A few readers have asked how to convert Word documents created in the new Microsoft Open Office XML Format with the docx extension so they can read them on a Mac. The answer: awkwardly.
Windows users have a converter they can download.
The Microsoft Mac team promised something similar back in December and yet haven’t, as far as I can see, delivered.
Into the gap have stepped some third party developers:
- Docx Converter will convert a Microsoft Office .docx file into a simple html file. (It strips out some of the formatting, but now supports bold, italic, and underlined text. Left, right, center, and justified alignment etc.) A Mac widget is also available.
- docx2doc allows you to upload a docx document It was free, but apparently seems to be in such high demand it now costs either $1 or $2 per document converted. Payment is via PayPal; upon payment you’ll receive a download link via email.
- Panergy’s docXconverter sounds more straightforward, but will cost you: $20 or $30 for two years of maintenance and upgrades. We should hope Microsoft won’t be that long to come out with their own converter.
None of these is perfect; we shouldn’t have to hand over money just to read a document. Of course the best solution is to save documents in the old doc format if you’re going to share them with other people.