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Microsoft Open XML Converter Arrives for Mac

Microsoft has released Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0, a file translator that allows users to open, edit, and convert Open XML files created in Office 2008 for Mac or Office 2007 for Windows for use in earlier versions of the suite, including Office 2004 11.4 and Office v. X 10.1.9 or later.

In addition to text documents, the converter also supports Excel workbooks and PowerPoint presentations saved in Open XML format. In Office 2004 11.4, the converter runs in the background; otherwise it operates as a standalone application. It can also be used to batch convert multiple Open XML documents.

A couple caveats about the converter: According to a notice on the application's splash screen, "Some Open XML files contain content that was created using features that are not available in older versions of Office. After conversion, this content might look different from the original version, and you might not be able to edit it."

The converter arrives a bit late to the show, joining several other Mac applications that support the format natively. For example, Apple's free bare-bones word processing application, TextEdit 1.5, can natively open and convert between Microsoft Word Open XML (.docx) files, ODF, RTF, HTML and other formats. And the free and open source NeoOffice for Mac can also open, edit, and convert .docx files.

Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0 is a 45 MB download and takes up 182 MB on disk. It's available in localized English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and Swedish versions. It supports Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later. More information and a link to the download are available here.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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