Friday, September 19, 2008

Open new Microsoft Office documents on a Mac

One boneheaded move that Microsoft made when they released Office 2007 and Office 2008 Mac was not being ready for those on a Mac who would need to open their new file formats. That issue has finally been resolved though, and they have released the updates necessary to do it. If you're running Office 2004 Mac and have been waiting, you can get the updates by opening one of the Office programs, then going to Help->Updates. You'll want to continue searching, downloading, and installing until you've got past at least 11.5.0 (11.5.1 is the most current right now). After that, you'll also need to download and install the Open XML Converter for Mac, which will allow you to convert the docx and xlsx files into something readable by Office 2004.

The funny part of this whole thing is that even though Microsoft made the change, they didn't update the rest of their software to work with their changes. However,'s free suite of Office alternatives has worked with the Open XML file formats for a while (on both Windows and Mac). It's odd that a third-party can update their software more quickly than the actual developer, but that's a topic for another day...

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