Many Office 2003 users are struggling with to open email attachments created in Office 2007. But this is a way to read the Office 2007 files with Office 2003.

Microsoft provides a file format converter that you can install which will give Office 2003 the ability to open and even save files in the Office 2007 formats. A Knowledge Base article describes the file format converter and the updates you need to install first. The file format converter is called the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Office 2003, Office XP and Office 2000, and can be downloaded. There is also a Mac version of the compatibility pack.

Also available are online services that provide file format conversion from Office 2007 formats to older Office formats as well as the ability to convert the original file to Flash, Shockwave, Open Office, HTML and even PDF format. A web-based service run by a software developer in Norway specializes in converting Word documents. Amother company's tool provides Word, Excel and PowerPoint conversions to a variety of formats.

Yet another web-based service offers an online conversion service for Word documents along with a desktop widget you can download that will connect back to the web-based converter from your desktop. If you choose to install the Microsoft compatibility pack be sure to follow the instructions and update your system with all of the high-priority Windows and Office updates available for your system before you install the file format compatibility pack.

Once the compatibility pack is installed you can read and write, even save your own original files in the new Office 2007 file formats.