Star Office is fully compatible with Word Documents. You can both read Word documents into Star Office to read them or even to edit them. You can also save Star Office documents into one of several different MS Word formats (although in this instance any codes that you have used in your document that are not supported by MS Word will be lost).
The support that Star Office has for MS Word documents is built into the program in such a way that it is almost invisible to use. To open a Word document in Star Office you can select the File menu then select the Open option and select the Word document that you want to open just the same way that you would in MS Word. Alternatively, if you set the association for .doc files to automatically open in Star Office, you can easily open Word documents in Star Office just by clicking on them (or double clicking - depending on the operating system). Just occasionally, Star Office will not be able to work out what format the document that you are opening is saved in and will present you with a Filter List for you to select the format yourself. If this list appears just select the version of MS Word that you think the document was created in and see if the document will open, if it doesn't then just try again and select a different MS Word version. The best order to select versions in if you don't know which was used is to start with the most recent MS Word version listed and work your way back until you find one that works. This will ensure that as much as possible of the formatting information stored in the document is retained.
Saving a Star Office document in one of the MS Word formats instead of the Star Office format is almost as simple. from the File menu select Save As and change the filename to save as to one with a .doc extension. The only additional step (which you wouldn't have to do if you were using MS Word instead of Star Office) is to open the File Type drop down list at the bottom of the save as dialog box and select one of the MS Word formats. Star Office 5.1 supports three MS Word formats - MS Winword 6.0, MS Word 95, and MS Word 97. The document thus saved can then be opened in the corresponding version of MS Word just as if the file were created in that program.
As Star Office supports most of the same formatting options as MS Word (and several that MS Word doesn't support) a Word document can be successfully opened, edited, and saved using Star Office just the same as if you had used MS Word, the only differences are the way that you access some of the options are slightly different as is the price that you have to pay to obtain the program.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.