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Microsoft has introduced new file formats in its Office 2007 product line. They can be identified by having an "x" at the end of the file name extension.

Example: Microsoft Word 2003 and before saved documents with an extension ".doc". Since Word 2007, the saved document has the extension ".docx".

Unfortunately, previous Microsoft Office versions can not read the new document format by default.

To be able to read the new file formats in previous Microsoft Office versions, the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats" has to be installed. It can be downloaded here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en

The converter works for Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003.

(lightbulb) For increased compatibility, Office 2007 users can save documents in earlier formats. This can also be set as default as described in How to make Word and Excel 2007 always save in Office 2003 format