DOC or DOCX - Using the Correct Microsoft Office Word Format

Microsoft office is a software from Microsoft used for editing, creating and saving documents on a computer. The software include Microsoft Office among others such as Microsoft Office Excel. Sometimes using this software can be agonizing task especially when you try to use the different versions of Microsoft word formats for example .doc and .docx format.

Microsoft users have frequently complained especially those who use Microsoft Office 2003 since the introduction of Microsoft Office 2007 that is incorporated with .docx format. Case example of a complaint is from Matt Brownell, Editor at Ictus Initiative claims that college students who intern at the marketing and Public Relations Company usually sent resumes that were created using latest version of Microsoft Office word and its difficult for the company to open as it uses Microsoft Office 2013.

Even though Brownell stressed on the interns using older versions of Microsoft Office Word to minimize on the issue he realized that it was not limited to word documents that had contrasting formats that refused to open. He discovered that even PowerPoint and Excel too were affected. Just like word in the new version included x to .doc to be .docx, files for PowerPoint and Excel had .pptx and .xlsx formats respectively.

In another similar scenario of adapting newer versions of Microsoft Office, Kimberly Hathaway, Managing Partner at Hathaway PR ha to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac in 2008. She however stressed on the fact that since they deal with other people such as the clients and attorney, there are problems encountered as the different parties deal with older versions that contrast and have compatibility problems when it comes to sharing the documents.

To users like Hathaway and Brownell, the new formats seemed to have created problems and difficulties in switching to newer versions. Microsoft came up with the fundamental change in the way its Microsoft file and documents are created. The new creation and upgrade was based on Extensible Markup Language or XML, a widely recognized document standard.

The upgrade by Microsoft to new file formats such as .docx, .pptx that enabled it come up with the standard file formats enabled developers and programmers to create application and softwares  that can access word documents with ease for example transfer data from a word document to web page. The other advantage of using the new versions was that it enabled users to save on space on their disk drives. The new format for example the case of .docx file format its half or three quarter of the original size of a .doc file.

In attempt to save on cost and data loss due to the use of old versions .docx file formats enabled users to open file formats that had were corrupt in this new versions unlike the old versions that could not open once the files were corrupted.

According to Dan Gookin, Aurthor of Microsoft Word for Dummies, a publication that is available in both 2003 and 2007 Microsoft Office Word versions, he agrees that even though it’s difficult for users to upgrade it however has some advantage. He stresses on the fact that users cannot stick to old versions forever and that the new version is flexible to use and quite upgradable. He believes that Microsoft will stick to the new version for a long time before switching to other versions thus its important users embraced the use of the new versions.
The formats used to open documents include:

DOC, Microsoft Document, used by Microsoft Word 97-2003.

DOCX, Microsoft Document 2007, similar to the DOC it has been upgraded to accommodate new features included in Microsoft Word 2007 and Corel WordPerfect.

TXT, text file, plain text file easily read by any word processor and any computer.

RTF, Rich Text Format, developed to preserve formatting such as indentations, spacing, italics, etc. Works with all word processors.

PDF, Portable Document Format, Adobe created the PDF as an image based alternative to other document types. To read a PDF one has to download pdf reader software.
ODT, Open Document Text, Document that requires the open source and free office suite, Open Office.

WPD, WordPerfect Document: Corel’s standard document type. Requires Corel WordPerfect.
XLS, Excel Spreadsheet: although XLS was developed as the proprietary format of Microsoft Excel, it is now usable on virtually all spreadsheet editors.

XLSX: Excel Spreadsheet 2007: Microsoft changed to the 2007 Excel format. Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc, and Corel Quattro can read the XLSX file type.

ODS: Open Document Spreadsheet
: Open Office’s spreadsheet format. ODS file types require a copy of the open source office program Open Office.

Since we can’t stick to older versions it’s important to switch to the upgraded versions that are simplified to use, worldwide used and that which enables common sharing of files without difficult in opening them. To avoid the encounter of a very alien file type that your word processor or office software doesn’t recognize on your computer consider the file format developed by Microsoft in 2007 that includes the extension .docx format unless otherwise.