Force Office 2007 to Save as DOC and XLS

Fun times! One of our users upgraded to Office 2007 and we already have bunch of un-openable xlsx and docx files floating around. Oh what a joy!

Good news is that I figured a quick fix for this in Word:

  1. Open new word document and hit Save
  2. On the save dialog expand the Tools combo box
  3. Choose Options
  4. The first combo box lets you choose the default save format

Excel fix should be similar – and this should be something users can apply themselves on individual basis. Unfortunately if you have bunch whiny babies who can’t be bother to click through a menu or two there is an easy way to fix on a global scale. And by easy, I mean annoying, difficult, drawn out process involving the Group Policy editor. You know, the usual Microsoft thing. Here is what you do:

  1. Download the Office 2007 Group Policy Templates and extract them somewhere
  2. Open the Group Policy editor by running: gpedit.msc
  3. Add the administrative templates you extracted to your group policy.
  4. Follow the TechNet instructions on how to set the default file types for selected Office programs

You might also want to check out this overview with screenshots. If you follow these instructions you should have Office 2007 saving in standard 2003 compatible binary files.

And no, rolling out compatibility packs is not an option. Out clients need to be able to open the files we send them, and most of them are still on Office 2003 or lower. It’s better to cripple the one or two Office 2007 installations by making them save in the old format, than to force our customers to adjust at this point.

[tags]office 2007, office 2003, doc, xls, docx, xlsx, adm, administration templates, group policy[/tags]

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4 Responses to Force Office 2007 to Save as DOC and XLS

  1. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Ubuntu Linux says:

    Damn Luke can’t ya get them to dump that crap and use like Open office or something. The talking paper clip back in the day was enough to scare me away not to mention the overinflated price tag or the crap ya already talked about in several earlier post. on well ya gotta love corporate america ;)

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Heh… I wish I could. But that’s not going to happen. At least not until Open Office implements the full VBA compatibility in their product so that we could use all the crazy macro’s created by our crazy customers.

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  3. Fr3d UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    The other way to get the save options dialog is to click the Office Orb (top left) and then click “Word Options” (change Word to whatever Office app you’re in), and then click the Save options tab on the left :)

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  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Funny story – I couldn’t click on the “Word Orb” via VNC. No clue why. It just didn’t work. :P

    I haet Office 2007. God knows I do.

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