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OFFICE 2010 COMPATIBILITY SOULTIONS


Microsoft has recently released Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows.

Office 2010 shares the same file format as Office 2007 for Windows and Office 2008 for Mac.   However, it is not backward-compatible to Office 2003 for Windows or Office 2004 for Mac.

This document contains instructions for dealing with file incompatibilities. Click on the link that describes your situation.

Windows users:

  • You are an Office 2000 or 2003 for Windows user, and you have received, or expect to receive, documents saved in one of the new Office 2010 or Office 2007 file formats.


  • You are an Office 2007 user, you can send and receive Office 2007, or Office 2010 documents without having to make changes.  Office 2010 uses the same Open XML file format as Office 2007.  The same is true for Office 2008 for the Mac.

  • You are an Office 2010 for Windows user, and you wish to share or send a document to someone who does not use Office 2010 or Office 2007.

Macintosh users:

  • You are an Office 2004 for Mac user, and you have received, or expect to receive, documents saved in one of the new Office 2010 or Office 2007 file formats.

  • You are an Office 2008 for Mac user, and you wish to share or send a document to someone who uses an older version of Office.

  • You are an Office 2008 for Mac user and you wish to share or send a document to someone who uses Office 2007 or Office 2010 for windows.  All three programs use the open XML file format so no changes are needed.



Office 2000 or 2003 for Windows Users

If you are an Office 2000 or 2003 user, and you receive a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document saved in one of the new Office 2007 or Office 2010 file formats, you will not be able to open the file until you install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack.  Installation instructions are provided below.



Installing the Microsoft Compatibility Pack

The conversion software in the Compatibility Pack allows your computer to automatically open, edit, and save Office 2007 or Office 2010 documents just as you would other Office documents. To install the Compatibility Pack:

  1. You must have all High Priority Windows updates installed on your computer before you install the Compatibility Pack. To check your update status:

    1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Tools menu, and select Windows Update.

    2. On the Welcome to Windows Update page, click the Express button to scan your computer for missing updates.

    3. If the scan finds any missing High Priority updates, follow the directions to download and install those updates. When all updates are installed, proceed to step 2.

    4. If the scans finds that your computer is not missing any High Priority updates, proceed to step 2.

  2. To install the Compatibility Pack, click here to go to the Microsoft Download Center website.

  3. On the Download Center page, click on the Download button in the shaded blue area.

  4. Restart your computer to complete the installation and prepare the Compatability Pack for use.

 

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Office 2004 for Mac Users

Microsoft's Open XML File Format Converter for Macs allows Office 2004 for the Mac users to open documents created using Office 2007 or 2010 for Windows and Office 2008 for Mac.


To get started:

  1. Download and run the Microsoft Office Open XML Converter installer.

  2. When the installation is complete, open the Microsoft Office Open XML Converter (in the Applications folder).

To convert one file at a time:

  1. If the document is an email attachment, save it to your desktop.

  2. Locate the .docx file to be converted and drag it into the Converter window.

  3. Once the conversion is complete, the Converter will create an .rtf version of the original file and open the converted file in word.

To convert many files at once:

  1. Select the Convert Many Files icon at the top of the Converter window.

  2. Select the Add icon at the top of the Converter window and navigate to the .docx files you want to convert. Click Open.

  3. When you are done selecting files, click Convert.

  4. Once the conversion is complete, the Converter will create .rtf versions of the original files and open the converted files in word.

If you have problems converting files using the Microsoft Office Open XML Converter, please refer to the "known bugs and issues" published on the VersionTracker release page. The Converter cannot convert Excel 2007 files. If you are having problems converting files on a network drive or flash drive, try copying them to your desktop and convert them from there.

Office 2008 for the Mac is scheduled for release in early 2008. This latest version of the Office suite for the Mac will use the Office Open XML formats natively, making it compatible with Office 2007. See an article in MacWorld about the release here.

