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Although there are many great open source office suites 6 Free Office Suites That Are NOT Microsoft 6 Free Office Suites That Are NOT Microsoft Read More , Microsoft Word remains my number one choice. It belongs to the elite few applications I’m willing to pay for in the big world of software.

However, nothing is perfect. And although imperfections create the uniqueness and beauty in most cases, we want software to be as close as it can get.

This is the main reason why plug-ins were created; one might say to pimp out your applications to fit your preference. Ask any three Firefox users why they use the browser, and I guarantee that you’ll hear the word ‘add-on’ more than once.

However, Firefox add-ons have been discussed multiple times over, but I was stunned to see nearly no one took on the job of looking into Microsoft Word Plugins. We even covered Open Office extensions 9 Must-Have OpenOffice Extensions 9 Must-Have OpenOffice Extensions Read More , but never looked at free Plugins for Microsoft Word.

Save as PDF or XPS in Office 2007

Converting documents from and to PDF is a matter that keeps a lot of tongues occupied. But why all that hassle of converting if you can just save your document to PDF out of Word?

Microsoft released Save as PDF or XPS, a free add-in which adds the PDF format under the save-as menu, together with XPS (Microsoft’s own PDF-like format), and works quicker than many premium solutions I’ve tried before (including the official Acrobat one).

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You can also send your documents over the internet in an email, in PDF or XPS format, with a few clicks of the mouse.

The Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS add-on works with the following Office 2007 applications:

  • Word 2007
  • Access 2007
  • Excel 2007
  • InfoPath 2007
  • OneNote 2007
  • PowerPoint 2007
  • Publisher 2007
  • Visio 2007

The plugin can be downloaded here.

Open and save Docx files in Office 2003

One of the biggest bothers that came with the splendid looking Office 2007, was a new file format – the only bother, if I might say.

how to save docx to doc,OK, I get it. It’s smaller in size, stores additional style types, and so on – honestly, if I could just open it in previous word versions, I’d love it.

I’ve always worked around this problem by either saving it in doc format myself, or by converting it if I was using a non-2007 computer. It wasn’t long ago that I discovered the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. We have already looked at different ways to view docx files How to Open Microsoft Word 2007 DOCX Files How to Open Microsoft Word 2007 DOCX Files Read More .

This download makes all the applications in your 2003 suite compatible with their Office 2007 companions. When installed, you can not only open, but also save docx files.

The plugin can be downloaded here.

Open ODF (OpenOffice) Files In Word

how to open odf in word A friend once asked me to print out a document for her. With her liking freeware, she sent me an odf file.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with it, odf is the standard format for OpenOffice documents, an open-source Office alternative.

Luckily for you and me, Sun Microsystems (the guys we know from Java) developed an Office plug-in. It’s compatible with both Office 2000, 2003 and 2007, and it allows the user to open, edit and save in the odf format.

The plugin can be downloaded here.

Do you know of any other Microsoft Word plugins? If so, let us know in the comments.

  1. Steve
    July 9, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Bull Fighter is a great and fun tool that helps me write cleaner test. fightthebull.com/bullfighter.asp

  2. Bill
    March 17, 2009 at 10:47 am

    It's clunky, but I still find that I do most of my work in Word, then open in OpenOffice and export to pdf. This preserves the hyperlinks. Do any of the plug-ins or apps mentioned above preserve hyperlinks?

    • Simon Slangen
      March 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

      These do. It could be it's turned off though, you can adjust the options in the save screen.

      • youthworker
        November 6, 2009 at 6:19 am

        my experience is that external hyperlinks are retained, but internal hyperlinks- such as hyperlinked contents pages in word or link buttons in powerpoint- are not. I prefer OpenOffice for this reason- all are kept in place.

  3. Bruce
    March 17, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Your last two "The plugin can be downloaded here" links both point to http://www.sun.com/software/star/odf_plugin/get.jsp

  4. Jackie Steele
    March 16, 2009 at 11:45 am

    (drat... read the comments all the way through before you post one, Jackie. Stoopid n00b)

  5. Jackie Steele
    March 16, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Not a plug-in, per se, but I've always just used CutePDF (http://www.cutepdf.com/)

    I simply adds another "printer" to your system... You do a typical FILE > PRINT and then select CutePDF.

  6. imdragon
    March 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Loving that PDF add-on!

    Up until now I have been using CutePDF Writer (you make it your default printer and print to make it come out as a PDF) for my PDF making needs, but this is also pretty neat!

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