Part of testing for this bit of work I'm doing on at the moment involves opening a 50-odd column tab-delimited text file into a spreadsheet (where it's easier to read).
I have Openoffice, this should be easy. Is it f***?
File -> Open Select the file I want Choose ("Text CSV") from the 'File type' box, which now hides the file I wanted, but still leaves its name in the filename box. Click Open
If you miss the "Text CSV" bit then it opens it in the Word Processor instead, the stupid application. And there's no "open in spreadsheet" functionality - it has to think that the file is a spreadsheet to be able to do that.
Rename the file extension. This is really where OpenOffice falls over and is tempting me to buy some decent software to do process data (or at least I will if I need to do data processing beyond this year). Depending on what you want to do I could probably do some minor bits of processing on the software we have here in the department specifically for data analysis.