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How do I open an *.ods file?

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Quick Answer

An *.ods file may be opened with either Microsoft Excel or Apache OpenOffice applications. The file type *.ods refers to an OpenDocument spreadsheet.

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Full Answer

OpenDocument spreadsheets are part of the ODF group of office documents, an ISO standard that was set up in 2006. ODF documents use an open standard that is not tied to any particular software application and can be used by any company.

OpenOffice is the free suite of programs developed by Apache and published by Apache Software Foundation, a non-profit company. It is the leading suite of free office applications and also includes a word processor and presentation program similar to Microsoft's PowerPoint. The other file suffixes used in OpenOffice are:

  • *.odt - word processing documents
  • *.odp - presentation documents

OpenOffice is available in several languages and may be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. In OpenOffice, *.ods is the default file extension for spreadsheet documents; however it is also possible to save files as an *.xls Excel spreadsheet.

Microsoft Excel and most other modern spreadsheet applications can also work with *.odt spreadsheets. There is no special action needed as files may simply be opened up in Excel in the same manner as *.xls or *.xlsx files by clicking on the file name.

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