Open .docx with Office 2004

Since the release of Office ’08 I have been getting a lot of files with the .docx extension (the new standard for Word). Unfortunately, Office ’04 does not natively support the .docx extension, but Microsoft has released a patch that lets you both open and save files in the open XML format.

If you have installed the Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.5.0 Update and the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac, you can use Office 2004 applications to open and save files in the Open XML Formats that were introduced in the 2007 Microsoft Office system for Windows and in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.

To open files in the XML Format in Office 2004:

  1. Download and install the Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.5.0 Update Package
  2. Download and install the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac package
  3. Once both items are installed restart your computer just to be safe. You should now be able to open .docx with Word 2004 and other Open XML files

Note: I have not tried the following technique myself, but have been told it works. Please post results in the comments.

Another option to open Open XML Formats on a computer without Office 2008 is to convert the file down to the older format. To down convert an Open XML file:

  1. Navigate to: Zamzar
  2. Click “Browse” to browse your local computer to find the file you would like to convert
  3. Select the format you would like to convert to
  4. Enter your email address so Zamzar can send you download link for the file.
  5. Wait…sometimes it takes a little while, but eventually you will get a download link for your freshly converted file.
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