Windows 7 Beta and .docx

I’d heard that, as a default feature, the public beta release of Windows 7 supported the loading and editing of files saved in the docx format, so I thought I would give that a go.

In order to perform this evaluation, I took a couple of existing Word documents that I had, and I let Microsoft Word save them as docx, and then loaded them into Windows 7.

In fact, I actually took a couple of files that had been saved in Word’s doc format on my Mac, moved them to a PC and loaded them in Word 2007, checked the formatting, and then I saved that version of the document in docx format.

In saving as docx, Word presents you as with an option to save the file and preserve all formatting; this option was selected.

I then went to a Windows 7 Beta system, used Windows Explorer to navigate to the file in question, and then double-clicked on the filename, whereupon Windows 7 loaded the file.

While it satisfactorily loaded and read the file’s contents, I was disappointed to see that not all of the formatting had been preserved: line breaks and tabs had been misplaced, leading to a document that only somewhat resembled what I had started with.

Document as viewed in MS Word

Document as seen in MS Word

Document as seen in Windows 7

Document as seen in Windows 7

I accept and understand that this is just a beta version of the software, but even so, one has an expectation that when one nominates to retain existing formatting, that request is expected.

So this would seem to me to be one small area where the Microsoft development team needs to focus a little more attention.