Convert Docx files for free

I’ve a few clients who run Open Office – the Open Source alternative to Microsoft Office.

Open Office is an ideal no-cost alternative to Microsoft Office if you don’t require many of the advanced features of MS Office, and let’s be honest, we all know somebody that uses Microsoft Word as little more than a glorified notepad and Microsoft Excel as no more than a very expensive calculator. In these scenarios, Open Office is an ideal fit.

One issue I’ve repeatedly seen with Open Office though is its inability to open Microsoft Office 2007 files – those file types of .docx, pptx, xlsx.

There are two ways around this.

1. Download and install the Microsoft Office 2003 File Viewers from Microsoft’s web-site and upgrade them with the 2007 Compatibility pack. These are all free downloads.

2. Zip over to where you can have your Word 2007 files converted and e-mailed to you in HTML format which you can easily read.

The best method, of course, is to ask the owner of the document to re-save it in "plain" .doc, xls or ppt format – but this isn’t always possible.


2 Responses to “Convert Docx files for free”

  1. 1 Matt January 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    option two would worry me regarding privacy issues, also it doesn\’t email you your file directly, it provides a link for you to retrieve your file. Now, I\’m sure it could all be perfectly above board (the ad they send you along with your link might be payment enough.) but with "Due to extremely high usage (over 10,000 a day now!)" quoted on the website, that\’s ALOT of possibly private documents being thrown around.

  2. 2 Richard January 15, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Fair observation Matt, well made! As with all services to be found on-line, you should always question the legitimacy and motives of the service provider. The site does have this note displayed "NB: We use your email only to notify of completion of conversion. Email addresses are never stored online and are cleared from nearterm memory as soon as email is sent" – which gives some assurances but doesn\’t mention what happens to the document you upload. My thought would be this – if you are being e-mailed something private, then you usually have the option to contact the sender to ask for it to be re-sent in the format of your choosing. If you\’ve merely downloaded a .docx file from a web-site, perhaps a form or set of standard instructions, I doubt the contents of the file is "private" enough to be overly concerned about a 3rd party handling. Just my $0.02!

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