.docx will drive me to drink

Candace, 04 March 2007, Comments Off on .docx will drive me to drink
Categories: Hellmares, Microsoft

I have a pile of files here that need opening and they’re all in this file format I’ve never seen before: .docx. It looks vaguely familiar — probably a Microsoft something, related to the .doc format. I use OpenOffice on my machine and it won’t open. A quick search turns up that this is the new Word Microsoft Office Open XML Format Document which should be compatible with other versions of Office (according to this document. I’d imagine that it will one day open in OpenOffice as well but at this moment it doesn’t open and I’m peeved.

I’m also guessing that the people who sent me these files have no idea the monsters that they’ve created.

Please, if you are using Office 2007, save your documents as rich text files (.rtf) or something that other people will be able to read. Otherwise it’s like throwing your words idly into the great abyss. Better yet, use OpenOffice.

If anyone knows how I might open these files pleeeease let me know.


No Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Jeff Schiller
    05 March 2007, 1:29 am

    Huh – go figure – I’m really surprised that Office 2007 saves things by default in XML which is not backward compatible with earlier versions of Word. Anyway, a quick search revealed this: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9010122&intsrc=hm_list with some Microsoft links. I did a search on the Microsoft site and looks like they provide updates to Word 2002 and 2003 for OOXML.

  2. Jeff Schiller
    05 March 2007, 1:31 am
  3. 16punches
    05 March 2007, 4:13 am

    Thanks Jeff, I’m trying. Maybe because it’s 3:12 a.m here this is beyond me. The Word 2003 viewer might be helpful if only it was a Word 2007 viewer that could open .docx files. 😉 I’ve wasted more hours on these files than they’re probably worth.

    Thanks to something Rob suggested, I managed to view a few of the files which had been pasted into a plain text box by saving them as html files. Opening them in a browser removed all the tags and made them legible. Still, there’s one final document that has no plain text version. Methinks it be time for bed.

  4. 16punches
    05 March 2007, 4:19 am

    k – I just can’t give up. 😉 I realized I missed your first comment and link so just tried the Open XML Translator dload from Sourceforge. It seems that this is an add-on for Word. It’s my own blurry-eyed fault that I first dloaded the German language version….

    Now that I’m trying the English version, Microsoft requires me to install the .NET Framework — did I mention how annoyed I am? Maybe I can find some other solution. There’s enough Microsoft on this machine already. Tomorrow I boot in Linux.

  5. Jeff Schiller
    06 March 2007, 9:32 am
  6. Jeff Schiller
    06 March 2007, 9:38 am

    Also, Candace – it was the third and fourth links on the Microsoft search link that were important, not the “Word 2003 Viewer”. These were called “Update for Office 2003 (KB923097)” and “Update for Word 2002 (KB917347)”. I’m assuming you have either Word 2002 or Word 2003 installed – these patches from Microsoft will update it “to open and save files by using the Open XML file format that is new to the 2007 Microsoft Office system”

  7. 16punches
    06 March 2007, 3:01 pm

    nope, I only have Open Office which is why I went with the viewer. I’m waiting to get the file I need as an rtf or doc.

    I did nose around the OpenOffice.org support and saw that there is a translator in the works, hopefully to be ready in the first part of 2007, so any day now really. 😉 The link in that Slashdot artcle had this comment, “Novell’s OOXML translator seems to work only with Novell’s version of OpenOffice.”

  8. […] Jeff wouldn’t give up so I guess I couldn’t either. He saw my last post and has had suggested several solutions for opening a .docx but without Word 2007 it’s a major challenge for now. If I had Word 2003 there’s an update but I’m an OpenOffice user on both my Linux and Windows machines so for now I’m stuck — or so I thought. Eventually OpenOffice will have a translator but for now I’ve found this workaround. […]

  9. 16punches / Other obscure file types
    06 September 2007, 1:50 pm

    […] wrote a while back about my struggles opening .docx files. Though not exactly obscure, they were new at the time and presented an […]

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