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Office 2010 for Windows Users


If you REGULARLY send or share files with someone who uses Office 2000-2003 for Windows or Office 2004 for Mac, you should change the default "Save" format for all the documents you create in Office 2007 or Office 2010. Here's the procedure for Word:
  1. Open Word 2010.

  2. Click on the File tab then select Options from the menu.


  3. In the Options list on the left, click on Save.

  4. In the Save documents area, use the drop-down menu to change the Save files in this format setting to:   Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)

Follow the same steps above to change the Save files in this format setting in Excel and PowerPoint.



If you RARELY send or share files with someone who uses Office 2000, 2003, or 2004 for Mac, you can save a copy of your documents in an earlier format as needed.  Here's the procedure for a Word document:

  1. Open your original Word 2010 file.

  2. Click on the File tab, and select Save As.

  3. Change the Save as type setting to: Word 97-2003 Document


Follow the same steps above to create shareable versions of your Excel and PowerPoint documents.


Using the Office 2010 Compatibility Checker

When you use certain new features in the Office 2010 programs, a Compatibility Checker window will open if any of your changes have made your document incompatible with earlier versions of Office.

In the example below, a Word 2010 user has used the new "SmartArt" feature to create a graphic. The Compatability Checker is informing the user that saving the document now will convert the graphic into an object that cannot be edited using previous versions of Word. 

The user has the option to click Cancel if they don't want to lose compatibility with earlier versions of Word, or Continue if they aren't concerned about this.



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Office 2008 for Mac Users

If you are an Office 2008 user, you will want to review these instructions for saving files that are compatible with older versions of Office.

How to change your default Save As format
Save a document in an earlier Office format
Using the Office 2008 Compatibility Checker



Change the Default Save As Format in Office 2008

If you REGULARLY send or share files with someone who users Office 2004 for Mac or Office 2003 for Windows, you should change the default "Save" format for all documents that you create in Office 2008.

  1. Open Word 2008.

  2. Click on the Word menu and choose Preferences.

  3. In the Word Preferences window, click on the Save icon.

  4. Change the Save Word files as dropdown to Word 97-2004 Document (.doc).

    select file type

  5. Click OK.

Follow the same steps above to change the Save files as setting in Excel and PowerPoint.



Save a Document in and Earlier Office Format

If you OCCASIONALLY send or share files with someone who uses Office 2004 for Mac or Office 2003 for Windows, you can save a copy of your document in an earlier format.

  1. Open your original Word 2008 document.

  2. Click on the File menu and choose Save As.

  3. Change the Format to: Word 97-2004 Document (.doc).

    format save as

Follow the same steps to create backwards-compatible versions of your Excel and PowerPoint documents.



Using the Office Compatibility Checker

When you save a document in Word 97-2004 (.doc) format, Office 2008 can check that you have not included any elemnts in your document that are incompatible with the earlier version.

To check the compatibility of your document:

  1. Click on the View menu then choose Comaptibility Report.

  2. From the Check Compatbility with dropdown menu, choose Word 97 - 2008.

  3. Word will quickly check your document for compatibility issues and display them in this window.

    compatibility report
    In the example above, this document may not look the same in an older version of Office.

  4. To view an explanation of the compatiblity problem and view occurances of the issue, click on the result. You can use the Fix and Ignore buttons to resolve the compatibility issues.

Follow the same steps above to check the compatibility of a document in Excel and PowerPoint.

To check the compatibility of your document from the Save As window:

  1. Open your original Word 2008 document.

  2. Click on the File menu and choose Save As.

  3. Select Word 97-2004 Document (.doc) Format.

  4. Click on the Compatibilty Report button.

  5. If Word detects a problem with your document, you will see the following message:



  6. Click OK to review the compatibility issues, and click Continue Saving to ignore them.

  7. If you click OK, the Compatibility Report will open in a floating window (often on the right-side of the screen).


 

 


Copyright © 2008 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Stoddard Hall 12  |  Northampton, MA 01063
413.585.3770  |  Questions or comments?  Send us email.  |   Last updated May 6, 2010


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