Recently I wrote a wedding speech in Word 2008 and later couldn’t access it on the same laptop so I had to open it on an earlier version of Word on another PC. But shock horror – it wouldn’t open. The reason was because from Office 2007 – including Office XP – onwards, Microsoft took the “smart” move of changing the format of Word documents meaning the normal .doc extension of Word documents changed to .docx. This left thousands of users stranded if they were working on earlier versions of Office and wanted to open documents sent to them in the newest versions of Office. If I were a cynic, I’d say it was a ploy by Microsoft to make people upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office. Anyway, I’m glad to say that I was able to access the document again using one of these three methods – and I won’t be upgrading to the most recent version of Office after the wedding either!
1. Install Microsoft’s Compatibility Pack – OK, to be fair Microsoft are not that bad. They do provide a plugin pack for older versions of Microsoft Office that makes them able to read .docx files. It does take a few minutes to install and requires you to restart Office.
2. Use Docx Converter – A simple online tool (also available as a desktop widget) that sends a readable version of .docx files to your e-mail address. Simply browse to the file you want to convert, enter your e-mail address and you should receive the link.
3. Convert them with Zamzar – If you have any problems receiving e-mails from Docx Converter (which you may well do because it seems to take a while) Zamzar is a lot quicker and can convert all sorts of files including .doc and multimedia files. Again, just enter your e-mail address, browse to the file and you should receive it instantly.