Microsoft Office file formats

This is some application version information to understand about different versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint file formats. Sometimes you may receive a file from an associate, and not be able to open it. There are many different versions of Word and Excel, and there are older and newer file formats. This information may explain why the document you received will not open on your computer.

Throughout some organizations, several different versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are being used, in either Academic or Professional versions. The names of the Mac Word and Excel application suites are Microsoft Office 2011, Microsoft Office 2008 and Microsoft Office 2004 and Microsoft Office X. The names of the Windows application suites for Word and Excel PC users are Microsoft Office 97, Microsoft Office 2004, and Microsoft Office 2010.

The newer Mac Microsoft Office 2011 and Mac Microsoft Office 2008 programs, and Windows Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office 2004 may save documents by default in .docx or .xlsx or .pptx formats. Files when saved with these settings cannot be opened by older programs. Sometimes, you may need to request that the sender of a file send you the documents saved under and older format. Under Preferences (from the file menu), the settings can be changed to save automatically in older formats (Office 97-2004), to be read more easily by older versions of applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


Some users are still using older versions of Microsoft Office. These programs can open the older .doc, .xls and .ppt and .pps formats, but not the newer ones created by Mac Microsoft Office 2008 and Microsoft Office 2011, and Windows Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office 2004 (file formats: .docx, .xlsx and .pptx).