Hello there,

I am looking for a solution to generate pre-2007 office files on the server (using .NET / ASP.NET) without having office installed. I looked into the option of generating open XML documents and then converting them back to older formats using Compatibility Pack, but it appears that Compatibility Pack requires Office (the documentation is sort of hazy about it). So this one is not an option. Plus, there are tools that allow to generate Word and Excel tools, but could not find anything like that for Powerpoint files.

Are there any other possibilities or should I ditch the idea and force the open XML format Any comments are appreciated.


Re: Visual Studio Tools for Office Working with older Office formats

Cindy Meister

There really aren't any options for this, on a wide scale. Traditionally, Office files have been proprietary, binary file formats.

For Word, you have the option of writing the file in RTF format; that will be recognized back to the 97 version. WordProcessingML can be opened by Word 2003.

Formatted Excel tables can be generated in the Excel XML format that was introduced for Excel 2002 and opened with Excel 2002 and later. Unformatted tables can be created as delimited text files.

There is no alternative for PowerPoint.

The Compatibility pack does require Office. It will be installed automatically by Office update for versions 2002 - 2003. It can be installed by the user for Office 2000, but that's as far back as it goes. You can generate the files in Open XML file format as long as you can rely on the user who opens them having the Compatibility pack installed.