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What is an ODT File: Understanding the Format
What is an ODT File: Understanding the Format

What is an ODT File: Understanding the Format

by Alexa Davis
Dec 14, 2023

Do you have a document with ODT extension but haven't worked with it before? This article will explain all you need to know about the format, starting with the basics:

You will also learn how the ODT format is compared to other popular textual formats and what makes it stand out. Read on to discover the true power of ODT documents!

What is an ODT file

ODT stands for OpenDocument Text. It is a file type used for documents edited with word processors such as Apache OpenOffice. It's a rather popular format today that can be used in presentations, spreadsheets, text documents, etc.

ODT is similar to DOC or DOCX formats, but it does not contain any binary coding. Instead, it stores text in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format. This makes ODT files more lightweight.

The benefits of using ODT files are that they are open-source and compatible with multiple applications. So, such documents can be opened on all major operating systems. You don't have to worry about compatibility issues when transferring files from one computer to another.

Also, because the file type stores text as plain text, you don't need any special software to view them. All you need is a basic word processor or text editor.

Overall, if you're looking for a lightweight and versatile document type that can be easily shared across multiple devices, then the ODT format is worth a try!

DescriptionOpen standard for word processing documents using XMLProprietary format by Microsoft WordDocument format used for consistent, fixed layoutSimple text format with no formatting
CompatibilitySupported by various word processors like LibreOffice, OpenOfficeCompatible with Microsoft Word and other word processorsReadable on various platforms using PDF readersUniversally readable on any text editor
FormattingSupports various formatting options, including text styles, images, tables, and moreOffers extensive formatting tools for text, tables, images, etc.Retains layout and formatting across different devices and platformsPlain text format without formatting or styling options
EditabilityEditable using compatible software like LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and other ODT-supporting applicationsEditable primarily in Microsoft Word or other DOC-compatible softwareTypically needs a specialized PDF editor, usually read-onlyEditable in any text editor without formatting options
File SizeGenerally larger due to XML-based structureSizes can vary based on content and formattingCan be large depending on content and graphicsTypically smaller due to absence of formatting
SecuritySupports encryption and password protectionOffers some security features like password protection and restricted editingSupports encryption and digital signatures for enhanced securityNo inherent security features

Advantages of ODT format

When it comes to documents, there are many common formats such as the DOC and DOCX. However, did you know that the ODT has a list of advantages over the most popular formats?

  • The ODT format ensures full compatibility across different applications.
  • ODT files tend to be much smaller in size than their equivalent in DOC or DOCX, which is better for emailing and uploading online
  • Finally, ODT is ideal for collaborative editing as it works well with version tracking features such as comparing stored versions of documents easily. It also provides users with comments/notes about changes made in certain sections.

All of these features combined make ODT the go-to format for creating professional documents both for personal use and corporate or organizational sharing.

How to open ODT files?

Opening an ODT format on your device can be simpler than you think!

  • On a Windows computer, you can open such files by using a free Microsoft Word viewer. You can also download the free OpenOffice suite to open the ODT file like you would any other text document.
  • For Mac users, the Pages app allows you to open ODT files, and you'll have all the same options as if you were using Word. Another program is the built-in TextEdit application. Simply double-click the file and it should open.
  • Linux users can also use the free OpenOffice suite. You can download the program and open the ODT file with it. You can also use the LibreOffice suite, AbiWord, or Gnumeric as an alternative.
  • For those who only have access to mobile devices, Open Office has an app that will allow you to view and edit ODT documents right from your phone or tablet.

So, no matter what device you using, there’s a way to open your ODT file.

How to convert ODT to PDF?

Converting ODT to PDF doesn't have to be complicated. Take advantage of online tools that make it easy and convenient. PDF Candy offers an intuitive online ODT to PDF converter. Thus, both desktop and mobile users can benefit from it.

Here's how to easily convert ODT to PDF online:

  1. Open the ODT to PDF converter in the browser of your choice.
  2. Click "Add File" and select the ODT document you want to convert. Alternatively, you can upload it from your Dropbox. Google Drive is also supported.
  3. The conversion will start automatically.
  4. When processing is finished, save the resulting PDF by clicking "*Download file**".

Convert ODT to PDF online

Using an online service can be really beneficial when compared to desktop or mobile software. It's free, secure, and requires no special knowledge or additional installations.

Advantages of this online service

Forget about tedious installations and registrations and discover all the benefits of using this web-based platform:

  • Easy to use. No need for separate software downloads or registration.
  • Secure. Your documents are protected during the conversion process.
  • Fast. Several ODT files can be converted at the same time.
  • Intuitive interface. You can easily convert files without any effort required.
  • Free. You don't have to pay for the use of the service.
  • Supports multiple formats. You can convert ODT to PDF, PDF to JPG, JPG to PNG, and more.

Why may you need to convert an ODT file?

If you need to view an ODT file sent to you but don't have a program that supports this document type, you may consider converting ODT to a different format.

This is especially true if the document needs to be shared with someone who doesn't have an OpenOffice-compatible application that can open the ODT file directly. For example, if someone only has Microsoft Word, they won't be able to view the ODT file, so you would need to convert it to a format such as DOC or DOCX.

The PDF format is another popular choice for sharing documents, as it is simple and widely compatible. With most ODT-to-PDF converters, you can also be sure that the text formatting and layout of your original document will be preserved. This ensures that your document looks exactly how you intended it to when shared with others.

Thankfully, there are multiple programs and services available online that allow you to easily convert ODT files to different formats. In this way, you'll be sure that you can share your files with anyone, regardless of the software they use.


Now that you know the answers to all related questions - what is an ODT file, and how to open and convert it on different devices, you will be more confident working with it.

It is important to note that such files may open in read-only mode in some applications and certain formatting options may not be available. To avoid any possible issues, you should convert the ODT file to another format. With these steps in mind, you can now work effectively with the ODT format.

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