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Open Office 2007 files with older versions*

A while ago I wrote about solving the problem of opening documents that Windows does not recognize, and used as an example two text documents received as email attachments (click here to read Cannot open attachment…help!). While the point of that article was how to identify unrecognized file types, the fact that I mentioned a .docx (a Word 2007 document) received the most attention from readers.

Tip of the day: Open Office 2007 documents with older versions of Office. Some time ago now, Microsoft released a new version of its Office suite, called Office 2007. Besides having a new “look” and new toolbars, this suite of programs uses a whole new format (a way of encoding) for the documents it produces, which Microsoft calls “Open XML” (for more on this, click here); and to signify this, has added an “x” to the file extension.. so the familiar “.doc” of MS Word has become “.docx”.

This change to the coding does improve the flexibility of the document, and “modernizes” the way machines interact with it, and yet allows Microsoft to maintain proprietary control.. thus ensuring that sales of Office continues. The trouble is, owners of MS Word cannot open the new .docx formats, which produces great dissatisfaction from folks who have shelled out the bucks to own the most commonly used word processor in the world. (And largely done so simply to be able to open other people’s documents.) It also smacks of forcing people to spend a couple hundred bucks to upgrade.

Microsoft swears this is not the intent. Of course they want you to upgrade, but to do so because of the improvements and new features. They do, in fact want current MS Office licensees to be able to read the new Open XML ‘standard’, and so they have made available a tool for the older versions of Office.. which is today’s free link.
As more and more people use the new 2007 suite, the more .docx’s you’re going to run across; so if you’re happy and comfortable with your current version, and aren’t ready to relearn the Excel and Word toolbar, relax. Keep reading and download the Microsoft Office compatibility tool.

[Note: If you are the one using Office 2007, and you know you’re going to be sending your document to folks who are using an older version, use “Save As” to save the file as a Office 97-2003 document (no “x”).]

Today’s free link: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. Open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 4, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, MS Word, software, tech, troubleshooting, word processors | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments