The Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF), also known as OpenDocument, is a ZIP-compressed[6] XML-based file format for spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents. It was developed with the aim of providing an open, XML-based file format specification for office applications.[7]

The standard was developed by a technical committee in the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) consortium.[8] It was based on the Sun Microsystems specification for XML, the default format for and LibreOffice. It was originally developed for StarOffice "to provide an open standard for office documents."[9]

In addition to being an OASIS standard, it was published as an ISO/IEC international standard ISO/IEC 26300 – Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument).[2][3][4][5][10][11]

OpenDocument Text
OpenDocument Text icon
Filename extensions
.odt  .fodt
Internet media type
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)
UTI conformation
Developed byOASIS
Initial release1 May 2005
Latest release
(29 September 2011)
Type of formatDocument
Extended fromXML
StandardISO/IEC 26300[2][3][4][5]
(OASIS OpenDocument Format)
Open format?Yes
OpenDocument Presentation
OpenDocument Presentation icon
Filename extensions
.odp  .fodp
Internet media type
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)
UTI conformation
Developed byOASIS
Initial release1 May 2005
Latest release
(29 September 2011)
Type of formatPresentation
Extended fromXML
StandardISO/IEC 26300[2][3][4][5]
(OASIS OpenDocument Format)
Open format?Yes
OpenDocument Spreadsheet
OpenDocument Spreadsheet icon
Filename extensions
.ods  .fods
Internet media type
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)
UTI conformation
Developed byOASIS
Initial release1 May 2005
Latest release
(29 September 2011)
Type of formatSpreadsheet
Extended fromXML
StandardISO/IEC 26300[2][3][4][5]
(OASIS OpenDocument Format)
Open format?Yes
OpenDocument Graphics
OpenDocument Spreadsheet icon
Filename extensions
.odg  .fodg
Internet media type
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)[1]
UTI conformation
Developed byOASIS
Initial release1 May 2005
Latest release
(29 September 2011)
Type of formatGraphics
Extended fromXML
StandardISO/IEC 26300[2][3][4][5]
(OASIS OpenDocument Format)
Open format?Yes


The most common filename extensions used for OpenDocument documents are:[12][13]

The original OpenDocument format consists of an XML document that has <document> as its root element. OpenDocument files can also take the format of a ZIP compressed archive containing a number of files and directories; these can contain binary content and benefit from ZIP's lossless compression to reduce file size. OpenDocument benefits from separation of concerns by separating the content, styles, metadata, and application settings into four separate XML files.

There is a comprehensive set of example documents in OpenDocument format available.[14] The whole test suite is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.


The OpenDocument standard was developed by a Technical Committee (TC) under the OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) industry consortium. The ODF-TC has members from a diverse set of companies and individuals. Active TC members have voting rights. Members associated with Sun and IBM have sometimes had a large voting influence.[15] The standardization process involved the developers of many office suites or related document systems. The first official ODF-TC meeting to discuss the standard was 16 December 2002; OASIS approved OpenDocument as an OASIS standard on 1 May 2005. OASIS submitted the ODF specification to ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) on 16 November 2005, under Publicly Available Specification (PAS) rules. ISO/IEC standardization for an open document standard including text, spreadsheet and presentation was proposed for the first time in DKUUG 28 August 2001.[16]

After a six-month review period, on 3 May 2006, OpenDocument unanimously passed its six-month DIS (Draft International Standard) ballot in JTC 1 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34), with broad participation,[17] after which the OpenDocument specification was "approved for release as an ISO and IEC International Standard" under the name ISO/IEC 26300:2006.[18]

After responding to all written ballot comments, and a 30-day default ballot, the OpenDocument international standard went to publication in ISO, officially published 30 November 2006.

