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Why Can't i open a Microsoft Office file sent to me by an instructor (or student) ?


This problem may involve the new (Windows-only) Microsoft Office 2007 upgrade.  Microsoft has added new file formats to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 to reduce file size, improve security and reliability, and enhance integration with external sources. These new file formats have 4-character file extensions (like .docx , .xlsx , or .pptx ) and are not compatible with older versions of Microsoft Office, including Office for the Macintosh.  We currently recommend that VSU Vista users save Microsoft Office 2007 files in the Office 2003 file format. ( See the Office 2007 Tutorials for instructions on saving files in the compatible format.)

NOTE: Simply changing/renaming these 4-character file extensions to the former 3-character format will not make these files readable.


Install the Compatibility Pack

If you have an older version of Microsoft Office, you can view the new Office 2007 file formats by installing the Compatibility Pack for Microsoft Office Word, Office Excel, and Office PowerPoint 2007. By installing the Compatibility Pack you will be able open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. The Compatibility Pack can also be used in conjunction with the Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to view files saved in these new formats

NOTE: Users of the Microsoft Office XP and 2003 programs Word, Excel, or PowerPoint should install all High-Priority updates from Microsoft Update before downloading the Compatibility Pack

Download the Compatibility Pack now.


Related Topics

Save a Word 2007 Document in Word 2003 Format

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