Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Converting the New Office Files


Microsoft, in an effort to make it's file structure more universal, has gone to an .xml based file format in the release of Office 2007 for Windows and Office 2008 for Mac. Some of you have noticed files with an x at the end of the extension...and many of you, I am sure, are not able to open these files. There are several ways to open files that have been created in the newest version of Office (for this post I will focus on Word, but the steps are the same).

Option One - Ask the person with the newer version to be kind
If you have a newer version of Office, you can save your file to previous versions through the Save Dialog Box:

Note: You can even set your preferences so that your file always saves in a .doc format.

Option Two - Online Conversion using zamzar:

  • Visit Zamzar
  • Browse to your .docx file
  • Choose the file format you want (probably .doc)
  • Type your email address
  • Wait for the email from zamzar with a link to your converted document.

Option Three: Use Microsoft's conversion tool
If you are on a Mac, you can use Open XML Converter. If you are using Windows, you can use the Microsoft Compatibility Pack. These are programs you install onto your computer. They are very open the program, open the file you want to convert and click convert. It saves a copy of the file in a readable format in the same place as your original document, then opens it for you.

One of my favorite sayings is, "There are always at least three ways to do one step with technology." Here is the perfect example.