Picture this. You’ve got a big presentation to your boss today, and you gave the file to your co-worker Cynthia, who had to create half the slides. You’ve got only 5 minutes until you need to present, and Cynthia still hasn’t gotten you the disc. 30 Seconds before you are due to present, she rushes over and give you the CD. You rush into the board room and pop the CD into your laptop. You go into my computer, onto the CD, and click on the.. pttx file?!?!?! Oh crap, your co-worker saved the file in Office 2007 format, and you didn’t have power point 2007! You click on the file, but you get the dreaded “Cannot Identify File Format” error.
Something similar happened to me a couple weeks ago, but it was about a school presentation, not an office one. Our software restrictions were fairly open-ended, so some people used Office 2007 while others used the old versions. I clue’d into this very quickly, and now I usually save Office07 files in the old format, to ensure everyone can use them. However there are still many people who use docx, pubx, and pptx, with little regard for compatability issues.
Luckily you can download the Microsoft Office Compatability Pack, which will allow your Office 2003 or older installation to open, edit, and save new “x” formats. Using this pack has helped me out of a couple tight situations. In my opinion, a must-have for anyone not yet using Office 2007. Doesn’t matter how much you ask people to only send you old file formats, eventually someone will forget and send you a docx, and it will be urgent! Better safe than sorry.