Weighing in at a hefty 25Mb and still in super-beta-preview “we aren’t responsible if it throws your computer out the window into oncoming traffic” mode, Microsoft has announced a converter for their Office 2007 OOXML file format for us Mac Users.  Yes, this is good news – as opposed to no news.  

This however doesn’t delay the fears of Macintosh Office 2008 not being compatible with Windows Office 2007 (or any version for that matter) Macros – which Microsoft has already said it will not support in future Mac Versions.  So the question still remains, what is the point in upgrading to Office 2008?  Oh yeah.  Office 2004 runs like a dog on my Intel Macs and Powerpoint 2004 presentations take five seconds to transition.  Hurry up Sun with that Star Office Package!

In other Microsoft-Macintosh news, I noticed a new Favicon in the Microsoft URL today (Pictured at the left). It looks familiar but doesn’t exist anywhere else on the site – is this the new look of Microsoft for Mac? Maybe the Office 2008 Beta?

The Microsoft Statement included the below:

Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 0.1b (Beta)

With the Office Open XML Converter, that you can convert Office Open XML files to a format that is compatible with Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Office v. X for Mac. You can choose to convert and open one file, or convert a large number of files.

This version of the Office Open XML Converter can convert the following Office Open XML file formats:

* Word Document (*.docx)
* Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)

These files are converted to Rich Text Format (RTF), which can be opened in Microsoft Word 2004 and Microsoft Word X.

The converter is a Beta release, and might be unable to convert all the data in Office Open XML files. After you convert a file, you should review the file carefully to make sure that it contains all of the information that you expect.

The following issues are known to exist in this Beta release:

* Macros and Visual Basic content are not included in the converted file.
* Charts and SmartArt graphics are converted to pictures.

The following issues might occur in this Beta release:

* Graphics and other objects in the document might appear with a different size.
* Color fills and shading in tables might not be preserved.
* Conversion might not succeed if the document contains a bibliography or citations.
* Conversion might not succeed if the document contains WordArt.
* Document layout and formatting might not be preserved.
* Some Unicode characters might not be preserved.
* Conversion might not succeed if the document contains very large pictures.
* Conversion might not succeed if you use an SMB network volume as the preferred destination for converted files.
* Picture bullets might not be preserved.
* Fonts might be substituted.

This Beta release expires on December 31, 2007.

System requirements

Important You must use Office 2004 11.3.4 or later, or Office v. X 10.1.9 or later to open converted documents. To verify that you have installed the Office 2004 11.3.4 update, select the Microsoft Component Plugin file in the Microsoft Office 2004/Office folder on your hard disk, and then on the File menu, click Get Info. To verify that you have installed the Office v. X 10.1.9 update, select the Microsoft Component Plugin file in the Microsoft Office X/Office folder on your hard disk, and then on the File menu, click Get Info.

Additionally, your computer must meet the following minimum requirements:

Operating system: Mac OS X 10.4.8 (Tiger) or a later version of Mac OS

Note To verify that your computer meets these minimum requirements, on the Apple menu, click About This Mac.

Installation instructions

To install this update

1. Print this page if you want to use it as a reference when you are offline.
2. Quit any applications that are running, including all Office applications, Microsoft Messenger, and Office Notifications, because they might interfere with installation.
3. Make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements listed previously.
4. In the preceding table, click the English (.dmg) link.
5. Follow the instructions on the screen to save the file to your hard disk.

If you are using Safari, the downloaded file is saved to the desktop unless you specified a different location in the Preferences dialog box of Safari. To check your preferences, on the Safari menu, click Preferences, and then click General.

If you are using Internet Explorer, the Download Manager saves the file to the desktop unless you specified a different folder in the Preferences dialog box of Internet Explorer. To check your preferences, on the Explorer menu, click Preferences, and then click Download Options in the left pane.

6. Double-click the file you downloaded in step 5 to place the Office Open XML Converter volume on your desktop, and then double-click the Office Open XML Converter volume to open it. This step might have been performed for you.
7. In the Office Open XML Converter volume window, double-click the Install Open XML Converter application to start the update process, and then follow the instructions on the screen.
8. If the installation finishes successfully, you can remove the update installer from your hard disk. To remove the update installer, first drag the Office Open XML Converter volume to the Trash, and then drag the file you downloaded to the Trash.

To remove this update

1. If the converter is running, quit the application.
2. On your hard disk, locate the converter application.
3. Drag the converter application to the Trash, and then empty the Trash.
4. To remove your existing converter application preferences, in /Users/username/Library/Preferences/Microsoft, delete the com.microsoft.OfficeConverter.plist file.
5. To remove all converter files from your computer, in /Library/Application Support/Microsoft, delete the Office Converter Support folder.

Additional information

Technical support is not available for this beta release, and we cannot accept product feedback at this time. For information about using the converter after you install it, on the Help menu, click Converter Help. For further information, read to the Software License Agreement that is displayed during installation.

Note Converter application updates will be available from Microsoft AutoUpdate, an application that can automatically keep your Microsoft software up to date. To use AutoUpdate, open the converter application, and then on the Help menu, click Check for Updates.
Last Updated: May 07, 2007

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