What the hell is wrong with Microsoft? Why in the world would they change the default file type of one of the world’s most used office programs?
Microsoft Excel 2007 (as well as Word and Power Point) now have an XML based file format. The new Excel file extension is .xlsx, which of course cannot be opened with any of the older versions of the program.
Thank god I remembered we had one computer in our office that was new enough to have the latest version of the software on it. (I forgot because I never use the Microsoft Office 2007 products because I simply don’t like them.) At first I wasn’t sure that it would even be able to save it as the old version as the company that sent me the file could not figure it out and told me that was the only available file format.
I really hate the new tabbed browsing with in the new office programs and where the heck did they go with the good old fashion text menus?!? They hid them is what they did. I finally figured out how to find their help file (tiny little question mark was eluding me). The text menu where you have the option to choose SAVE AS is now hidden behind the little office logo at the top of the screen on the left-hand side. Who would have thought to look there? Not me. Can you make it any harder folks?
For those of us that do not have access to a brand spanking new version of Excel Microsoft has kindly [insert sarcasm here] created a tool (not sure if this is available for Word or Power Point) for us backward people who cannot upgrade every time they release a new, improved [insert said sarcasm again] version.
You can download this lovely little Excel 2007 to 97-2003 conversion tool at Microsoft.com. Even though it is free it does come with a cost. You will have to install all the updates for your version of windows before installing the converter. Which can take you a few hours, if like me, you are a little behind on your XP updates (who know they were up to XP Service Pack 3, not me).
For those of us with little time there is also an online converter, but this might not be an option if you too have a confidential file you need to convert like I did. However, unlike the Microsoft compatibility pack you do not need to have Microsoft Office installed on your PC to convert the file.
I am pretty sure that if I am going to have to continue to use the newer versions I am going to have to pick up a copy of the book Office 2007 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.