Solve your Word 2003/2007 compatibility issues

Microsoft changed Word's format with version 2007

George needs advice about document compatibility between Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007

Microsoft changed Word's format with version 2007, adding new features that some people find useful. But in doing so, they broke compatibility with an industry-wide standard.

Fortunately, the company also changed the suffix, calling the 2007 files .docx instead of the traditional .doc. That way, people can at least see which is which.

I've got two solutions: One for those using Office 2007, and the other for Word 2000, 2002, or 2003 users.

If you're using Word 2007, you can still save your files as .doc files so that anyone can read them. To save an individual file this way, in the Save As dialog box's 'Save as type' pull-down menu, select Word 97-2003 Document.

Better yet, make it the default so that you don't have to worry about it: Click the Office orb in the top-left corner, then select Word Options. In left pane, click Save. In right pane, for 'Save files in this format,' select Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc). Click OK.

If you're using Word 2000, 2002, or 2003, download and install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats.

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Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
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