Further standardization work with OpenDocument includes:

  • The OASIS Committee Specification OpenDocument 1.0 (second edition) corresponds to the published ISO/IEC 26300:2006 standard. The content of ISO/IEC 26300 and OASIS OpenDocument v1.0 2nd ed. is identical.[5] It includes the editorial changes made to address JTC1 ballot comments. It is available in ODF, HTML and PDF formats.
  • OpenDocument 1.1 includes additional features to address accessibility concerns.[19] It was approved as an OASIS Standard on 2007-02-01 following a call for vote issued on 2007-01-16.[20] The public announcement was made on 2007-02-13.[21] This version was not initially submitted to ISO/IEC, because it is considered to be a minor update to ODF 1.0 only, and OASIS were working already on ODF 1.2 at the time ODF 1.1 was approved.[22] However it was later submitted to ISO/IEC (as of March 2011, it was in "enquiry stage" as Draft Amendment 1 – ISO/IEC 26300:2006/DAM 1) and published in March 2012 as "ISO/IEC 26300:2006/Amd 1:2012 – Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.1".[10][11]
  • OpenDocument 1.2 includes additional accessibility features, RDF-based metadata,[23] a spreadsheet formula specification based on OpenFormula,[23] support for digital signatures and some features suggested by the public. It consists of three parts: Part 1: OpenDocument Schema, Part 2: Recalculated Formula (OpenFormula) Format and Part 3: Packages. Version 1.2 of the specification was approved as an OASIS Standard on 29 September 2011.[24] It was submitted to the relevant ISO committee under the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) procedure in March 2014.[25] As of October 2014, it has been unanimously approved as a Draft International Standard, some comments have been raised in process that need to be addressed before OpenDocument 1.2 can proceed to become an International Standard.[26] OpenDocument 1.2 was published as ISO/IEC standard on 17 June 2015.[2][3][4]


  • OpenDocument 1.3 (a.k.a. "ODF-Next") As of January, 2014, the current state of a possible future version of OpenDocument specification is a working draft (a preliminary unapproved sketch, outline, or version of the specification). The OASIS Advanced Document Collaboration subcommittee (created in December, 2010) is working on an update of OpenDocument change-tracking that will not only enhance the existing change-tracking feature set, but also lay the foundation for the standardization of real-time collaboration by making change tracking compatible with real-time collaboration.[27][28][29]

Application support


The OpenDocument format is used in free software and in proprietary software. This includes office suites (both stand-alone and web-based) and individual applications such as word-processors, spreadsheets, presentation, and data management applications. Prominent text editors, word processors and office suites supporting OpenDocument fully or partially include:

Various organizations have announced development of conversion software (including plugins and filters) to support OpenDocument on Microsoft's products.[43][44] As of July 2007, there are nine packages of conversion software. Microsoft first released support for the OpenDocument Format in Office 2007 SP2.[45] However, the implementation faced substantial criticism and the ODF Alliance and others claimed that the third party plugins provided better support.[46] Microsoft Office 2010 can open and save OpenDocument Format documents natively, although not all features are supported.[47]

Starting with Mac OS X 10.5, the TextEdit application and Quick Look preview feature support the OpenDocument Text format.



Public access to the standard

Versions of the OpenDocument Format approved by OASIS are available for free download and use.[48] The ITTF has added ISO/IEC 26300 to its "list of freely available standards"; anyone may download and use this standard free-of-charge under the terms of a click-through license.[49]

Additional royalty-free licensing

Obligated members of the OASIS ODF TC have agreed to make deliverables available to implementors under the OASIS Royalty Free with Limited Terms policy.

Key contributor Sun Microsystems made an irrevocable intellectual property covenant, providing all implementers with the guarantee that Sun will not seek to enforce any of its enforceable U.S. or foreign patents against any implementation of the OpenDocument specification in which development Sun participates to the point of incurring an obligation.[50]

A second contributor to ODF development, IBM – which, for instance, has contributed Lotus spreadsheet documentation[51] – has made their patent rights available through their Interoperability Specifications Pledge in which "IBM irrevocably covenants to you that it will not assert any Necessary Claims against you for your making, using, importing, selling, or offering for sale Covered Implementations."[52]

The Software Freedom Law Center has examined whether there are any legal barriers to the use of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) in free and open source software arising from the standardization process. In their opinion ODF is free of legal encumbrances that would prevent its use in free and open source software, as distributed under licenses authored by Apache and the FSF.


