How To Open Word 2007 files in Older Word

I’ve been hearing about how new documents created on Word 2007 are not compatible with older versions of Word. Since our office has not received our volume licensing codes yet, I hadn’t been able to play with Office 2007. Apparently today was my first issue with Word 2007 files.

Our big boss, Jeff Adachi, received what appeared to be a Word file, but had an extension of “.docx.zip”. Unzipping the file produced a bunch of XML files. Attempting to open it in Word 2000 produced gibberish. Attempting to rename the file to just .doc also produced gibberish. A Google search produced a solution.

Fortunately Microsoft has a free kit download that resolves the problem. The kit is called Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for 2007 Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint File Formats. After downloading and installing, the file opened fine. I’m not sure what file formating gets lost if any. The document seemed to look fine, but I didn’t see the original, so I can’t really say.

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