Office 2007 compatibility pack works

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If you know the magic spell the Office 2007 compatibility pack works like a charm.

Microsoft promised to provide a free tool to permit earlier versions of Office to read and save the new formats. Now the compatibility pack is available, we originally found that only the Word 2007 format is fully supported with Excel and Powerpoint left wanting.

The secret is that you MUST have all the latest service packs and security updates installed before installing the Compatibilty Pack.  Even if the updates seem minor or irrelvant – without them the Compatibility Pack either won’t work in parts or at all.

As you probably know, Office 2007 has new document formats which are smaller, safer and more robust than the familiar .doc .xls and .ppt formats you’ve been using for years.

With Office 2007 coming out soon, it’s only a matter of time before you get a .docx .xlsx or .pptx file. It might not be deliberate but since the new formats are the default for Office 2007, one of the new files might be sent in error.

Less likely, but possible is someone asking you to send Office documents in the new format.

To save you any hassle, we suggest that all Office users (Office 2000 onwards) install the Office 2007 compatibility pack. This will let you read and write the new Word formats.

Download the Office 2007 compatibility pack here.

The converters work for Office 2000, Office 2002 (XP) and Office 2003. The Excel 2003 viewer and Powerpoint 2003 viewers are also supported to read .xlsx or .pptx formats.

In Word 2003 you can save to .docx or .docm from the File | Save As .

Office 2007 conversion pack File Save As dialog image from Office 2007 compatibility pack works at

To open a Word 2007 document use File | Open then choose Word 2007 from the file type list.

Office 2007 conversion pack File Open dialog image from Office 2007 compatibility pack works at

The conversion pack registers the new file extensions with Windows so double-clicking a document will open it in Office.

If you don’t have all the Office updates installed you might get an error message like this …

Excel 2007 - trying to open xls file in Excel 2003 with an incomplete Compatibility Pack install. image from Office 2007 compatibility pack works at


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