Support for OpenDocument

Several governments, companies, organizations and software products support the OpenDocument format. For example:

  • The OpenDoc Society runs frequent ODF Plugfests in association with industry groups and Public Sector organisations. The 10th Plugfest[53] was hosted by the UK Government Digital Service in conjunction with industry associations including the OpenForum Europe and OpenUK (formerly Open Source Consortium).
    • An output of the 10th Plugfest was an ODF toolkit[54] which includes "Open Document Format principles for Government Technology" that has the purpose of simply explaining the case for ODF directed at the "average civil servant" and includes an extract from the UK Government policy relating to Open Document Format.
    • The toolkit also includes a single page graphical image[55] designed to articulate the consequences of not choosing Open Document Format. The illustration has now been translated into more than 10 languages.
  • Information technology companies like Apple Inc., Adobe Systems, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Novell, Red Hat, Oracle as well as other companies who may or may not be working inside the OASIS OpenDocument Adoption Technical Committee.
  • Over 600 companies and organizations promote OpenDocument format through The OpenDocument Format Alliance.[56]
  • NATO with its 26 members uses ODF as a mandatory standard for all members.[57]
  • The TAC (Telematics between Administrations Committee), composed of e-government policy-makers from the 25 European Union Member States, endorsed a set of recommendations for promoting the use of open document formats in the public sector.[58]
  • The free office suites Apache OpenOffice, Calligra, KOffice, NeoOffice and LibreOffice all use OpenDocument as their default file format.
  • Several organisations, such as the OpenDocument Fellowship and OpenDoc Society were founded to support and promote OpenDocument.
  • The UK government has adopted ODF as the standard for all documents in the UK civil service[59]
  • The Wikimedia Foundation supports ODF export from MediaWiki, which powers Wikipedia and a number of other Internet wiki-based sites.[60]
  • The default text processing applications in Windows 10 (WordPad) and Mac OS 10.9 (TextEdit) support OpenDocument Text.

On 4 November 2005, IBM and Sun Microsystems convened the "OpenDocument (ODF) Summit" in Armonk, New York, to discuss how to boost OpenDocument adoption. The ODF Summit brought together representatives from several industry groups and technology companies, including Oracle, Google, Adobe, Novell, Red Hat, Computer Associates, Corel, Nokia, Intel, and Linux e-mail company Scalix (LaMonica, 10 November 2005). The providers committed resources to technically improve OpenDocument through existing standards bodies and to promote its usage in the marketplace, possibly through a stand-alone foundation.[61] Scholars have suggested that the "OpenDocument standard is the wedge that can hold open the door for competition, particularly with regard to the specific concerns of the public sector."[62] Indeed, adoption by the public sector has risen considerably since the promulgation of the OpenDocument format initiated the 2005/2006 time period.[62]

  • Different applications using ODF as a standard document format have different methods of providing macro/scripting capabilities. There is no macro language specified in ODF. Users and developers differ on whether inclusion of a standard scripting language would be desirable.[63]
  • The ODF specification for tracked changes is limited and does not fully specify all cases, resulting in implementation-specific behaviors.[64] In addition, OpenDocument does not support change tracking in elements like tables or MathML.[65]
  • It is not permitted to use generic ODF formatting style elements (like font information) for the MathML elements.[65]


One objective of open formats like OpenDocument is to guarantee long-term access to data without legal or technical barriers, and some governments have come to view open formats as a public policy issue. Several governments around the world have introduced policies of partial or complete adoption.[62] What this means varies from case to case; in some cases, it means that the ODF standard has a national standard identifier; in some cases, it means that the ODF standard is permitted to be used where national regulation says that non-proprietary formats must be used, and in still other cases, it means that some government body has actually decided that ODF will be used in some specific context. The following is an incomplete list:

National Africa
South America

See also


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External links


Calligra Suite is a graphic art and office suite by KDE. It is available for desktop PCs, tablet computers, and smartphones. It contains applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, databases, vector graphics, and digital painting.

