You Don’t Need To Buy Office 2007/2010 Just To Read Those Files

March 7, 2011 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Remember when things like refrigerators or washing machines would last over 15 to 20 years before you needed to replace it,  instead of it conking out shortly after the 5-year warranty does?

Well, my human has Microsoft Office XP, and uses it all the time.  It has all the features needed to make statistical spreadsheets, stand-alone databases, and professional books.  Sure, we both looked at newer versions, but they didn’t have any real extras worth spending the extra money.  It would have been kinda like buying a new car only because it has oversized cup holders.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Yeah, things were great. Then  I start getting Word and Excel documents that I can’t read anymore.  I look at the mail attachment and it has this strange “X” at the end of each one — .DOCX or .XLSX, instead of the familiar .DOC or .XLS.

When Microsoft created Office 2007, they decided to replace the 15-year tried-and-true format with a brand-new format.  (And I even won’t go into how different Office 2007 is to use–you can read that in my last post.)

We cats are a pretty pragmatic bunch of animals:  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is our motto. We think it’s pretty stupid to be forced to throw away perfectly good software just because a certain company wants you to buy their newer and more expensive software. And the majority of Office users only use the basic features that’s been around since the Office 97 days.

Free Options

Since everybody’s (us cats too) having to tighten our belts to save money, I’m going to show how you can get your older version of Office to read Office 2007 and Office 2010 files without spending a cent. (But feel free to toss any unwanted sardines my way.)

  1. The easiest way is to ask the person who gave you the file in the first place to change it to a .DOC (or .XLS) format so you can read it. It makes the Sender realize that not everybody will have the new Office and will be more considerate in the future.
  2. Download Microsoft’s Office Compatibility Pack .  It’s free (for now) and will allow Office 2000, XP, or 2003 to read files made from Office 2007 or Office 2010.
  3. You can replace your current version of Office with Oracle’s freeware OpenOfficeOpenOffice is equivalent to Microsoft Office Professional Edition that can read any Microsoft Office file you get. I installed OpenOffice on my human’s MacBook,  Vista and on her XP machines and she likes it as much as Office 2003. You can go to to find out more and download.

By using these tips, you’ll be able to happily use what ain’t broken for a long time. And if you’re a “cheapscat” like me, you can put the money you saved to good use!

— “CC”


Entry filed under: buying, cat, computer help, freeware, grandparents, seniors. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Best Site Best Site To Buy Facebook Likes  |  April 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Hello! This is my first comment here so
    I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
    Thank you so much!


    • 2. cc  |  April 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Meow! I like to give credit to other bloggers and I always add their links to a lot of my articles. You can click on them to browse around their site.

      There’s also “CC’s Cat Treats” in my sidebar of my site too. It has a list of my favourite sites.

      If there’s a particular subject that you have a question about, let me know.

      “CC”, The Computer Cat



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