The OpenDocument is a standard XML-based file format suitable for office applications. It covers the features required by text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents. OpenDocument is highly interoperable by making use of existing standards like HTML, SVG, XSL, SMIL, XLink, XForms, MathML or Dublin Core wherever possible.

Version 1.0 of the OpenDocument specification was approved as an OASIS standard in May, 2005. The European Union also recommended as the basis for standard file formats and document interchange, and the OpenDocument format is likely to become an ISO Standard. OpenDocument already enjoys the support of several major players like Sun , IBM, HP, Novell and even Adobe.

The first programs implementing OpenDocument are already available in beta. Version 2.0 of will use it as the default file format, but there will be a filter for the upcoming version 1.1.5 as well. Also the open source project KOffice is going to include the OpenDocument format, planned for version 1.4. The Abiword project announced an import/export filter for the format and it is very likely that many other office suites like StarOffice from Sun or IBM Workplace will soon follow.

OpenDocument is:

  • An open, XML-based file format.
  • An open standard, supported by the OASIS and ISO standards groups.
  • The default file format for the upcoming 2.0 and KOffice 1.4 and others.
  • A top prospect for an official format for the European Commission.
  • Our best chance to fight vendor lock-in associated with proprietary formats.


  1. OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC
  2. OpenDocument FAQ
  3. The Future Is Open: What OpenDocument Is And Why You Should Care – by Daniel Carrera – Grocklaw
  4. Open Document Format Approved –

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