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Converting Docx Files to Doc in Microsoft Word

written by: stasis•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/26/2009

This article covers the enhancements in Microsoft Office Word 2007, as well as ways to view or convert files for viewing in older versions of Word.

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    Word 2007 Additions

    Microsoft Office Word 2007 has incorporated four new file name extensions, along with the other Office programs. Microsoft Word now saves files either as .docx, .dotx, .dotm or .docm. docx and docm are XML file extensions that either do (.docm) or do not (.docx) contain macros. Dotx and dotm are templates that do (.dotm) or do not (.dotx) contain macros.

    There are a few benefits to these new Open XML formats:

    • The files are automatically compressed using zip compression, making them up to 75 percent smaller than they used to be.
    • Another benefit is the improved damaged file recovery feature. XML files keep different types of data separate from each other, allowing them to be opened even if one part of the file has become corrupt.
    • You can now more easily detect if a document has a macro in it. File extensions with an X in them can not contain a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro or an XLM macro.

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    How to Convert Docx to Microsoft Word Format (Doc)

    To change a .docx document back to .doc, you need to enable Compatibility Mode. This will ensure that no new features are saved into the .doc file, enabling older versions of Word to have full editing capabilities. The following elements will be unavailable: Theme colors, theme fonts, theme effects, content controls and equations.

    1. Open the document you would like to turn back into a .doc file.
    2. Click the Microsoft Office button in the upper left hand corner of Word.
    3. Choose the “Save As” menu.
    4. Choose “Word 97 – 2003 Document” from the list of options.
    5. In the “File Name” box, name the document.
    6. Click the “Save” button. You will notice under “Save As Type” it shows *.doc. The file is now compatible with older versions of Microsoft Word.
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    How to Open a Word 2007 Docx file in previous Versions of Word

    In order to open a .docx or .docm file in versions of Word earlier than 2007, you must install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack that is available for free from Microsoft. Even with the Compatibility Pack, you may not be able to see certain features that are new with Word 2007 Changes include: Equations become images that cannot be changed, themes are permanently converted to styles, some office art is not available and certain charts and diagrams become unchangeable images. Content controls, certain fonts, bibliographies and citations are permanently converted to text as well.

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    Opening Docx Files Without Microsodt Word installed

    This Bright Hub article will show you two ways to open and read Docx files without having Microsoft Word installed at all