Compatible with MS Office 2007?

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Compatible with MS Office 2007?

Postby looksupt » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:58 pm

My daughter is working on a school project where they say they will ONLY ACCEPT items in Microsoft Office 2007 with a .docx extension. Can she create documents in Open Office, save it to a .doc extension (which I see is available on ver. 3.1 of Open Office)- then go to the library where they have Office 2007 and convert the file to a .docx? She can't afford to purchase the office suite and the school says they won't accept anything but Office 2007 documents. (Must be they're getting some fee from Microsoft)! I know it sounds convoluted but will it work? Thanks for the help! Brian
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Re: Compatible with MS Office 2007?

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:20 am

Hi and welcome to the forum!

That's really a shame!!! A school that asks for files in such a dirty format, they must have made some agreement to have MS Office at a very low price. For the record, see Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard, it can give some ideas if you want to ask the teachers why they allow that.

For your problem, it depends on the complexity of the file. If there is no complex formatting, then exporting as .doc as an intermediate format may help. But honestly, I'm not very optimistic. Even MS Office has sometimes troubles reading its own format when it comes from a different version, so let alone another application!
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Re: Compatible with MS Office 2007?

Postby keme » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:49 am

The procedure you suggest will work in most cases, but as Hagar de l'Est indicates, some formatting choices give strange results when converted. Download and install Word Viewer from Microsoft (free download for MS Windows) to ensure that documents made in Writer will turn out OK in Word.

Unless the project at hand is in a course specifically teaching that software product, requiring Microsoft Office 2007 format may even be against the law (depending on where the school is located). If you can spare the time and want to pursue the issue, the links in the thread Hagar points to make for very interesting reading. In particular when you have the following background info: (according to what I've heard from reputable sources) MS Office 2007 files do not comply to the ISO certified OOXML format, and that ISO certification has been disputed for quite a while.

However, it will probably not help your daughter if you try to force the issue, at least as long as converting at the library is a workable solution. Be pragmatic about it, but by all means give the school a signal that you don't appreciate this forcing of "standards". In the long run it may help your daughter as well as other students (and teachers).
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Re: Compatible with MS Office 2007?

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:13 am

keme wrote:MS Office 2007 files do not comply to the ISO certified OOXML format

Indeed. It was true at that time (see for example Microsoft can’t support Open XML). But haven't checked if the format used by the latest version is the ISO OOXML or still a custom flavor.
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Re: Compatible with MS Office 2007?

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:52 pm

Louis Rankin wrote:Microsoft Office 2007 provides a lot of new features and functionality, but what about compatibility? Here are 10 tips for dealing with compatibility issues when you upgrade to the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

The first tip is to avoid using that OOXML format! Especially if you care about compatibility. Talk about vendor lock-in policy with MS Office formats.
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Re: Compatible with MS Office 2007?

Postby plausible » Tue May 04, 2010 3:32 am

I cannot think of any practical purpose for such a restrictive policy. At a minimum, the school should also accept project submissions of MS Word 97-2003 .doc formats, which Word 2007 will handle just fine. Older versions (2003 and earlier) of MS Office (even retail editions) suites can be purchased quite reasonably on eBay. Better yet, convince the school to accept project submissions in PDF format and use the OpenOffice export as PDF feature. I don't have a particular bias against Microsoft except where they are anti-competitive which will hurt the industry in the long run.
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