Late last year I had to work on a project that can read from or write to Excel spreadsheets. The project was web based and used Coldfusion 7 so, naturally, I used the Java POI library for the Excel integration. It worked like a champ until I opened a word document in Open Office and then saved it as an Excel spreadsheet.

The code I had previously written for the same spreadsheet suddenly barfed. I haven’t had a chance to figure out what is different with the sheet after Open Office saves it but, for the time being, just consider this a word of warning

  • Open Office’s Excel format is a touch different than that used by MS Office.

The document will still open and look the same in MS Office - but POI seems to think there are extra cells with actual content in them after Open Office has touched it.

Consider yourself warned



thanks a lot


I fixed issues with reading open office saved xls files. via the two codes:
164: // same as 0 Default of “General”

case 165: // Default of “Text”
same as 0x31: // “@” - This is text format. “Text” - Alias for “@”

but I have a problem, that when I output an xls from POI and then open it with OpenOffice all the rows with data are hidden.