File Extensions New for Word 2007 docx, docm, dotx, dotm

man wth questionsThere seems to be a lot of confusion about the new file extensions in Microsoft Word 2007.

Here you can find answers to your questions about the docx, docm, dotx, and dotm file types.

Discover how to:

  • open docx files
  • save a file as a Word template
  • determine which extension to use when saving a document
  • share your files easily using compatibility mode
  • convert your document from Word to pdf or other file types

Need to convert a file from Word to pdf? Use Word 2007 to convert even your old Word doc files to pdf format. I’ll walk you through the file conversion process so you can avoid the pitfalls.

Need to know how to disable a macro in docm file? Or how to open a docx file without Word 2007? I’ll show you how.

If you want to convert your old documents to the new format, check out the Microsoft Word converter tutorial. Tips for migrating business documents are included.

Create once, convert to many

Word document with arrow pointing to pdf, html, and xmlThe new docx extension allows you to work faster and be more versatile when designing documents!

Creating a business letter? Marketing brochure? Procedure manual?

Create it once and then convert your document from Word to pdf, a web page, or even an xml file.

Word 2007 is a great single-sourcing tool. In other words, you can create many different documents from a single source file.

Microsoft Word Save As options

If you are new to Microsoft Word, you may not know you can save your files in a number of different formats.

Microsoft Word file formats:

  • docx: default Word 2007/2010 extension
  • dotx and dotm: Word 2007/2010 template files
  • doc: Word 97-2003 format
  • dot: Word 97-2003 template format

Other file formats:

  • txt: unformatted text files
  • rtf: Rich Text Format – text file with some formatting
  • htm, html, mht, mhtml: web page files
  • xml: Extensible Markup Language files
  • wps: default extension for Microsoft Works word processor files

If you have the latest service pack (SP2) installed, you also have the option to save your file in one of the following formats:

  • pdf: Adobe Acrobat file
  • xps: Open XML Paper Specification
  • odt: OpenDocument Text

Note: To download Service Pack 2, run Microsoft Word update.

The Save As menu
The Word 2007 Save As Menu: save documents in a wide variety of file formats.

Image file formats:

You cannot Save As these file types, but you can access them through a print command if you have the Microsoft Office Document Image Writer print driver installed.

  • tiff: Tagged Image File Format – a widely used image file format
  • mdi: Microsoft Document Imaging – an image file format (generally created by document scanning) that can only be opened and edited within Microsoft Image Editing

With so many file types available, choosing the correct one can be confusing!

Document sharing: selecting the correct file extension

If you need to share Word 2007 files with users of older versions of Word, convert docx to doc files (or .dot for templates) so your coworkers can open your documents.


Keep an Editable Copy of your Documents

When deciding what file extension to use, a good rule is to always edit and save files as .docx, or in the case of a template, .dotx. Then if you need another format, save a copy of the original. That way, you always have a fully-editable version of your file.

Convert Word to pdf files if you want to take advantage of some of the security features in Adobe Acrobat files. This is also a good file type to select if you don’t know what type of computer or software the recipient uses. Anyone can download the Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website.

Microsoft Windows users can open .xps files. This file type is an excellent choice if you don’t want the recipient to be able to edit your document. This format is more secure so it is often used for document archiving. (See the Microsoft website for more information.)

If you share files with OpenOffice users, then select the .odt extension. OpenOffice is a free open-source alternative to Microsoft Office.

When in doubt, ask the recipient which file extension they prefer. That way, you can’t go wrong!

What do you want to do?

Show File Extensions?

Read about docx files?

Convert documents to docx files?

Open docx files?

Open docx files without Word 2007?

Read about docm files?

Open dotx and dotm files?

Convert .docx to .doc?

Convert Word to PDF?