Downloads of the Open XML Compatibility Pack have passed the 100 million mark, Microsoft revealed. The Redmond-based company is offering the Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats for users of Office releases prior to Office 2007 in order to enable them to not only open, but also edit, and even save documents, workbooks, and presentations in Word 2007, Excel 2007, and PowerPoint 2007 file formats, namely the Open XML ISO standards. The software giant indicated that the number of Open XML Compatibility Pack downloads was illustrative of the increase in adoption of the OOXML standards introduced with the advent of the Office 2007 System.

“The compatibility pack is a manual download. It is not pushed through any update channels. In order for an end user to obtain it, they must visit the Microsoft download center, select one of the 35 available languages, and download the 26MB installer. To say it differently, more than 100 million people have had cause to seek out and download the compatibility pack for Open XML; likely due to their encountering a document stored in one of the formats,” explained Gray Knowlton, Microsoft Office Group Product Manager. More »

You can minimize file-compatibility issues by standardizing on the most common file formats. By default, saves files in Open Document Format (ODF). Microsoft’s by-the-book support for ODF, unfortunately, breaks some spreadsheet files, according to a recent ZDNet blog post.

OpenOffice reads and writes Office 2007’s default .docx and .xlsx XML file formats. But the older .doc and .xls formats are still the ones most often used. I suggest that you make the classic Office formats your defaults in OpenOffice. To set .doc as the document default, for example, open any OpenOffice program and do the following:

Step 1. Choose Tools, Options;

Step 2. Select General under Load/Save;

Step 3. Click Text Document under Document type in the Default file format and ODF settings section; More »

Office 2007’s applications save their files in a new format called OpenXML. Earlier versions of Microsoft Office do not recognize the OpenXML format, although they can be upgraded with the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to support the OpenXML format.

Many people who purchase new computers or upgrade to Office 2007 do not realize documents created in Office 2007 will not work in older versions of Microsoft Office. Many times people who receive their documents cannot open them.

This guide shows you how to set Microsoft Office 2007 applications default file format to an older format supported by Microsoft Office 97-2003.

Change the Default File Format

In this example, I am going to change Word 2007’s default file format used when saving documents from .docx to .doc (the file format used by Office 97-2003). This can also be done in Excel 2007 and Power Point 2007. More »

Here’s a nifty little trick for creating a text file listing of the contents of a folder, without using any extra software. Step one is to note down the path and name of the folder concerned; if it’s a long one, click on the folder icon in Windows Explorer so that it’s displayed in the address box, then right-click on it and select Copy. Now open a command window by going to Run (XP) or Search (Vista) on the Start menu and type ‘cmd’

A DOS like window opens and at the flashing prompt type cd then a space and type in the path and name of the folder – in my example the folder is called ‘Pix’, so the first line looks like this:

cd C:\Pix

If you used the Copy trick simply right-click on the flashing prompt and select Paste.

Now press Enter and the cd (change directory) command changes the display to show the path and name of your folder, thus: More »

What I really want to do is add a link to Google Docs on the right-click (context) menu in Windows Explorer. That way, I could open a file in Google Docs by right-clicking it in Explorer and choosing Send To > Google Docs.

Well, I wasn’t able to figure out how to do this. So instead, I created a shortcut to open Google Docs, and then I browsed to the file and opened it the old-fashioned way.

This won’t save you a lot of time, but at least Google Docs makes it easy for you to transmit the file to the service as an e-mail attachment. And, of course, you can send the file to other e-mail recipients at the same time.

To create the shortcut to Google Docs, log in to the service, copy the URL in the address bar, right-click the desktop or any folder window, choose New > Shortcut, paste the URL in the Location field, click Next, type Google Docs (or the name of your choice), and press Enter (or click Finish).

Now navigate to the shortcut you just created, right-click it, and choose Properties. Click in the “Shortcut key” box, and type your preferred keyboard shortcut (I chose Ctrl-Alt-G). More »