How to Use OpenOffice to Auto-Open Word Files with Ease

Are you tired of constantly having to open Word files manually in OpenOffice? Well, worry no more! There’s a way to set OpenOffice to open Word files automatically. It’s a simple process that will save you time and make your workflow more efficient. Let’s get started.

After completing the action, OpenOffice will be your default program for opening Word files. This means that any Word file you click on will open in OpenOffice automatically, without you having to select the program each time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Automatically Opening Word Files with OpenOffice

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re aiming to achieve. By the end of this tutorial, OpenOffice will be set up to open all Word files by default, making your life a little easier.

Step 1: Open OpenOffice Writer

Open the OpenOffice Writer program on your computer.

This is the word processing component of OpenOffice, similar to Microsoft Word. Make sure you have it installed before attempting these steps.

Step 2: Access the Options Menu

Go to the ‘Tools’ menu at the top of the screen, then select ‘Options’.

This is where you can change the settings for how OpenOffice behaves, including file associations.

Step 3: Navigate to File Associations

In the Options menu, click on ‘Load/Save’, then ‘Microsoft Office’.

This will show you a list of file types that OpenOffice can open.

Step 4: Set File Associations

Check the boxes next to the Word file formats you want to open with OpenOffice by default.

Typically, these will be ‘.doc’, ‘.docx’, and ‘.dot’ file formats. Ensuring these are checked will tell your computer to use OpenOffice for these types of files.

Step 5: Apply and Save

Click ‘OK’ to apply the changes and save your settings.

Your computer will now use OpenOffice to open Word files by default, saving you the hassle of having to manually select the program each time.

Tips for Automatically Opening Word Files with OpenOffice

  • Make sure OpenOffice is up to date to ensure compatibility with the latest Word file formats.
  • You can still open Word files in Microsoft Word if you need to; simply right-click the file, select ‘Open with’, and choose Word from the list.
  • If you have other word processing software installed, you may need to repeat this process to maintain OpenOffice as your default.
  • It’s always good practice to create a backup of your files before changing default settings, just in case.
  • If you’re using a work computer, check with your IT department before making changes to default programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still open Word files in Microsoft Word after doing this?

Yes, you can still open Word files in Microsoft Word by right-clicking the file and selecting ‘Open with’ and then choosing Word from the list of programs.

Will changing the default to OpenOffice affect other file types?

No, changing the default program to OpenOffice will only affect the file types that you select during the process.

Can I set OpenOffice to open other types of files by default as well?

Yes, you can set OpenOffice to open other types of files by default by checking the boxes next to the file formats listed under the ‘Microsoft Office’ section in the Options menu.

What if I want to change back to Microsoft Word as my default?

You can change back to Microsoft Word as your default by following the same steps but selecting Word in the ‘Open with’ menu instead of OpenOffice.

Will this work with all versions of OpenOffice?

This process should work with all versions of OpenOffice, but if you encounter any issues, make sure you have the latest version installed.


  1. Open OpenOffice Writer.
  2. Access the Options Menu.
  3. Navigate to File Associations.
  4. Set File Associations.
  5. Apply and Save.


Congratulations, you’ve now learned how to use OpenOffice to automatically open Word files! This small change can have a big impact on your productivity, eliminating the need to manually select OpenOffice every time you want to open a Word document. Remember, though, while OpenOffice is a powerful tool, it may not have all the features that Microsoft Word does.

It’s always a good idea to check your documents for compatibility, especially if you’re sharing them with others who use Word. If you run into any issues or have questions, the OpenOffice community is active and ready to help. Give it a try and enjoy the simplicity of having your Word files open in OpenOffice by default.

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