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Project Description

This tool is a standalone tool that will allow users to extract all embedded Open XML Format objects from a document as standalone Open XML Format files that can be opened and edited.

With the release of Office 2007 came the introduction of new default file formats, called Office Open XML Formats, for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. By default, these new file formats are not backwards compatible, meaning older versions of Office cannot open, edit or create the Office Open XML Formats. To solve these compatibility issues, Microsoft released the Office Compatibility Pack, which when installed would allow users using older versions of Office to open, edit and create Office Open XML Formats.

Unfortunately, the Compatibility Pack does have limitations. One major limitation is that the Compatibility Pack is unable to open and view embedded Office Open XML objects. Users who attempt to open an embedded Office Open XML using older versions of Office will be unable to do so and will receive a generic failure error. As mentioned in the following KB article,, there is no work around these users can perform without opening these files in Office 2007.

This tool provides a workaround for those users who run into this issue in older versions of Office.

How to install the standalone tool

N/A. To use the standalone tool run Extractor.exe.
Note: .Net Framework 3.0 is needed for the tool to work properly

How to deploy the standalone tool to multiple computers

To deploy the standalone tool to multiple computers, distribute the executable to the needed computers. You also need to install .Net Framework 3.0 on all needed computers.

How to use the standalone tool to extract embedded 2007 Office Open XML documents

  1. Run Extractor.exe
  2. Invoke the Load command in the extractor tool and select one Office Open XML document
    1. If the document loaded contains any embedded Office Open XML objects then you will a list of those embedded objects and the Extract command will be enabled
    2. If the document loaded does not contain any embedded Office Open XML object then no list will be shown and the Extract command will remain disabled
  3. Invoke the Extract command in the extractor tool to extract and save all embedded Office Open XML objects to the same directory of the loaded file
You may now go to the extracted files that you saved in step 3 and open them individually in Word, Excel or PowerPoint 2003 using the Compatibility Pack.

Supported loaded Office Open XML Formats

The standalone tool will be able to extract embedded objects from the following file types:
  • The following Word Office Open XML Formats:
    • docx, docm
  • The following Excel Office Open XML Formats:
    • xlsx, xlsxm
  • The following PowerPoint Office Open XML Formats:
    • pptx, pptm

Supported embedded Office Open XML Format Objects

The standalone tool will support extracting the following types of embedded objects:
  • Word Document (*.docx)
  • Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)
  • Excel Workbook (*.xlsx)
  • Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook (*.xlsm)
  • Excel Binary Workbook (*.xlsb)
  • PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)
  • PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation (*.pptm)

Known Issues with the standalone tool

Unable to extract 2007 Open XML objects in documents created in Office 2000-2003
If you create a document in Office 2000-2003 and then add an Office 2007 Open XML object to the document, you will be unable to extract the Office 2007 Open XML object using this standalone tool.

Last edited Nov 28, 2007 at 7:06 PM by zeyadrajabi, version 6