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Documents compatibility

As of today, sharing documents can still be complicate because documents can appear differently when opened on two different PC, for three reasons.

Proprietary format

The first reason is that most of people use Microsoft Office and its proprietary formats (docdocxxlsxlsx..), which means that the exact same software and version must be used in both parts to be sure that it will be compatible. This would not happen with open standard format such as odt that is used by LibreOffice and Google docs.

Software version

This must not be a surprise, a recent software can produce documents that can't be read by older ones. However, if you use a open format as said earlier, the interoperability that comes with this choice would probably make this problem so rare that it would perhaps not even be worth mentionning.

Installed fonts

The last reason is a very weird and ugly concept that still exist in today file formats that makes characters show differently on another PC unless if that PC have the same fonts installed. So you find a typography you like and use it in your document, you send that document to a friend, he will see your text with plain normal letters..

Elegant solutions

PDF format

You can use the pdf format to send documents as this format ensures that no matter what software your recipient use and no matter what fonts are installed in his computer, he will see exactly the same thing as you when opening your document. However pdf is not suitable if you wish yourself or your recipient to edit the document as it is read-only format, so it can only be used to send final copy of documents, in a very neat and clean way. Ideal for your CV!

Being compatible

The final solution is for people to use softwares that are compatible with open standards formats such as odt which still let you open other formats. Also thing to use common fonts to make sure that your recipient will have it installed in his computer. In the case you are stuck and can only use Microsoft Office, then you should always use the latest version.. while saving your documents in the old 2003 Microsoft doc format to make sure all your recipient will be able to open the file.