Calligra uses the OpenDocument format as its default file format for most applications and can import other formats, such as Microsoft Office formats. Calligra relies on KDE technology and is often used in combination with KDE Plasma Workspaces.

Calligra Sheets

Calligra Sheets (formerly KSpread and Calligra Tables) is a free software spreadsheet application that is part of Calligra Suite, an integrated graphic art and office suite developed by KDE.

Among Sheets’ features are multiple sheets per document, assorted formatting possibilities, support for more than 300 built-in functions, templates, chart, spell-check, hyperlinks, data sorting and scripting with Python, Ruby and JavaScript.

Sheets’ native file format has been OpenDocument since version two and previously used its own XML format, compressed with ZIP. Sheets also has the ability to import several spreadsheet formats, including XLS (Microsoft Excel), Applix Spreadsheet, Quattro Pro, CSV, dBase, Gnumeric, SXC ( XML), Kexi and TXT. It supports export of OpenDocument Spreadsheet, SXC, Tables document, CSV, HTML, Gnumeric, TeX and TXT. Sheets does not support export of XLS.

Calligra Stage

Calligra Stage (formerly KPresenter) is a free presentation program that is part of the Calligra Suite, an integrated office suite developed by KDE.

Calligra Stage's native export format is OpenDocument. Stage is able to load presentation documents from Microsoft PowerPoint, LibreOffice Impress and OpenOffice Impress.In 2014, development of Calligra Gemini with official support for Windows was announced.

Comparison of Office Open XML and OpenDocument

This is a comparison of the Office Open XML document file format with the OpenDocument file format.

Comparison of OpenDocument software

The OpenDocument format (ODF), an abbreviation for the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications, is an open and free (excluding maintenance and support) document file format for saving and exchanging editable office documents such as text documents (including memos, reports, and books), spreadsheets, databases, charts, and presentations. This standard was developed by the OASIS industry consortium, based upon the XML-based file format originally created by, and ODF was approved as an OASIS standard on May 1, 2005. It became an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 26300, on May 3, 2006, see main article OpenDocument.

The following tables list applications supporting OpenDocument 1.0 (ISO/IEC 26300:2006) and OpenDocument 1.1 (OASIS Standard).

Comparison of document markup languages

The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of document markup languages. Please see the individual markup languages' articles for further information.

IBM Notes

IBM Notes (formerly Lotus Notes; see Branding below) and IBM Domino (formerly Lotus Domino) are the client and server, respectively, of a collaborative client-server software platform sold by IBM.

IBM Notes provides business collaboration functions, such as email, calendars, to-do lists, contacts management, teamrooms, discussion forums, file sharing, microblogging, instant messaging, blogs, and user directories. IBM Notes can also be used with other IBM Domino applications and databases. IBM Notes 9 Social Edition removed integration with the office software package IBM Lotus Symphony, which had been integrated with the IBM Lotus Notes client in versions 8.x.

Lotus Development Corporation originally developed "Lotus Notes" in 1989. IBM bought the Lotus Corporation in 1995 and it became known as the Lotus Development division of IBM. As of 2015 it forms part of the IBM Software and Systems Group under the name "IBM Collaboration Solutions".

IBM Notes is a desktop workflow application, commonly used in corporate environments for email and to create discussion groups, websites, document libraries, custom applications and business workflows.


ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34, Document description and processing languages is a subcommittee of the ISO/IEC JTC1 joint technical committee, which is a collaborative effort of both the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which develops and facilitates standards within the field of document description and processing languages. The international secretariat of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 is the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC) located in Japan.

