PC Doctor December 17, 2009

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 Dear PC Doctor,

    I have a Microsoft Word document from work, that I've tried opening on my home PC. But whenever I try opening the document with my version of Word, I receive an error message. The message says: "You are attempting to open a file that was created in a newer version of Microsoft Office." My version of Word is Microsoft Word 2003, and I'm guessing that the file was saved with a later version than the 2003. Is there anyway I can work around this? Thanks!
Dear Rebecca,
    I believe your assumption is correct; the Word Document that you're trying to open is probably a Microsoft Word 2007 document. The problem is that Word 2007 files are a new file type, a file type that the older Word 2003 doesn't recognize. Word 2003 saves its documents as a .doc file, while Word 2007 utilizes a .docx file type. The reason for this is that Microsoft added and enhanced so many features in the 2007 release. These new features and enhancements do not work in older versions of Word, so they had to differentiate between versions. Thus the new ..docx file type. Fortunately Microsoft realizes that there is still a large user base for Word 2003, and rather then forcing the user to upgrade to Word 2007, they released a software patch for Word 2003. The patch is really easy to obtain and it's free of charge. You can find it online at the following web address: office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/ha100444731033.aspx#1. Simply initiate the download off of Microsoft's website, and wait for it to download. Once it has finished downloading, the patch will automatically install and apply the change to Word 2003. All you need to do is to restart the computer once prompted. And from there you should be good to go; all the settings will have been applied for you. The only downside to this is that the new features of Word 2007 cannot be used in Word 2003, thus the ability to edit 2007 files in Word 2003 is going to be limited. However you should be able to edit most text inside a document without any issues. Good luck!
PC Doctor 
PC Doctor's Tip of the Week: Spilling liquids on your PC
    Spilling one's beverage on their laptop is a dreaded crisis among all laptop users. A simple spill could fry your computer's motherboard, damage hard drive data, and corrode other sensitive internal pieces. What should you do if your laptop falls victim to this catastrophe? 
    First off, immediately cut the power. If the computer is on, turn it off via its power button. Don't bother powering it down via the operating system, that will take to long. Next unplug it from its power cord, and remove the battery. The goal is to cut off electricity before the water shorts the motherboard. 
    If you know how, remove your hard drive. This is to prevent any data loss. Most laptops have a trigger, which if you push, will either pop or release the hard drive. 
    Open your laptop up to its full extent, and lay it face down on a flat surface. 
    Next to expedite the drying process, use a hair dryer. Don't press the drier up against ports or the keyboard, as the heat from the dryer could damage several sensitive components. Simply generating an air flow will speed up the process.
    Finally, do NOT turn the laptop on for several days. Give it a good 3 to 4 days. There are a lot of tiny crevices and nooks that can hold water, and the laptop needs to be totally dry. It doesn't take much to fry your mother board. 
    After 3 - 4 days, plug your battery back-in and try powering the laptop up. If all goes well it should power up without any error messages. If it boots properly, the laptop probably escaped unscathed. Be sure though to test it out. Run some programs, check your documents and files, and restart the computer again. If all doesn't go well, then you should bring it in to a professional so the damage can be assessed. And for next time, keep those beverages at a far distance!
PC Doctor
Until next time… happy computing!