ODF (Open Document Format) has been endorsed by several governments, which tout the format is a way to break the stranglehold Microsoft has on the document-creation market. Open XML, on the other hand, is the new native file format for the primary applications within Office 2007, Microsoft's suite update.
By mid-2007, WordPerfect will include open, view, and edit support for the Open XML formats used by Office 2007's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications, as well as for ODF word processor documents, says Corel, which calls the approach "format neutral."
"It's far from clear which of these formats will be adopted by productivity customers, or indeed if we'll simply need to continue working with multiple file formats," said Richard Carriere, the general manager of Corel's Office group, in a statement.
WordPerfect Office currently supports Microsoft's binary file formats and can also crank out documents in Adobe's PDF.
"Adding Open XML and ODF support means Corel can flexibly address customers' needs, regardless of the formats they choose going forward," added Carriere.
Until recently, Microsoft resisted supporting the rival ODF, but earlier this month as part of its pact with Novell, Microsoft said it would fund work on an ODF-Open XML translator for Microsoft Word.
For the moment, however, only rivals OpenOffice.org and StarOffice handle ODF files.