Google Docs
August 29, 2007 1:06 AM   Subscribe

Google Docs doesn't handle Word 7 (docx) documents. Will it ever?
posted by jennydiski to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I seem to recall that Google is moving towards selling Google Docs and Gmail and Google calendar as a paid service to companies. To be able to do that they will have to support Word 7 documents.
It's anybody's guess at what point in time that will be.
posted by jouke at 2:43 AM on August 29, 2007

I've yet to find anything that handles .docx. What I did was change Word 7's preference to default to saving as .doc which Google has no problem with. I'm not sure there's any significant advantage to saving in the .docx format. Seems yet another attempt by MS to "encourage" upgrades by being a market share bully.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:52 AM on August 29, 2007

Oh, good idea. But files seem to be twice as big. I suppose that doesn't much matter, though.
posted by jennydiski at 4:26 AM on August 29, 2007

The files will still be pretty small, relatively speaking, in our modern era. If you want to make them smaller you can always compress them, but it's not worth it.
posted by grouse at 4:30 AM on August 29, 2007

I know you're asking about Google docs, but it might help to know if you get to a computer with an older version of office, there's a compability pack to download for opening 07' files.
posted by jmd82 at 6:00 AM on August 29, 2007

Office 2007 files are just zipped xml files. Google should not have a problem being able to parse these files.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:54 AM on August 29, 2007

Google shouldn't have a problem parsing the Office XML, but supporting all the obfuscated codes that Microsoft has built into it is in fact a problem. It will take some time.
posted by deadfather at 8:07 AM on August 29, 2007

Apple's Pages reads them just fine, but the format surely isn't just a plain understandable xml...
posted by KimG at 11:48 AM on August 29, 2007

The format is, indeed, plain XML. It's just highly Byzantine and chock-a-block with cruft. Saving as .doc files will work so long as you're not expecting to edit any of the majick stuff like citations in any way other than basic text editing. .docx ----> .doc works okay, it's .docx ----> .doc ----> .docx and expecting all the nifty .docx stuff to carry across that is the problem.

To answer the question, though, it will only be a matter of time before most (all?) of .docx functionality is supported by other major players like Google,, and Apple. The incentive to reverse engineer the XML is pretty strong (and straightforward). It's creating the supporting structure in the interface that will take the most effort.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:17 PM on August 29, 2007

« Older How do I cite, in MLA format, a quote that is...   |   Wash my car for free? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.