Just a very small post here because I had trouble finding a solution myself. Users of OpenOffice for the Mac may experience odd-looking bullet point characters when opening and saving MS Word .doc files. The character looks like a W inside a box.
Anyway, the problem is due to MS Office not encoding the character correctly when saving the file, but the temporary solution is to use OpenOffice’s Font Replacement feature (see Preferences), to replace “Symbol” with “OpenSymbol”.
Let’s hope there’s some resolution in future, my guess is that the open document formats will just see this issue disappear in time. Here’s a thread that explains the problem, and the solution, in more depth: