HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft 365 Beta Adds ODF 1.4 Support for Office Apps

Microsoft 365 Beta Adds ODF 1.4 Support for Office Apps

Microsoft 365 Insiders can now test OpenDocument format across core Office apps Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.


has updated its 365 Insider program by launching fresh beta updates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac platforms. This iteration includes compatibility with OpenDocument format (ODF) 1.4, standardizing file saves in the new format.

OpenDocument (ODF) is a free and standardized file format for office applications like word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Think of it as a universal format that different programs can understand, similar to how PDFs work for sharing documents.

Backward Compatibility

Files created with earlier ODF versions, such as ODF 1.3, are still accessible using the updated apps. However, saving these files will convert them to ODF 1.4. Although older Office applications with ODF 1.3 support can open ODF 1.4 files, the new features unique to ODF 1.4 will not be functional.

To save files in the updated format, users should open or create a document in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Navigate to the File tab, use the Save As function, choose a saving location, and select OpenDocument format from the Save as type menu. Specifically, choose OpenDocument Text (*.odt) for Word, OpenDocument Spreadsheet (*.ods) for Excel, and OpenDocument Presentation (*.odp) for PowerPoint before saving.

ODF 1.4 Features in Office Apps

  • Word: Inclusion of tables within shapes, zero-based list numbering, and options to prevent overlapping of images and shapes. Updates to number list formats, support for odd/even page breaks, alternate writing modes for select languages, and a new attribute to identify decorative objects.
  • Excel: Refinements in error value persistence and color filter settings with restrictions. Enhanced text direction controls, allowing text rotation by 90° in both directions, and a new decorative object attribute.
  • PowerPoint: Capacity to start slide numbering from zero and rotate text within table cells to 90° and 270°, alongside the new decorative objects attribute.

Availability and Feedback

The ODF 1.4 features are accessible to Insiders on Windows versions beginning with 2404 (Build 17531.20078) and Mac versions 16.84 (Build 24041420). The general release date remains unspecified. Users are encouraged to send their feedback through the Help > Feedback option within the applications.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.