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Article ID: 967950 - Last Review: March 14, 2014 - Revision: 13.0

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Symptoms

When you try to open a Microsoft Office Excel workbook (.xlsx), a Microsoft Office Word document (.docx), or a Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation (.pptx), you may receive one of the following error messages and you may not be able to open the file:

This file was created by a newer version of Microsoft Excel and a converter is needed to open it. Do you want to download the converter from the Microsoft Office Web site?

This file cannot be opened by using Microsoft Excel. Do you want to search the Microsoft Office Online Web site for a converter that can open the file?

Note The above messages are displayed when you try to open an Excel file. When you try to open a Word or PowerPoint file, the product names in the message are replaced accordingly.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

For Excel 2010, Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010

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  1. Go to the Microsoft Download Center to download and install the OOXML Strict Converter for Office 2010 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38828) .
  2. Open the file in Excel 2010, Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010. 
  3. Click Open when the following message appears. 

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    This is the screenshot for this step.

  4. When the file opens, click Save As to save the file in Excel 2010, Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010 default format. 
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For Excel 2007, Word 2007 or PowerPoint 2007

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Important
: If you do not have an application that created the file, you cannot open the file in Excel 2007, Word 2007 or PowerPoint 2007.  If you have an application that you used to create the file, try Method 1 first:
Method 1
  1. Open Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, or Word 2007 depending on the file you want to open.
  2. On the File menu, click Open, and then select the Excel (.xlsx), Word (.docx), or PowerPoint (.pptx) file you want to open.
  3. If the file opens, click Save As on the File menu to save the file by selecting Excel 97-2003 (.xls), Word 97-2003 (.doc), or PowerPoint 97-2003 (.ppt) file format in the Save as type list.
Note If you cannot open the file or change the file format when you save the file, try Method 2.
Method 2
  1. Open the file by using the application that is used to create the file.
  2. Depending on the file type, create a new file using Word 2007, Excel 2007 or PowerPoint 2007.
  3. Copy the content of the file you opened in Step 1 and paste it into the file you opened in Step 2.

    Note
    Depending on compatibility between the application and Microsoft Office 2007 products, the formatting of the original content may collapse in the copied content.
  4. Save the file by selecting Excel 97-2003 (.xls), Word 97-2003 (.doc), or PowerPoint 97-2003 (.ppt) file format in the Save as type list.
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For Excel 2003, Word 2003, or PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions

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To open an Excel (.xlsx) file, Word (.docx) file, or PowerPoint (.pptx) file in Office 2003 or an earlier version, you must install the Office Compatibility Pack (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466)

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
924074  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924074/ ) How to open new file formats in earlier versions of Microsoft Office
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More information


An Excel workbook (.xlsx), a Word document (.docx), or PowerPoint presentation (.pptx) files can now be created by non-Microsoft software products by using the standards that are outlined by ISO/IEC 29500. Therefore, Office versions released after 2007 Microsoft Office suite Service Pack 2 (SP2) have supported many of the requirements of the ISO/IEC 29500 standard. However, some of the standards have not been supported in Microsoft Office.

The file that you are trying to open may have been created by a third-party (non-Microsoft) software product in compliance with the International Standard ISO/IEC 29500 Office Open XML (OOXML). Microsoft Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Word 2007, Word 2010, PowerPoint 2007, and PowerPoint 2010 do not support all the standards that are outlined by ISO/IEC 29500.

For more information about the adoption of the ISO 29500 standard by Microsoft, see the following Web sites:
Microsoft Expands List of Formats Supported in Microsoft Office (http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2008/may08/05-21ExpandedFormatsPR.mspx)

Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
Keywords: 
kbproductlink kbinfo kbhowto kbexpertisebeginner kbcip kbconsumer KB967950
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