Google Apps axes export support for .doc and other old Microsoft Office formats

Summary:The cloud-based office suite will, from 1 October, only be able to export to newer Office Open XML formats such as .docx. This will affect anyone collaborating with users of pre-2003 Office versions, although Microsoft does have a compatibility pack to help out users of some earlier iterations.

Google Apps users are about to lose their ability to export Google Docs format files to the classic Microsoft Office formats, .doc, .xls and.ppt.

Google said in a terse blog post on Wednesday that the option would disappear on 1 October, affecting users of the plain Google Apps and the versions for business, government and education. Users will still be able to export to the Office Open XML formats, .docx, .xlsx and .pptx, as well as various other options such as rich text, .csv and so on

The change will affect anyone using Google Apps to generate documents for use by those who are still on older versions of Microsoft Office, specifically versions prior to Office 2003. Since then, Microsoft Office has been able to support .docx and the other XML formats .

That said, Microsoft does offer a compatibility pack to help users of Office 2000 and 2002 work with the newer formats.

Topics: Google, Microsoft


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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