Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Are You Meeting Your Prospective Clients' Needs?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

March 3, 2010

Comments (21)

Typewriter beside a MacBook ProAre you keeping up with the Joneses?

Missing out on opportunities because of something as basic as a software upgrade?

Prospective customers are valuable and it would be foolish to pass up opportunities... but if this is true, why do so many people do it?

Find out how being proactive now could benefit you in the future in today's VOX Daily.

Is Your Technology Advancing to Meet Client Needs?

Have you ever come across a request from a client that you are incapable of fulfilling simply based upon technical requirements? You may find that although the voice is willing, your technological capabilities are weak!

As we know technologies are constantly evolving. There's always something bigger, faster, more robust or easier to use. This is true in any field and is particularly true with regard to digital products.

Whether it be something minor or major, if at the end of the day you can't deliver, you won't get the gig.

How To Remain Competitive

Some clients will deliver scripts in newer file formats or require their audio sent to them in various bit rates and file formats. To meet the needs of today's client, you have to be quick on your technological toes and have the most recent versions of the most popular software packages used in our industry... that, or know a good workaround!

Many software updates are free and those that aren't are comparatively small investments that you can and should make if you want to service people who have already adopted newer technologies.

The Customer Is Always Right... Right?

If the customer is always right, should you question their choice of file format?

Even further down that road, is it appropriate to ask a client to accommodate you for not being able to meet their technological requirements?

Some talent have communicated so much through their written proposals to clients mainly due to the fact that they were unable to open .docx files that accompany some auditions posted at Voices.com.

To provide some perspective the .docx file format was introduced in 2007.

An example of what I'm talking about could include "Hi Client, I can't open your script as a .docx file and hope that you will send it to me in another format so that I can send you my audition."

Not only is that a wasted opportunity (you can only reply once to a given audition), it's an outright declaration that you can't meet their needs!

Why sour a relationship right off the bat by giving the impression that you can't meet their needs? Find a workaround or solution to the issue and then respond.

Workaround For How To Open a .docx File

Not to leave you hanging, here is a published solution from Voices.com's Frequently Asked Question Knowledge Base on how to open a .docx file without needing to have the most recent version of Microsoft Office.

What is a .docx File?

Microsoft introduced the .docx file format in its new Office and Word applications and wants it to replace the commonly used .doc format. Many clients using this new software are uploading scripts in the .docx format.

For PC Users

In order to open the script you will need to install the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. By using the Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office system, you can open, edit, and save Office Word 2007 documents in previous versions of Word.

To convert .docx documents to .doc format, all you need to do is download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en

FireFox users should be able to open the file as is and the conversion software will do all the work.

If you use Internet Explorer and still get a download link for a zip file, try using FireFox instead.

For MAC users:

Mac users can open these files with Pages, the Apple word processing software included in iWork. There is no need to download the Microsoft conversion app, and no need to own Microsoft Word. Simply download the file from Voices.com. It will look "like computer garble" and will be unreadable. Do not be alarmed. Save it. Note the file name and the location. Open the save file with Pages. It will appear perfectly intact, formatted etc.

If you are on MAC, you can get the Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/results.aspx?pocId=5&freetext=docx&DisplayLang=en

This converts .docx to rtf (rich text format) files which can be viewed in Office for Mac and other Mac word processors.

For Internet Explorer browser users:

Scripts having an extension of .docx on Voices.com will need to be opened the following way after you have the compatibility pack installed.

1. Download the script file. It will save as a .zip file to your desktop.
2. Click to open the zip file and click on the folder called Word
3. Click and drag the "document" to your desktop
4. Return to your desktop and then right click on the "document" and select Open With....Word
5. Make sure you save the file in your current version of Word as a .doc file.

Note there may be some formatting issues. We suggest using FireFox to avoid all of this.

Other Solutions as Provided by Voices.com Members:

For Office 2007 users having problems:

When the .docx file is downloaded it comes out as a .zip file. This only occurs for users of Internet Explorer, not FireFox.

1. Once it is downloaded, if I just rename the .zip to .docx it can be opened with Word 2007 with no problems.

2. To have Word show up in the 'Open with'... dialog box as on option .. on a right click, you must have loaded Word and used Open .. list all files types *.* and actually have opened a .zip file a at prior time. Otherwise the option 'Open with Word' does not display as an option it only displays 'Open with Internet Explorer.'

3. Download OpenOffice - Just upload the latest version of OPENOFFICE. Google for the sites. ALL FREE.

* If none of these options work for you please contact your computer manufacturer to be provided with step by step instructions on opening these file types. The issue you are experiencing is a configuration issue that Voices.com cannot assist you with and we apologize. *

What To Do if Your Technology is Found to be Inadequate

If you want the job, it's your responsibility as a professional to find workarounds or acquire the proper solution in order to meet a client's needs. We're doing the best we can to make the job posting process easy for clients who want to hire you... all you need to do is be prepared and meet their expectations!

Get The Business!

The solution is simple: do what the client asks and follow their instructions. If you want to book the job but need to find a workaround, find one! This is all within your control.

Just as you continue to study voice acting techniques and styles to further develop your talent, your business needs to be on top of basic technologies that are being used to serve customers in our industry.

Do you have any software or technical workarounds that you'd like to share that are pertinent to voice overs?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

P.S. If you found the .docx workaround to be helpful, you can thank Laurynda!

©iStockphoto.com/FreezeFrameStudio

Related Topics: .docx, Apple, auditions, clients, Google, how to, industry, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, scripts, Technology, Voices.com, work


Comments


    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for posting this valuable information on the Blog so that it reaches more of our users.

