Opening Office 2007 Files In Older Versions Of Office

by on November 21, 2007

Q: If I am using Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, can people using Office XP and an earlier version of PowerPoint view my slide show on their computers?

A: Excellent question! The answer is yes. Office 2007 uses a new standard called Office Open XML for saving files. Microsoft has created a program that can convert Office 2007 files into the older file formats used by previous versions of Office. See the Microsoft article called How to install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack so that you can use earlier versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word to open and to save files from 2007 Office programs for more information. My research indicates that the converter will work with Office 97 and above, on Windows 2000 and newer. Be careful! There are different versions of the Office Compatibility Pack. Make sure to download the one made for Office 2007 files. Microsoft is also making a similar converter for the Macintosh version of Office (v.X and 2004). Note: the link to the Mac version of the converter is currently the newest version available. But that could change at any time. Consult Microsoft’s Mactopia website for the latest Mac version of the converter.

Personally, I recommend that you wait before purchasing Microsoft PowerPoint 2007. Office 2007 seems to have many bugs, some of which have previously been discussed here at AskAGeek.com. Microsoft has also used some “dirty business tactics” in an attempt to force acceptance of the Office Open XML file format on the computer industry. I recommend that you switch to a free program called OpenOffice, which is compatible with old and new Microsoft Office files. Try not to confuse Office Open XML with OpenOffice. They are as different as night and day!

I hope that this information proves useful…