Daily Archives: 11 August 2014

UK Government adopts Open Doc Format for all sharable docs

The Government of United Kingdom has adopted Open Document Format (ODF) for all sharable documents. That means government offices and employees must use PDF/A or HTML for documents that are to be just viewed (but not edited), and ODF for sharing and collaborating on gov docs.

It doesn’t meant that anyone has to give up Microsoft Office, but it does mean that, when creating a file in that office suite, it has to be saved in an ODF format:

.odt and .fodt for word processing (text) documents
.ods and .fods for spreadsheets
.odp and .fodp for presentations
.odb for databases
.odg and .fodg for graphics
.odf for formulae, mathematical equations

If any of those employees are, like me, using open-source office suites as LibreOffice and OpenOffice, they can stop having to save files as .doc (Word), .ppt (PowerPoint) and .xls (Excel).

From the ZDNet article: “All office-suite programs, which do not support ODF, such as Google Docs, must add support for the standard. Without it, they will find themselves unable to compete for UK government business now. And, in the future, they may find themselves unable to compete for other office contracts that will require ODF.”

Now, if I could just convince the United Nations, and all of the NGOs and nonprofits I work with, and all the local government offices in the USA, to do the same…