LibreOffice, Microsoft Office can work together when it comes to graphics

Photographs and graphics have been used in text documents since desktops started having GUI interfaces in the early to mid 1980s. Users had to copy and paste images into documents created by those early word processors.

 As technology evolved, different file formats and applications that create them have come and gone. Since office-suite applications have been the standard tools used to create documents to share with others for various business and personal purposes, many of these image formats can be integrated into documents created by them.

 It is no different for the two office suites discussed in this blog. Microsoft Office and LibreOffice can import and export many of the standard image and graphic formats that are popular today.

 Both Office and LibreOffice can open the basic format images, such as JPG, PNG, and BMP. These are universal formats that can be opened by many applications.

Here is the Open list in LibreOffice. It shows the list of graphics formats that the suite can open.

 LibreOffice, however, has the advantage in the number of formats it can import. Though there are several formats that can be accessed by Office that LibreOffice does not support. This information comes from a Web page, published by the Document Foundation that was used in previous articles.

 The differences is supported formats are fairly obvious. For the most part, Office supports ones that have been created for Windows or other applications owned by Microsoft. LibreOffice supports more open formats and ones from industry standard applications.

 An example of this is Adobe Photoshop. Its default format, PSD, is a popular format used by many photographers and graphic designers. LibreOffice can open these documents, but Microsoft Office 2016 cannot.

The open-source suite also can export to Adobe Flash (SWF) and import graphics formats from other popular Adobe, Corel, and other programs:

  • CorelDraw (v1-X7)

  • Corel Presentation Exchange

  • Adobe/Macromedia Freehand (v3-11)

  • Adobe PageMaker

  • Zoner/Callisto Draw (.zmf)

 Here are a list of formats that Microsoft Office does not support:

  • SVG: Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML-based format for two-dimensional graphics.

  • EPS: Encapsulated Postscript Vector graphics are used in vector images in Adobe Illustrator.

  • DXF: This is an AutoCAD format.

  • MET:  MET files contain information such as the preferences set in the application, hashed file ID’s, resource download links, server addresses, file names, and statistics

  • PBM: This is a format that is part of the Netpbm project. Images in these formats are designed to easily  be exchanged among different formats. Portable Bitmap is  0-1 black and white.

  • PCD: This is the format of images that are on a photo CD.

  • PCX: This is a Paintbrush Bitmap Image file. It was one of the first image standards for MS-DOS.

  • PGM: This is a format that is part of the Netpbm project. Images in these formats are designed to easily  be exchanged among different formats. Portable GrayMap is  0-255 gray scale.

  • PPM:  This is a format that is part of the Netpbm project. Images in these formats are designed to easily  be exchanged among different formats. Portable Pixmap is  0-255 RGB.

  • RAS: This is a bitmap file.

  • SGF: Smart Game Format. This is used for storing records of board games.The format pairs properties and values that describe games.

  • SVM: This commonly used when inserting and copying images in the drawing and presentation applications of the OpenOffice and LibreOffice suites.

  • TGA: file extension for a raster graphics file created by TrueVision Inc. Truevision was also called Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter (TARGA),  the first family of video cards for IBM Compatible PCs that supported TrueColor display,

  • XBM: This is X Bitmap. It is typically used for storing cursor and icon bitmaps.

  • XPM: This is X PixMap, used to create icon PixMaps.

LibreOffice Impress supports 3D-model formats that PowerPoint does not. The first are Digital Asset Exchange (DAE) files. These are used for exchanging digital assets among different programs. The presentation program also can open Keyhole Markup Language Zipped (KMZ) files. These are for place holders in Google Earth.

Here is a list of formats supported by Office but not LibreOffice:

  • MEZ: MusicEase Music File Notation

  • WMZ: This is a skin format for Windows Media Player that is Windows Metafile that is zipped into XML documents. A skin file is master file that defines how the other files will be used.

  • PCZ: This is a compressed Macintosh PICT picture image file. PICT is Apple’s standard metafile for Macs.

  • CGM: This stands for Computer Graphics Metafile.  It is a free and open international standard file format for 2D vector graphics, raster graphics, and text, and is defined by ISO/IEC 8632

The conclusion of this article supports the idea discussed in previous articles. LibreOffice is a good companion tool to Microsoft Office. Since you can open or create Office documents with it, you can use it to import graphics that are in formats not supported by the Microsoft suite.

 This is good in environments where Adobe generated graphics and CAD drawings need to be inserted into reports or presentations. It also would be a good way of getting a Google Earth place holder in a PowerPoint presentation.

 With both office suites, you simply have more options in creating and editing documents.

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