How Do I ... Open Office 2007/2010 files in Office 2003 and Lower



Ever receive a file with a .docx, .pptx, .exlx extension and don’t have Office 2007 or Office 2010? This walk through will allow you to open and edit Office 2007 and Office 2010 files by installing the Office Compatibility Pack. The Compatibility Pack will open, edit, and save files that were created in the newer versions of Office  (Word 2007/2010, Powerpoint 2007/2010, and Excel 2007/2010).

NOTE: If you try to open a .docx, .ppt, exlx file without the Compatibility Pack installed, it will ask you if you want to install the Compatibility Pack and take you to the download site.

Before you begin, make sure Office is up to date ( before installing the Compatibility Pack.

How to open Office 2007/2010 files in Office 2003 or Lower

Download the Compatibility Pack from Microsoft (FileFormatConverter.exe - 37MB).

See Fig 1.


Fig 1

Save the file to a location that is easy to find (E.g. – Desktop, My Documents).

When the file is downloaded, run it. See Fig 2. This will start the installer.

fileformatconversters icon

Fig 2

Review the Microsoft Software License Terms and check off Click here to accept the Microsoft Software License Terms, and click Continue.

See Fig 3.

software license terns

Fig 3

The installation will run, when complete you will see a window that tells you installation is complete. See Fig 4.

installation complete

Fig 4

You are done! You will now be able to open .docx files. You also have the ability to save as .docx, but you will not have the same functionality as Word 2007 or Word 2010. 

More Information

If you require more information, please contact the ITS Support Centre at 519 661-3800.


Disclaimer: The provided instructions are for information purposes only. Neither The University of Western Ontario nor the Division of Information Technology Services assume any responsibility for loss of use or damage to a computer system (including any data or software contained within the computer system) which is the result (directly or indirectly) of the application of these instructions. Any problems, questions or concerns not addressed by these instructions should be directed to the vendor and/or the manufacturer and not to The University of Western Ontario or any of its employees or incumbents.

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