How to open word 2007 docx file in word 2003?


Have you received any docx file in your email which is not opening in your word 2003 office software ? Or even after installing the ‘FileFormatConverters.exe for Office 2007’, you are still getting the error : “There was an error opening the file.”?

Recently, I had to face this problem which almost halt my ongoing projects. I have office 2003 which only supports word files with “.doc” extension.   However, recently I have to work on a number of files with .docx extension sent to me by a client.

As such opening these .docs files(which is a default format for word 2007 ) becomes impossible through my word 2003. Someone suggested that I bought Office 2007 to overcome this problem. A new purchase just for opening a few files? Nope.

I searched and found a small file format converter utility from Microsoft which enables office 2003 users to open docx files.

Here is the utility download link. It is 37 MB.

But unfortunately, despite installing this utility, I could not open the docx files in my PC.  When I tried to open the docx file in my word 2003, I got this message :

“There was an error opening the file.”

Surprised, I tried to open another docx file. Agaion the same message, then again on another docx file, the same message. I was confused ad annoyed.

Then someone pointed me to this article :

You receive an error when trying to open a .docx file in Word 2003 or with the Word Viewer

This article informed me that one dll file viz. ole32.dll is not properly registered which is causing this error of not opening of docx file. However, the solution given on the above article did not work for me because I do not have the administrative password for my computer. The guy who build this PC for me has long gone abroad and is unreachable. He did not tell me the admin password that time and I was too novice to ask him about it.

Nevertheless, I still managed to resolve this problem. Here is how :

I needed to register a dll file (ole32.dll) without using DOS prompt and without using Admin password. Here is how  I did it:

1.Click the start button
2.Click run
3.Copy  regsvr32 “C:\Windows\System32\ole32.dllinto the run field
Click the OK Button

Presto ! Now when I opened the .docx file, it opened like a charm !

On this blog, from now onwards I shall be posting only such useful posts as I am quite busy and can’t devote much time thinking over the latest happening in India.


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