    Laurynda Pasma
    Product Manager

    Posted by:

      Honestly, I've never encountered problems opening documents, except those that are clearly some sort of bizarre file type (those do come along every so often).
      I have Office 2010 (which, by the way, you can download and use for free right now through October as part of MS's beta test), and that seems to cover all types of documents. When saving a file, I always make sure to save it as a .doc and .docx, just in case the client isn't .docx capable.
      Anyway, just my two cents! :)

      Posted by:

        Right on! And I'm so glad you're hitting on this, because all of the right gear in the world won't help if you give the client more steps in hiring you...before they're even a client! They will have checked out within 5 seconds, no matter how good you sound. There's just so many elements involved in our craft, and this is a really basic, but IMPORTANT one.

        Dana

        Posted by:

          Because my computer did NOT respond well to the patch you mentioned Stephanie, and I am not ready to purchase a new computer, I found another work around and downloaded the free Microsoft Word Viewer. I can then download the docx file, open it and copy the document to my desktop, right-click then "opens with" and select Microsoft Word Viewer.
          Hope this helps somebody else with a similar "older" (ha- only 3 years old) computer .
          Best,
          Bobbin Beam

          Posted by:

            A free Google Docs account will also open docx files.
            And on my Mac, I have never downloaded any converters, and can open docx files with Textedit as well.

            Posted by:

              Although quite rare, I have had to pass on jobs that asked for a phone patch capability. It's just one of those things I haven't got around to sorting out yet. Did I read somewhere that Skype might provide a workaround for this? I'm in the UK. Does that make a difference to the equipment I need? And - where can I read a beginner's guide for setting it up?

              Peter Stern.

              Posted by:

                Sorry Stephanie-I cannot open .docx format and always ask the client to please resend in a .doc format. I have not lost any work due to this. I feel that a professional voice over artist must be able to deliver the audio in any acceptable format. But as for .docx. I refuse. I ask them to simply past the copy into the body of the email if they cannot do .doc.

                Posted by:

                  Hi Randy,

                  that may work in some instances depending on how the work comes your way, but if it's through the voice over marketplace, it may not happen as such. Thanks for sharing! I'm sure there are other clients who will accommodate talent they chose to work with, however, if it is an audition situation online that would not likely be the case.

                  Best,

                  Stephanie

                  Posted by:

                    I think it's the battle of Mac vs. PC. Talent should be using a Mac and the buyers are almost always going to be PC. but .docx is the bane!! LOL.

                    Posted by:

                      I'm on a PC, and I too have issues with .docx, so you're not alone Randy. :) I can open them, sometimes, but cannot open them when they're attached voices.com.

                      Posted by:

                        You beat me to it Bobbin, I was just going to say that.

                        Posted by:

                          I sent a docx invoice once. The client said they couldn't open it. I was more than happy to resend the invoice as a doc file because I like getting paid. Now I send all my invoices in doc to avoid delays. Everyone can open docs :)

                          Posted by:

                            Another option: http://www.OpenOffice.org. Cross-platform office suite, and it opens .docx files just fine. This option is completely free.

                            Justin

                            Posted by:


                              I struggled with the docx problems months ago, but finally downloaded the patch and VOILA! It worked fine (thanks Firefox---my ONLY browser!)
                              Thanks to Laurynda & Stephanie for posting this!

                              Posted by:

                                Hello Stephanie,

                                Thank you so much. Very helpful.

                                Respectfully,

                                Linwood Powell

                                Posted by:
                                • Linwood Powell
                                • March 4, 2010 1:44 PM

                                  Thanks Laurynda. I have run into the that problem, got some help from my son, but NOW have downloaded the updates per the recommendation. Good to go, and thanks again for the heads-up!

                                  David

                                  Posted by:
                                  • David Overly
                                  • March 4, 2010 1:44 PM

                                    Wonderful posting Stephanie. Thanks to you and Laurynda!
                                    Stacey.

                                    Posted by:

                                      Hi Stephanie,
                                      I remember doing the "live chat" thing with Laurynda or whomever was on those days, saying I couldn't open the .docX. So finally I got smart and bought the upgrade. Now, no more problems! Come on, people, you've got to keep up with the industry standards. You're investing in YOURSELF. Each upgrade leaves me kicking and screaming because I have to learn new technology (the latest was Windows 7, and finding replacements for all of the programs that no longer work!!). But for PC users, I believe this will become the new industry standard because it works well (once you get the hang of it). Okay, gotta run--I'm trying to set up my new VCR/DVD player after the old one was hit by lightning! It never ends.....

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Robin Rowan
                                      • March 11, 2010 2:26 PM

                                        I have Vista and can open .docx extentions anytime, but these .xml files (even after unzipping and extention change to .docx and .doc) were not addressed when I asked for help, until I looked at this comments page. The document opens when I use Firefox, no problem. Thanks for that suggestion.

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Rachel Wullenweber
                                        • June 4, 2010 8:01 PM

                                          New PC - WIN 7 Pro... new Office 2010, includes WORD. Will not open docx on Voices. I hesitate to load that compatibility pack as it seems to be for those without 2010 programs, rather than for those who do.

                                          Posted by:
                                          • Robert Wood
                                          • March 8, 2011 1:39 PM

                                            This is for PC users with Word 2010 and Internet Explorer. For whatever reason, the *.docx file downloads as a zip file. The fix is easy - save the file to your desktop and delete "_.zip" from the file name. Example: Download Script_Revision.11_.docx_.docx downloads to my desktop as Download Script_Revision.11_.docx_.zip. Delete the "_.zip", double click on the file and you are ready to go.

                                            Posted by:
                                            • John McCool Bowers
                                            • April 8, 2011 3:03 PM

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