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Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 have new XML based default file formats (Word -- .docx, Excel -- .xlsx, and PowerPoint -- .pptx).
New formats?! You may be wondering: "How will these new formats affect previous releases of Office?" Or, put a bit more realistically: "If Travis does not have the 2007 Office system and Jen emails him a Word document saved in Word 2007's new default format (.docx), is Travis stuck?"
One of three things will happen when Travis, or anyone with Office 2003 or XP, tries to open a file saved in our new default file formats:
In addition, the Compatibility Pack enables anyone with Microsoft Office 2000, the Word Viewer 2003, the Excel Viewer 2003, and the PowerPoint Viewer 2003 (the viewers are free web downloads), to open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007's new XML based formats.
Finally, the Compatibility Pack allows anyone with at least Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 to save the new formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.), as the legacy formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc.), and vice versa, from Windows.
Our goal here is to make compatibility with the new formats as close to a non-issue as possible. I think we've done a pretty good job.
Let me know what you think…
I’ve been getting some emails asking that I enable comments. Comments are enabled, but you have to sign-in/join the MSDN blogs community to post them. To do this, just click on the Log-in link in the top right hand corner of the page. When the log-in page that appears, click the ‘Join’ link, and comment away :) -Jonathan Bailor
I have an issue regarding Word changes in the b2tr. I can not change text direction in text boxes anymore. I just tried it in beta2 and it works seemlessly. But in b2tr, the button is disabled no matter what. So is the button to rotate the text box which worked fine in beta2. I dont know if this is the right place to ask, but could anybody help me in this regard? Is anyone else experiencing the same issue? Thanks for you help.
Is there any hope that WordPad users will be able to open DOCX files as they used to be able to do with Word's DOC files?
Hi Bob - WordPad will not be able to open .docx files natively, but you can: 1. Use the Compatibility Pack to convert a .docx file to a .doc file, and then open the .doc in WordPad 2. Use the Word Viewer 2003 together with the Compatibility Pack to open .docx files -Jonathan Bailor
Thanks for your response! Unfortunately, as of Win XP SP 2, WordPad can no longer open DOC binary files. Microsoft removed that capability due to security vulnerabilities found in the DOC converter. It was a shame because WordPad users had always been able to freely exchange DOC files with Word users (accepting WordPad's formatting limitations, of course). By extension, all other applications that use the same Windows rich edit control used by WordPad could read and write DOC binary files as well. Now that interoperability has been lost. Although Word and other word processors can open the rich edit control's RTF files, the rich edit control no longer has a safe way of opening Word binary files and no way at all to open or save the new DOCX files. Microsoft appears to have given a lot of thought and effort to interoperability concerns. I hope your team will extend that effort to WordPad, and by extension, to all the many other applications that use the rich edit control to open and save word processing documents. Providing DOCX converters that work with the Windows rich edit control would greatly expand the number of applications the new DOCX format would be interoperable with. Thanks for listening!
Having used the compatibility pack (running on a mixed Office 2000 + Office 2003 and Windows 2000 SP4 setup alongside Windows Vista RC1 + Office 2007 B2TR) I agree that the compatibility is impressive. However, what about support for Mac Office 2004? Will Microsoft be able to provide a compatibility for Mac Office 2004 right when Office 2007 is released? (It would even be better if a beta was available beforehand, but I think a Mac-compatible version is very important when the final version of Office 2007 is released...)
Hey SCL – Thanks for the kind words. We will be providing a converter that allows Mac Office users to read and write the formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. I am unfortunately unable to discuss dates, but we definitely understand the importance of getting these converters out. -Jonathan Bailor