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Have you ever received one of those files with the .docx extension and wondered what to do with it? It can’t be viewed in older Word versions, so how can you open a .docx file then? Well I have and the last time I couldn’t open a document, I was so frustrated I decided to look online for a solution.
It turns out that .docx is the new default file format for Microsoft Word 2007 and they even have xlsx and pptx for Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007 respectively. Microsoft probably thought that by making these the default formats, everyone would actually be upgrading to the new version of Office as soon as it was released. Well, I haven’t upgraded till now and have no inclination to upgrade for the next couple of months also.
That said, a lot of my friends have slowly moved over to the dark side and are sending me docx and pptx files all the time. In my quest to find the ultimate docx viewer online, I have come across a couple of resources that I’d like to share with you guys today.
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack
To be fair, Microsoft didn’t leave us poor souls all alone. They did release the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for users of older versions of Office, to let them view and edit Office 2007 formats like docx, pptx and xlsx. If you’re one of those who owns a previous version of MS Office, this is probably the easiest way to go. The compatibility pack is a free and small (30MB) download from Microsoft.
On the other hand, If you’re as lazy as I am and only want to open docx file then Word viewer (docx viewer), PowerPoint viewer or the Excel viewer are perfect for the task. You don’t need the full version of Office installed to use any of the above viewers.
OpenOffice only can be used as a viewer for docx right now so editing the file and saving in the same format is not possible. You can only open office docx files and view them. Saving in the older office .doc format is possible though, for those who want to go that route.
Use Zamzar to Convert from docx to doc
Zamzar is an online service to convert files between various formats, docx (and pptx and xlsx) being one of them.
The website is free of advertisements and the service speedy. What more can you ask for ? All that Zamzar asks for is your email address to send over a link to the converted document, and of course the original document.
Just point your browser to the website, upload your document, give your email address and you’re done. No need to download any docx viewer.
You might also want to check out Docx Converter – site that lets you convert docx file to html. And as you may know html documents can be opened with any web browser.
You should receive an email from Zamzar within a couple of minutes with a link to the converted document.
Microsoft has also been working on a plugin for Firefox called the OpenXML viewer which is a viewer for docx files and can open docx file inside the Firefox browser as if it were an HTML file. Of course, you can’t edit the file but if viewing the file is all you want, this is probably the easiest solution.
To install the plugin, download it from this site and unzip it. Now, using Firefox, open the .xpi file (File->Open) and install the plugin. You will be asked to restart Firefox and once you restart, the new plugin should be there for you to view all your docx files.
Are there any other tools that you guys use to view/edit Office 2007 files ? Let us know in the comments.