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Stuck up with new docx files. Here is how you can open them.

Recently I received some text content for a website project from a client. Unfortunately the file was in .docx format. This is a new format for the latest Microsoft Office ( word ) application. As I run older version of office application I could not open this file and was stuck up. The problem was I could not tell my client to send me the file in older version, thinking that would create a bad impression at the same time I was asked to add the content to the site on priority basis.

After searching the net and other sources, I found the following options. You too can adopt any one of them in case you get stuck up like me.

1. Download Microsoft Compatibility Pack from Microsoft website

2. Use online facility. Websites like docx2doc.com and zamzar.com are some popular sites that provide the facilty to convert files from .doc to .docx. In case of zamzar it is a simple 4 step process.

a. Upload the .docx file.
b. Choose from the various conversion options.
c. Add your email address.
d. Submit the request.

Docs2doc.com has a two step process. Upload the .docx file and add your email address. Thats it. It takes upto 24 hrs to get your converted file back, which I think is such a waste of time. They have a premium service too. It gets you unlimited file conversions with faster response time.

3. Desktop Widgets – There are many Desktop Widgets available online.

4. The fourth method is the quickest and involves some labour. Here are the steps.

a. Change the file extension of the file from .docx to .zip.
b. Extract the content using unzipping program.
c. Once extracted you will find a word folder. Locate the file document.xml in this folder and open it in wordpad / notepad or Internet Explorer latest version ( 7.0 ) OR use XML VIEWER from Mind fusion. Here is the brief description of what the viewer is about.

MindFusion’s XML Viewer is used to examine the contents of an XML file in an easy-to-use environment. In addition you can make modification to the XML such as insering and deleting items as well as adding and deleting properties to existing items. MindFusion’s XML Viewer offers you also drag-and-drop option to manipulate the files more easily.

I have not personally tried this software, so use it at your own risk. I have tried notepad / wordpad method. It requires editing / deleting of unwanted tags and characters to extract your content.

5. Use OpenOffice – It has an XML Translator.

So choose the method which suits you and curse Microsoft for making our lives miserable.

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