Converting docx, pptx and xlsx Files

on Thursday, October 6, 2011

As most of you probably know, when Microsoft released Office 2007, the file formats of the documents it created changed: .doc (Word documents) became .docx, .ppt (PowerPoint documents) became .pptx, and .xls (Excel documents) became .xlsx. What this meant is that people with earlier versions of Microsoft Office were unable to open the new file formats.

There are many file format converters out there, but Microsoft probably created the easiest, most seamless one, with the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack, available for free download at:

I like this converter (and use it on my personal laptop) because it converts the document all by itself. All you need to do is open the document in whatever version of MS Office you have, and the converter automatically recognizes the format as incompatible and converts and displays the document in a read-only version. You don't have to do a thing. The converted document can then be saved in an older file format (e.g. - .doc)

Some caveats: the compatability pack only converts Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. And formatting choices that are not available in the older version of Office will be discarded. Overall, though, it is the easiest and cheapest way to convert Microsoft Office 07 and 2010 documents.


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