updated 02:20 pm EDT, Tue July 31, 2007
MacBU ships new OOXML tool
The Microsoft Mac Business Unit has released a new beta edition of the Office Open XML converter for Mac OS X, which can translate Office 2007 for Windows documents to a format that is compatible with Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Office v. X for Mac. The tool can perform conversion on a per-document basis, or do batch conversions. This new release improves translation of Word documents that contain XML content, inline graphics, hyperlinked graphics, WMF/EMF graphics, SmartArt graphics, tracked changes in the document header and footer, Unicode characters, and Japanese Rubi fields. In addition, this version succeeds when converting Word documents that contain bibliography fields, citation fields, and complex tables. Version 0.2 beta of the Office Open XML converter is available as a 21MB download.
As noted by the MacBU, this is a beta release, and might be unable to convert all the data in Office Open XML files. The company recommends: "After you convert a file, you should review the file carefully to make sure that it contains all of the information that you expect." Also, you must use Office 2004 11.3.4 or later, or Office v. X 10.1.9 or later to open converted documents.
The translator can convert the following document types: Word Document (*.docx), Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm), PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx), PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx) and PowerPoint Template (*.potx). We previously noted that the Mac BU plans to ship an updated version of the conversion tool that will allow "editable access to VBA macros sent from Office 2007 users," though that functionality does not appear to be included in this release.