General Question

GD_Kimble's avatar

Why is Vista ".zip"ing all my Word files?

Asked by GD_Kimble (2277points) May 6th, 2008

Just got a new laptop that’s running Vista, and when I try to save/send Word files, they’re coming up as .docx, instead of .doc, and are being automatically compressed. Now nobody that’s getting them can open them, nor can I.
...and they’re files that aren’t nearly large enough to need to be ”.zip“ed. (17 pages of text, for example)
It should be noted that I’m not very tech-savvy

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4 Answers

robmandu's avatar

.docx is not a compression format… that’s the default format for the latest version of Word 2007 (as part of Office 2007).

Your friends are likely running older versions of Word, and hence cannot open that file. Same would be true for .xlsx (Excel), etc.

Use the Save As… dialog and choose a type of “Word 97–2003 document (*.doc)” and then everything should look right to you and your friends.

To permanently set your default save-as type to be plain old ”.doc” like you’re used to, bring up that Save As… dialog again. In the lower left corner, there’s a “Tools” button, click that. Choose “Save Options…” from the pop-up and in the resulting dialog, select your preference for “Save files in this format”.

GD_Kimble's avatar

Sweet. Thanks much.

robmandu's avatar

Been trying to reproduce the part where you say it’s auto-zipping the attachment when you choose to Send > Email in Word… but so far, cannot.

Just spitballing here, but my guess is that the auto-zip is a function of your email client, or perhaps your Zip utility, or maybe even Vista in between.

At least fixing the .docx filetype though should help with your friends though. And the auto-zip is actually a pretty cool default… I always hafta do that manually.

Vincentt's avatar

.docx is a new file format. Basically, it’s XML, which means that, going far into the future, documents are supposed to stay readable as opposed to .doc and previous MSOffice formats, which were just 1’s and 0’s.

Because it consists of quite a few files, and because XML is quite larger than those 1’s and 0’s (when .doc was developed, hard drive space still mattered), these files are compressed into a single archive (like zip files), so it has nothing to do with the size of your document.

The reason Microsoft converted to this new format was because another, open format had been developed called OpenDocument, which includes e.g. .odt files for text documents. Microsoft likes to keep control, however, so because the industry (or actually, governments) called for an XML format like OpenDocument, they developed their own.

This new file format is technically XML, however, it is written very badly. However, it has the label “XML” so governments are happy.

So, bottom line: if you want other people to be able to open it, choose .doc, if you want these documents to be safe, install an OpenDocument plugin for MS Office or install an Office suite like OpenOffice that does supports (among others) OpenDocument.

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