Open Office and Docx

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 11, 2007
Updated • Feb 19, 2013

Microsoft Office 2007 uses a new standard to save documents. You might have noticed that the documents saved by Microsoft Word 2007 are no longer named document.doc but document.docx. While this is not per se a problem for users with Office 2007 it is a major one for everyone else as older versions of Office or third party document viewers do not support these formats necessarily.

Microsoft released a compatibility patch for older Office versions which adds the functionality to those products but those who rely on Open Office for instance are facing a huge problem. Because, at the moment, Open Office does not support the docx format at all. If you open it you will only see lots of unreadable garbage.

Users have a few possibilities though. They can use the updated Word Viewer from the Microsoft website and use it to open the docx document. This document can then be copied and pasted into Open Office.

Another possibility would be to use the free online service called docx converter which converts docx documents into doc format readable by Open Office.

Update: Please note that most third party applications, including Open Office, Libre Office and Google Docs, support the new formats that Microsoft introduced in Office 2007 now. You can load docx, xlsx and pptx documents just fine in Open Office for instance just like you can load the older Office document formats into the application suite.

Just make sure you download and install the latest version of Apache OpenOffice on your system so that you can be sure that you can load those document formats into the program.

Note that services like Word Viewer or Docx Converter are still available so that you can use them as well to display or convert those new document types.


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  1. me said on January 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm


  2. Michael said on May 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Or just use Open Office v3.1 : )

  3. jj said on April 5, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Not sure whether Open Office 3 is better than Oxgen Office Professional 2.4? Any comments

  4. DoctorG said on March 12, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Most of these suggestions are useless. They either are links to non-functional pages, to a rigged web site, or to an ad for another useless product. One free utility that does work is docx2rtf. We’d all be better served if Microsoft would simply use document formats that are more universal.

  5. Joseph said on December 15, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Why not use it reads docx, and has BY FAR the best usability and interface, and since it’s flash, it’s cross browser and platform. Once open, you can save it again to another format.

  6. Joe R said on November 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Or use to convert to older doc format or even pdfs or odt

  7. JC said on August 15, 2008 at 4:52 am

    the online docx converter ( I found doesn’t just convert to doc. It can straight away convert to openoffice.

  8. John said on June 3, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    OpenOffice 2.4 on Ubuntu Hardy Heron opens the format fine, much to my surprise. On a side note, I’m not sure how you’re detecting the client to give your browser warning, but I can be absolutely certain that I am *not* using Internet Explorer given that my desktop is Linux…

  9. rudy said on April 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    open office 3.0 beta opens them fine

  10. G Davidson said on April 10, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Thanks that helped us!

  11. diginferno said on March 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    There’s also a Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats on Microsoft’s site, at the following URL:

  12. joe said on January 9, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    The Novell package odfconverter-1.0.0-2.oxt is just a zip file. For Windows users: extract the contents, copy the dlls to system32, use the executable. Less than seamless, but it works.

    odfconverter.exe /DOCX2ODT /I -iputfile.docx- /O -outputfile.odf-

    Write a batch!
    Something like
    @=”\”C:\\yourpath\\odfconverter.exe\” /DOCX2ODT /I \”%1\” /O output.odf”
    works too.

  13. MikeO said on October 12, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    I’m running the OO 2.1 Novell Edition, Build 1007-06-04, and it reads/writes .docx with no trouble.

    It’s at

    (free account required to access the files)

  14. Mickey said on October 12, 2007 at 5:42 am

    Users (Mac and P.C.) that do not own Microsoft Office and use other applications (such as Open Office), or users of earlier versions of Microsoft Office that are not covered by Microsoft compatibility pack, but still want covert, open and use Word 2007 DOCX or Excel 2007 XLSX files on their own computer, can do so with “docxconverter 2.0”. See:

  15. csonis said on October 12, 2007 at 2:33 am

    Another option for users of MS Word 2007 to skirt this issue might be to simply this to thier copy of MS Word 2007.

    – Open Word 2007.
    – Go to WORD OPTIONS (under the MS Office Symbol in the upper left corner).
    – Click on SAVE in the left-hand column.
    – Select: Save Documents > Save Files in this Format
    – “Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)”

    By doing this all MS Word 2007 files will now open and save in *.doc format. SO you can go back and forth b/t Word 2007 and Open Office easily.

    Hope this helps.

  16. Adam Dempsey said on October 11, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    I couldn’t get it to work myself, but Novell created a plugin for OpenOffice which provides support for opening and saving docx files.

    OpenOffice is due to fully support it without plugins by version 2.4 I think.

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