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Ease-of-Use Tips for the Desktop - page 4

Setting up a Ubuntu VM Guest on a Linux VMware Server Host

  • June 18, 2007
  • By A. Lizard

ODF Converter makes it possible for people to read and write MS Word 2007 .DOCX files in OpenOffice.org . It's word processor only, spreadsheets, etc. don't run at this time with it.

I use Debian-testing. This should also work on Ubuntu, etc.

As anyone who's looked knows, ODF Converter is distributed by Novell in .rpm format and not in .deb . As it turns out, this is an rpm which can be converted via the Debian alien utility, which can convert rpm format to deb or tarball or other formats. (if "other formats" interests you, $man alien for more information)

Get the files from here

Get both files, download them to anywhere convenient. You should be able to copy and paste each instruction directly into your console window.

So, as root (when the tarball is untarred, you'll need root access to get the files into /usr):

# alien --to-tgz --scripts odf-converter-1.0.0-5.i586.rpm

# tar -xzvf odf-converter-1.0.0.tgz

Don't bother cd-ing to the directory the tarball expands to; there isn't one. The files are all over the disk. Just copy the directories as indicated:

# cp /usr/lib/ooo-2.0/program/OdfConverter /usr/lib/openoffice/program/

# cp /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/

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

This worked for me, but the conversion takes a long time to run and is resource-intensive, I'd guess about 20 minutes or more on a 201 page .DOCX test document I found, and running about 99% CPU utilization in one core of my Athlon 4200x2 dual core processor.

The test document I used was Office Open XML Part 1 - Fundamentals . You might want to look for a shorter one.

It's a lot faster for shorter documents. Turning this article into .docx took about 2 seconds. Turning my 34 page business plan into docx took about 30 seconds, opening it in OpenOffice.org took less than a minute. I'm not sure how this handles dual/multicore processors, I saw it using both cores for shorter documents and a single core for longer ones, which doesn't make sense.

If you change your mind about a document conversion, the best way to shut down ODF Converter is to do ps -A and kill -9 processID. Shutting down the OpenOffice.org Writer window will probably leave the converter running and crash any other OpenOffice.org windows you've got running.

For instance:

$ ps -A
4359 ODFConverter
$ kill -9 4359
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