Here’s how to convert an older .doc .xls or .ppt into a safer and smaller .docx .xlsx .pptx even if you don’t have Microsoft Office.
Any smart computer user is wary of documents received in the old .doc .xls .ppt formats because they are regularly used to transmit viruses. The new document formats are much safer.
Be careful opening any email or other attachment in the old three-letter .doc .xls .ppt formats. They are often used by hackers to infect computers. Our general advice is to NOT open these attachments, instead ask the sender to convert to a safer format.
Office for Windows or Mac
Office 2007 and later for Windows plus Office 2011/2016/2019/ for Mac can open the old formats and ‘Save As …’ to the new equivalents. Of course that includes Office 365 for Windows or Mac.
Even if you don’t have that software, it’s easy, cheap and secure to convert older documents to the new format. Over the decade since the ‘new’ formats arrived, there are even more options available.
There’s are enough free conversion options from Microsoft that third-party options should not be necessary.
Office Mobile apps for Apple or Android devices
Similarly, the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Apple iPhone and iPad or Android devices can open the older file formats but not save to them. Open an older document then ‘Save As …’ to a recent document type.
The Office mobile apps are available to everyone on devices with screens less than 10.1″.
The web based versions of Word, Excel or PowerPoint can also read the older formats and save to the newer ones.
Office apps in a browser are available to everyone.
Office compatibility pack for older Office versions
The ‘Office compatibility pack’ is for Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003. Install the free download from Microsoft then you can read and save documents in the newer formats created after the original software was released.
Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups – Safely & securely send files and documents