Office 2007 Tips
This news item expired March 30, 2007. It may contain out-of-date information.
March 19, 2007 7:00 a.m. CDT
As Office 2007 for Windows comes into use, a few tips can help make the transition smoother, particularly for those who are using earlier Office versions.
One key difference from earlier versions is that Office 2007 saves new files, by default, with a new format that is XML-based and is not readable by earlier versions of Microsoft Office. With this format, new documents will have an added "x" in the file extension (i.e., ".docx" for Word, ".xlsx" for Excel, and ’.pptx“ for PowerPoint).
Because of the new default file format, people using earlier Windows Office versions, a Macintosh, or a PDA will not be able to read Office 2007 files you share with them. An easy fix is to save files in formats supported by Office 2003, or use ’Save as—“ to save documents with a specific file extension (e.g., ’.doc“, ’.xls“, or ’.ppt“). You can also set your preferences so that the default file format is compatible with earlier versions.
Since Office 2007 was recently released, people who want to share their documents would be wise to regularly save files with one of the above methods. It will be some time yet before it can be assumed that a majority of users have Office 2007.
Microsoft does offer a compatibility tool for older Windows versions of Office (see link at end of article). By installing the compatibility pack on computers with Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, users will be able to open, edit, and save files using the new file formats of Office 2007. You should install all high-priority updates before installing the compatibility pack. When you install the compatibility pack, you can open, edit, save, and create files in the robust Office Open XML Formats.
At this time, a similar tool is not available for Macintosh nor is there a compatibility pack for Windows Mobile 5 and earlier devices. This means that if you have a Windows mobile device and use the Pocket Word and Pocket Excel features to view and edit documents, you will not be able to access Office 2007 formatted documents. Microsoft plans to incorporate the new file format features into Windows Mobile 6, to be released mid 2007.
Palm does not currently support file compatibility with the new file formats either. The third-party vendor Palm uses to provide file access (http://www.dataviz.com/) intends to release an update to the product "Documents to Go" later in 2007 that will provide compatibility.
New Features in Office 2007
Office 2007 Compatibility Pack
Office 2007 and Mobile Devices