How to Open a Word .docx File With Office 2004

by Michael on August 8, 2011 · 0 comments

Have you ever received a .docx file and been unable to open it with Word 2004? My wife is still running Office 2004 on her MacBook, and she periodically gets files from people running Office 2008 or newer, which is when they transitioned to the Open XML file format.

Unfortunately, older versions of Office can’t open these files, which means that my wife has been e-mailing the files to me to open and then “Save as…” a plain old .doc file, which her setup can handle. Annoying, right?

It’s hard to believe that we’ve lived with this problem for so long, but it wasn’t until this past week that I discovered the solution. As it turns out, Microsoft released a converter way back in 2008 that allows you to .docx (Word Open XML) as well as .pptx (PowerPoint Open XML) and .xlsx (Excel Open XML) files with Office 2004.

You need to be running Office for Mac 2004 v. 11.4.0 or later, though they recommend at least 11.5.0 (click for the updater), to install and use the converter.

Here’s the link to the converter:

Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0

I’ve tested it out and it works exactly as advertised. Of course, with the loss of Rosetta from Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) it’s only a matter of time before people upgrade to a Office 2008 or Office 2011. Until then, I’m hoping that this saves a few people some headaches.

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