Trying to open .xlsx, .docx, or .pptx file in Office for Mac 2004: "This file is not in a recognizable format"

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Article ID: 968200 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

To open Office 2008 for Mac documents (format .xlsx, .docx, .pptx) in Office for Mac 2004, you must download and install the Open XML File Format Converter. This article describes how to obtain and install the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac. You may receive the following error message when opening the file:

This file is not in a recognizable format. If you know the file is from another program which is incompatible with Microsoft <application name>, click Cancel, then open this file in its original application. If you want to open the file later in Microsoft <application>, save it in a form that is compatible, such as a text format. If you still want to see text contained in the file, click OK. Then click Finish in the Text Import Wizard. 

If you click Finish, the document is not readable.

MORE INFORMATION

The Open XML File Format Converter lets you convert Open XML files that were created in Office 2008 for Mac or in 2007 Microsoft Office for Windows so that you can open, edit, and save the files in earlier versions of Office for Mac. The Open XML Converter can convert Word documents, Excel workbooks, and PowerPoint presentations that are in the Open XML format. After you convert the files, you can open and edit the files in Office 2004 for Mac. You can convert a single file, or you can convert many files. 

How to obtain the Open XML File Format Converter

To download the latest converter, follow these steps: 

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1. Quit all applications. 
2. Visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads
3. In the Search box, type Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 
4. Click the down arrow in the Refine Results and in the Release Date choose Last 30 days then click Go .
5. Click the latest "Open XML File Format Converter for Mac <Version number>". 
6. Click Download. Save the file to your Desktop or your preferred location.
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How to install the Open XML File Format Converter

To install the Open XML File Format Converter, follow these steps:

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1. Print this page if you want to use it as a reference when you are offline.
2. Close all applications. This includes all Office applications, Office Notifications, and Microsoft Messenger. Note These programs might interfere with the installation.
3. Make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements. To verify that your computer meets the minimum system requirements, click About This Mac on the Apple menu. Note The minimum operating system that you should have installed is Mac OSX version 10.4.9 (Tiger) or a later version of the Mac operating system.
4. Click the download link provided earlier in this section.
5. Click Download , or click the link for the language version that you want.
6. Follow the instructions to save the file to your hard disk. Note If you use Safari, the downloaded file is saved to the desktop unless you specify a different location in the Preferences dialog box of Safari. To check your preferences, click Preferences on the Safari menu, and then click General .
7. To copy the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0.2 package on your desktop, double-click the file that you downloaded in steps 5 and 6.
8. Double-click the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0.2 package to open it. Note This step might be performed automatically for you.
9. To start the installation process, double-click the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0.2 application in the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0.2 package window. Then, follow the instructions.
10. If the installation is completed successfully, you can remove the application installer from your hard disk. To remove the application installer, first drag the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0.2 package to the Trash Bin, and then drag the file that you downloaded to the Trash Bin.


REFERENCES

For more information about the Open XML File Format Converter, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
953823 Information about how to work with Open XML Format files in Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac

Properties

Article ID: 968200 - Last Review: October 6, 2011 - Revision: 10.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac
Keywords: 
kbconversion kbexpertisebeginner kbsurveynew kbhowto dftsdahomeportal KB968200

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