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April 24, 2007

Google Search Recognizes Open Office Documents

In addition to HTML files, Google indexes other file types like: PDFs, Microsoft Office files, Shockwave Flash files and more. Google offers you the option to read the HTML (or text) version of the cached file, in case you don't have an application that opens the file.

Google added OpenDocument format to the list of supported documents. OpenDocument is supported by important office suites like, Star Office, KOffice, but also by Google Docs & Spreadsheets. OpenDocument can be used to store many kinds of files, including documents (.odt), spreadsheets (.ods) and presentations (.odp).

Google's filetype: operator allows you to restrict the search results to files that have a specific extension. This table shows the number of files from Google's index for Open Office and Microsoft Office:

File types
Open Office
Microsoft Office
documents 88,200 42,300,000
spreadsheets 19,700 15,600,000
presentations 42,300 13,800,000


  1. The comparison of open office documents vs. MS Office documents is pretty surprising. I would imagine a disparity, but not so diverse.

    In fact, a huge number of MS office documents would be beyond google's index - such as inside the corporate networks, in pcs, in email attachments, etc. One might argue the same for open office documents, but I guess the ratio of on-web to out-of-web documents would be much greater for open office than for ms office.

  2. Considering that OpenDocument is a very recent standard which Google has just started to index, and that Microsoft office formats have been around for decades, and Google has been indexing them for years, one would expect Google's index to show a ratio of at least 1000 to 1 in favor of Microsoft formats.
    Many governements are in the process of supporting OpenDocument as their external and internal format, and many software packages in addition to OpenOffice are starting to support OpenDocument. (Including Microsoft, although reluctantly.)
    Next year I would expect OpenDocument will have made considerable progress.

  3. Correct stats must consider only ODF vs. ms-OOXML as here:

  4. really? desktop search recognizes OpenOffice docs? You could have fooled me. I use OpenOffice about 80% of the time on my personal computer, and about 50% of the time on my work computer, have Google Desktop on both machines, yet can never find my openoffice docs in the search. . .
    No wonder there are so few docs indexed!

  5. Nope, doesn't work. I use Copernic for desktop search, it does .odt and .odf without a problem.

  6. Since new version of Google Desktop, the Google Desktop plug-in from Larry no longer works : Open Office are'nt recognized any more by Google Desktop.
    the problem with copernic is that Network Drive aren't supported in the freeware Home edition.

  7. I do NOT understand why Google desktop is not upgraded to natively index open document format files. This impacts more than just openoffice files, however as an OpenOffice user for the past five years, Google desktop is increasingly useless for me. Copernic appears to be an alternative.

  8. It is ridiculous that GDS does not support OpenOffice out of the box. Ridiculous.


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