Once or twice a month I hear from people who are struggling to open docx files. Read on for the reasons why this happens, and what to do about it.
Office 2007 introduced new file formats – docx for Word, xlsx for Excel and pptx for PowerPoint (formally known as the Office Open XML format). Unfortunately, people using Office 2003 or earlier versions of Office (and there are still a bunch of them) will find they can’t open files in these new formats.
The solution is simple. If you are using Office 2003, or one of the earlier versions of Office, you need to download and install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. It will allow older versions of Office to open files that are in these new file formats. The Compatibility Pack will convert these files and allow you edit and save them in either the old or new file format for each of the prospective Office programs. The Compatibility Pack will work with Office 2000, XP and 2003.
. Make sure you have installed the latest Office updates before you install the Compatibility Pack.