Monday, January 25, 2010

4 Easy (and Free) Ways to Convert Doc to Docx

Microsoft has made some mind-boggling product decisions in the past few years. While many of you are thinking specifically about the Vista operating system debacle, I’m referring to the seemingly unexplainable choice to change the default file extension in Word 2007 to the docx format.

This has added some degree of difficulty to the student practice of typing up work at home and then bringing it in to school to finish. Not all online conversion sites support the new format, and some that do have tried to capitalize on Microsoft’s inability to make their own proprietary format backwards compatible.

Here are several quick and cost free ways to convert docx to doc.

Shortly after the release of Word 2007, Microsoft figured out that it had become its own worst enemy, so it released a compatibility pack allowing older versions to play nice with the docx format. Click here for information on installing the service pack.

OpenOffice is the free productivity suite of applications that rival Microsoft Office in features and capabilities. OpenOffice 3.1 and higher can open docx files. There are plenty of advantages to OpenOffice beyond this one (here is a previous blog post on the subject), So I encourage you to give it a spin.

Zamzar is a ad-supported service where a file can be uploaded and converted. A direct link is then sent via email. This works well, however, there is usually a delay between when the file is uploaded, and when the email arrives to the inbox.

If you have a following on Twitter, chances are very good that someone will have access to Word 2007. Email them the file and they will save it as a doc file and then send back to you. I tweeted for help on a conversion, and I had the correct file in about 10 minutes. This is less time that it would have taken to install the service pack or OpenOffice, or to wait for an email from Zamzar!
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