Released to business customers on November 30, 2006 and made available to retail customers on January 30, 2007, the new Microsoft Word 2007 comes with all sorts of new features, including a new graphical interface called the Ribbon and new file formats. These new file formats are not compatible with any other version of Microsoft Word, therefore to be able to view any file which has one of the new formats you would have to install the Office Compatibility Pack , to use an online conversion site or to use the latest Microsoft release, the free Word 2007 Viewer.

word 2007However before thinking on how you will open a document created with Word 2007 on another computer, you will first have to save it. And when you will do this, you’ll find a bewildering array of file types, which have the following descriptions:
.docx – is the new format for Word documents
.docm – new format for Word documents containing macros
.dotx – the templates have a new format in Word 2007 and they are recognized by this .dotx extension
.dotm – is the new format for templates containing macros
.doc – format for all the previous versions of Word
.dot – the template format for previous versions of Word
.xps – XML Paper specification, which tries to be the answer from Microsoft to PDF documents
.mhtm, .mhtml – single file Web page, containing all the files in a web page along with images
.htm, .html – standard web page format
.rtf – rich text format, which can be opened on Mac or Linux machines
.txt – plain text format which doesn’t have a lot of the formatting making the file small but not so eye candy
.xml – the eXtensible Markup Language is a standard language for describing many different types of data
.wps – this format indicates a document created in Microsoft Works.

As I have mentioned earlier, you can view all the documents that have new Word 2007 file types using the Word 2007 Viewer, which can be downloaded from here.

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