Microsoft introduced the .docx file format in its new Office and Word applications in Office 2007 and wants it to replace the commonly used doc format. The problem with the change from doc to docx is that many users are still working with older versions of Word or no Microsoft product at all and face the problem that they can't load the docx files because they are not supported in their application.
The main question for those users is of course how they would open a docx file to be able to read and work with it. The answer is that it depends on what program and computer the user is working with. Let me outline several possibilities to open and work with docx file without using the latest Microsoft Office or Word software.
Older versions of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word:
Older versions such as Office XP do not support the docx format because it was not known when they were developed and sold. A simple way to read docx and xlsx files in those applications would be to install the Microsoft Compatibility Pack which adds support for the new file formats.
You can use the Open XML Translator for Open Office to be able to read and edit docx files with Open Office. Update: Open Office supports the new Microsoft Office formats docx, xlsx and pptx natively now when it comes to opening them.
The docx converter lets you convert docx documents online. This is a pretty good solution if you don't want to install the previously mentioned add-ons.
You might want to use the Online Solution above or download a desktop widget from the same developer. If you happen to use Microsoft Office on your Mac you might want to take a look at the Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.