File extension ODT most probably stands for “Open Document Text” and is associated with the OpenOffice software suite. An ODT file is actually a word processing file and is therefore a document file. ODT is the equivalent of Microsoft Word’s DOCX minus the compression features as it is also formatted in XML and thus can be easily transferred. Several other programs can also access an ODT file aside from its creator – OpenOffice software. Some of these programs include Corel WordPerfect, NeoOffice, Lotus Symphony and even the popular online service Google Docs.
Though Microsoft Office can access ODT files it actually doesn’t provide native support to such extension and therefore the user needs to install an ODT add-in for MS Word to his Microsoft Office suite.
The ODT file extension comes from a family of “Open Document” extensions that is primarily used by OpenOffice.org. There is ODS for Open Document Spreadsheet, ODP for Open Document Presentation, ODG for Open Document Graphics and ODF for Open Document Formulae. All Open Document extensions, including ODT are all based on the XML file format and so the content of which can be viewable through any text editor. However, the XML format might be complicated to non-technical users and so it is highly recommended to open this file using an OpenOffice application.
Users who don’t have OpenOffice installed in their system however can still view and open ODT files but they first need to covert the files into a Microsoft Word document. This can be done through an application or add-in called Open XML translator.