Quick Tip: Reading Office 2007 Docx Files

My Dad recently was puzzled by some documents he received in an email and that he couldn’t open. It turned out that they were created in the lastest Microsoft Office 2007 and were docx word files. As my Dad didn’t want to purchase Office 2007 (he has little need for it) I made some suggestions as to how he might be able to view them after I’d tested a number of alternatives. I thought it might be useful to share the info:

Word 2007If you have an earlier version of office incl. 2000,xp, 2002 then you can download the Microsoft compatibility pack (Windows only).

Microsoft also have an Docx coverter for Mac that plugs into existing versions of office for Mac.

Update: A new Docx converter for Office 2004 and Office v.X is here (will not work with Office 2008)

Or download and install OpenOffice (or NeoOffice for Mac) for free which can open the files (though in my experience not entirely accurately mostly due to missing fonts).

Use an on-line conversion service such as docx2doc (this does a very good job).

A little background

Microsoft have previously promised that their new file format will be open and details published so that other application makers will easily be able to allow their software to open and write to the format but as yet Microsoft have not released these details (even owners of Microsoft Office for Mac cannot as yet open these files).

 

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4 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Reading Office 2007 Docx Files

  1. I have tried docxConverter and OpenXML on my mac (Macbook Pro 15″ 2.4MHZ OS10.5.8 and they don’t work, or rather give a very poor extract of what is on the page (OpenXML transferring to Word X)

    I know roughly what is there as the docx attachments I have been sent do open in either Pages or TextEdit (control-click suggests progs worth a try)….so for now that seems to be the message for mac users, try both TextEdit and Pages. Unfortunately DataViz MacLink plus was abandoned on some years back.

    Better suggestions very welcome

    • Admitedly the post you’re commenting on is a bit dated. Not sure about the latest Pages compatibility with Office 10 Docx. Laughable really that this was meant to be an open standard but it’s still deeply proprietary and probably requires a genuine Microsoft Office product to retain the original document structure fully. OpenOffice has got a lot better at reading Docx lately and Microsoft’s web based Office Live is a pseudo solution for some

  2. PS there are now 2 docx file formats, the word 2007version ones, which open pretty well entirely in Pages 08, but the word 2010 ones don’t.

    Pages 2010 might open 2010 word, but apple have now learnt the bad habit of changing iWorks every year and not giving upgrade rates, so, no I refuse until I really have to and might as well wait till at least 2011 version.

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