Irish Film Classification Office

The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) (Irish: Oifig Aicmithe Scannán na hÉireann, OASÉ) is the organisation responsible for films, television programmes, and some video game classification and censorship within Ireland. Where restrictions are placed by the IFCO, they are legally binding.

Prior to 21 July 2008, the office was branded as the Irish Film Censor's Office, and was previously known as simply the Film Censor's Office, or, in legal references, the office of the Official Censor of Films, which was the official title of the head of the office prior to that date. The head of the office is the Director of Film Classification.

Microsoft Open Specification Promise

The Microsoft Open Specification Promise (or OSP) is a promise by Microsoft, published in September 2006, to not assert its patents, in certain conditions, against implementations of a certain list of specifications.The OSP is not a licence, but rather a Covenant Not to Sue. It promises protection but does not grant any rights.

The OSP is limited to implementations to the extent that they conform to those specifications. This allows for conformance to be partial. So if an implementation follows the specification for some aspects, and deviates in other aspects, then the Covenant Not to Sue applies only to the implementation's aspects which follow the specification.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word (or simply Word) is a word processor developed by Microsoft. It was first released on October 25, 1983 under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PCs running DOS (1983), Apple Macintosh running the Classic Mac OS (1985), AT&T Unix PC (1985), Atari ST (1988), OS/2 (1989), Microsoft Windows (1989), SCO Unix (1994), and macOS (formerly OS X; 2001).

Commercial versions of Word are licensed as a standalone product or as a component of Microsoft Office, Windows RT or the discontinued Microsoft Works suite. Microsoft Word Viewer and Office Online are freeware editions of Word with limited features.


NeoOffice is an office suite for the macOS operating system developed by Planamesa Inc. It is a commercial fork of the free/open source that implements most of the features of, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, and graphics program, and adds some features not present in the macOS versions of LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. Current versions are based on LibreOffice 4.4.


Okular is the multiplatform document viewer developed by the KDE community and based on Qt and KDE Frameworks libraries. It is distributed as part of the KDE Applications bundle. It was originally based on KPDF and it replaced KPDF, KGhostView, KFax, KFaxview and KDVI in KDE 4. Its functionality can be easily embedded in other applications.

OpenDocument adoption

The following article details governmental and other organizations from around the world who are in the process of evaluating the suitability of using (adopting) OpenDocument, an open document file format for saving and exchanging office documents that may be edited.

OpenDocument software

This is an overview of software support for the OpenDocument format, an open document file format for saving and exchanging editable office documents.

OpenDocument standardization

The Open Document Format for Office Applications, commonly known as OpenDocument, was based on XML, as used in 1, and was standardised by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) consortium.

OpenDocument technical specification

This article describes the technical specifications of the OpenDocument office document standard, as developed by the OASIS industry consortium. A variety of organizations developed the standard publicly and make it publicly accessible, meaning it can be implemented by anyone without restriction. The OpenDocument format aims to provide an open alternative to proprietary document formats. XML XML is an open XML-based file format developed as an open community effort by Sun Microsystems in 2000–2002. The open-source software application suite 1.x and StarOffice 6 and 7 used the format as their native and default file format for saving files. The XML format is no longer widely used, but it is still supported in recent versions of software.

OpenDocument (ISO/IEC 26300:2006) is based on XML and these formats are very similar in many technical areas. However, OpenDocument is not the same as the older XML format and these formats are not directly compatible. In 2005, (since version 2.0) and StarOffice (since version 8) switched to OpenDocument as their native and default format.


Writer2ePub (W2E) is a free extension for the various implementations of the Writer text processor to create EPUB-formatted e-Books "from any file format that Writer can read". A text to be exported as EPUB has to be saved as OpenDocument (ODT)-formatted text document. Writer2epub is written in OpenOffice Basic. The author of Writer2ePub is Luca “Luke” Calcinai.

Standards of OASIS
Editable document formats
Fixed document formats
Related topics
ISO standards by standard number
Active derivatives
Discontinued and
merged derivatives
IEC standards
ISO/IEC standards
Office suite

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