Here’s the situation: Someone sends you a .DOCX or .XLSX file, representing the newest versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. You’ve got an older version of Microsoft Office that you love. Perhaps because it has traditional menus rather than the Ribbon that Microsoft is so fond of these days. Perhaps because you invested the money in the old version back then, and you don’t feel like upgrading. Or, you’re running Windows XP, which doesn’t work with new Office anyway.
Regardless, it seems like you’re out of luck: you can’t open the newer files with the older Office. Right? Wrong. There’s an optional add-on for older versions of Office that allows you to convert and edit newer Office files. Get it here. Before you download it, be sure that you’ve updated your version of Office all the way through Microsoft Update.
There are two catches: You won’t be able to see certain advanced features in the document that are only present in newer Office, such as pivot tables, though the converter does the best it can in translating such features for use in your version. And although you can edit the file, if you want to save it again, you have to save it in the old format. There’s still a reason to want to get the newest version of Office, but in the meantime, the add-on ensures that you don’t have to.
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