Thursday, January 22, 2009

Opening Office 2007 files in older Office versions

I posted this last semester, but this seems to be worth a re-post.

PCCC has made it the "standard" that we are using Office 2007. This presents some issues that we haven't seen in years, the issue of backwards compatibility. In other words, let's say you are running Office 2003 at home. If I mail you a Microsoft Word document in Office 2007 format, you are basically out of luck.

...that is, without an extra piece of free software from Microsoft.

If you are running Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, and can not open Office 2007 files (they have slightly different extensions, such as .docx, .xlsx, or .pptx), the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack program will allow you to open these files.

I would highly recommend that you download this and install it, especially if you are a PCCC student. If you do classwork on campus computers, you'd have to otherwise remember to "Save as" an older format in order to work seamlessly between campus and home, and that's really not all that seamless, is it?

PC Users: Download Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack

One problem that someone verbally asked me about - this does NOT help with Access files. If you have Access 2003 and someone sends you a database in Access 2007 format, you're out out luck, even after installing this.

Now, why they haven't pushed this out as part of their Microsoft Update, I can not tell you.

Mac users only
If you are a Office for Macintosh 2004 or Office for Macintosh X user, you will need to go through a different process. You need to download a free tool called "Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0". Yeah, that's easy to figure out.
Macintosh Users Download Here


Anonymous said...

Really helpful and valuable information.



Anonymous said...

I need this a few times this week.