MS Word: get rid of DOCX and save as DOC by default

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By now many people have upgraded their Microsoft Office to Office 2007. There are a few disadvantages; it takes more memory, and it is laid out differently than previous versions so it takes a little getting used to. Hey, the previous version was working so well, how could Microsoft leave it alone?

One big change is that Office 2007 saves files in a different format. For example, if you create a file in MS Word and want to call it “Resume”, previous versions of Word would have given it this file name:

Resume.doc

Not Word 2007. This “new and improved” version by default will name it:

Resume.docx

Notice the extra “x” on the end. Know what that’s for? To encourage other people to upgrade, just like you have. If you send that file to someone by email, and they don’t have the latest version of Word, they won’t be able to open that document. The logic is that they will then realize how outdated their version of Office is, and run to the store and buy the new one. I think some people come to quite a different realization when presented with this idiocy.

There is a fix. Actually there are a couple of fixes.

Fix #1 is done on a document-by-document basis. When saving your file, don’t just click “Save”. Click “Save as”, and in the “File type” drop down menu, choose “Word 97-2003”. That means that your document will have the traditional “.doc” extension, and anyone with an older version of Word can open it with no problem.

Fix #2 is more permanent. In Word, click the Office Button (that’s the circle in the upper left corner) and then at the bottom of that menu click where it says “Word Options”. Click “Save” in the left column. Then, where it says “Save files in this format”, choose:

Word 97-2003 document (*.doc)

and click OK. Now, every Word file you create will by default be saved as the “old” format so that anyone can open it. Incidentally, this same thing applies to files created in Excel, Powerpoint and Access.

This week’s video shows how 2 sets of twins can really play with someone’s mind –

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