in Hardy Heron. However, I managed at last by creating a symbolic link libtiff.so.3 to libtiff.so.4.2.1 and then installing libgif4.
    Only after that will your steps work in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) with OpenOffice 2.4.
    FYI, I used odf-converter-1.1-7.i586.rpm linked here.

  5. how do you create a symbolic link? :(

  6. @Sonja: Download the latest version of Open Office. It support .docx format

  7. The line:

    sudo alien –to-tgz –script /dir/odf-converter-1.0.0-5.i586.rpm

    should be changed by:

    sudo alien –to-tgz –script /dir/odf-converter*.rpm

    therefore it works for the i586 and amd64 achitecture. Also, it should be — instead of one long bar. You’ll understand by copy and paste in a terminal.

  8. After typing:
    sudo cp __LongTerm__ /usr/lib/openoffice/share/registry/modules/org/openoffice/TypeDetection/Filter

    I get:
    cp: cannot stat `__LongTerm__’: No such file or directory

    anyone know how to sort this out?

  9. after sudo alien -t –scripts odf-converter-1.1-7.i586.rpm

    mine fails here

    tar: .: Cannot utime: Operation not permitted
    tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors

  10. @pdc124: If you are using Ubuntu Hardy or above, your open office should be able to open .docx file by default

  11. tried that (openoffice 2.4) – it doesnt

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