OpenOffice users: Getting messages about documents being made in a newer version?

Many OpenOffice users are seeing warnings when trying to access files in the OpenDocument Format (eg .odt, .ods). The full text is:

This document was created by a newer version of OpenOffice. It may contain features not supported by your current version.

In this case, the document was probably made in LibreOffice, which supports newer versions of the OpenDocument Format. LibreOffice is a successor project to OpenOffice that’s much more actively developed, with new major releases every six months, hugely improved Microsoft Office compatibility, and many other benefits:

LibreOffice supports OpenDocument Format 1.3, the latest release. COSM, the Community of ODF Specification Maintainers, is an independent project started by The Document Foundation, and oversees the work of preparing the new standards for ratification. COSM is starting to crowdfund work on the OpenDocument 1.4 standard – so organisations that would like to contribute should get in touch!

Another benefit of OpenDocument is its backwards compatibility. Even when a file is built around a newer format, older versions of the software should still be able to read and process it. So you’re not forced onto an upgrade treadmill (although as LibreOffice is free and open source software, it’s always good to keep up-to-date!)

Learn more about LibreOffice and OpenDocument here.