Converting DOCX For Compatability In All Versions Of Office And Word

Written by Alan Sunday, 27 March 2011 06:00

microsoft office logo Converting DOCX For Compatability In All Versions Of Office And Word

Microsoft introduced the .docx format with Office 2007.  The new format’s name is short for the Microsoft Open Office XML Format.  The format is not compatible with older versions of Microsoft Word or with alternative operating systems like Linux or Mac OS X.  It is also not compatible with other word processing applications like OpenOffice, Lotus 123, or NeoOffice.  It was not introduced with Office 2007, but it also became the new default format.

If you are using Office 2007 or Office 2010 then saving a file in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel will automatically create a .docx file.  That’s fine because there’s nothing wrong with the format.  But if you are sharing the document with some who is not using the latest 2 versions of Office then they will not be able access the files, at least not natively.

So, what do you do if you are using an older version of Office, or an alternative like Open Office and someone sends you a .docx file?  There are several things you can do.

1. You could ask the person who provided the file to do a “Save As” of is and choose “Word 97-2003 document”.

2. If you are using an older Office, like 2003, you can download and install the Microsoft Compatibility Pack which will allow you to open .docx files.

3. You can use a free, online conversion tool.  A good one is DOCX Converter.

4. If you are using Open Office then you can install the Open XML Translator.

5. If you are using Office for Mac the you can download and install the Open XML File Format Converter.

6. You can install a desktop widget that will allow you to drag and drop .docx file onto it for simple conversion.  You can find one at the before-mentioned DOCX Converter provides such a conversion widget.

7. If you have a Google account then you can use Google Docs to open the file.

All the above methods work for .docx extension files. My favorite is the online conversion at DOCX Converter.  It is fast and easy and free and you don’t have to install any software.

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 Converting DOCX For Compatability In All Versions Of Office And Word


Alan is the owner and editor of Making Windows Easy. In addition to writing about technology he is also an avid distance runner and hiker. Read More

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