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Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows is a major upgrade to the Office software suite, with many new features and many changes. As ITS gradually rolls out Office 2007 to staff and faculty over the coming year you will be able to upgrade to Office 2007. This document provides information that will help you make the transition.

What are the options for Office 2003 users?
Compatability issues for users who upgrade to Office 2007
Compatibility issues for users who don't upgrade to Office 2007

Office 2007 Training
On-line tutorials and guides 

Upgrade Options for Office 2003 Users

  1. Upgrade automatically when you receive a new computer. Faculty and staff scheduled to receive a new Windows computer from ITS will automatically get a Dell model (Optiplex 755 desktop or Latitude D630 laptop) with Office 2007 pre-installed.

    Note that Office 2007 includes Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Publisher 2007. We are not upgrading to Access 2007 at this time.

  2. Upgrade any time with a qualified computer. Faculty and staff who already have an Optiplex GX620 or higher, or a Latitude D620 or higher, can upgrade to Office 2007 at any time. (Faculty should plan to upgrade before September 2008.)

    With Office 2007 installed, you'll be able to take advantage of all its new features and open documents created in older versions of Office as well as Office 2007. However, depending on your typical workflow, you may encounter some compatibility issues. See the Office 2007 compatibility section below to learn more.

    When you're ready to upgrade, please see the Office 2007 installation instructions here.

  3. Defer upgrading. If you decide to continue using Office 2003 instead of upgrading to Office 2007, note that you are highly likely to receive files created in Office 2007 from your colleagues or students.

    In order to open, read, edit, or save these files, you must have the Microsoft Office Compatibilty Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed on your computer. For more information, please see the Office 2003 compatibility section below.

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Compatibility Issues for Users Who Upgrade to Office 2007

If you upgrade to Office 2007, you may encounter problems with:
  • Sharing files with Macintosh users or Windows users with older versions of Office. Office 2007 files use a new XML file format, and files saved in this format cannot be opened directly by previous versions of Office for Windows or Macintosh.

    The solution is to either change your default Save As file type to Office 97-2003 format, or get in the habit of saving individual documents in Office 97-2003 format if you will be sharing them with other users.

  • Saving files for classroom or auditorium presentations.  Since classroom computers currently have Office 2003, be sure to save your files in Office 97-2003 format to ensure they will open properly.  At the end of the SSW summer session, all Windows computers in campus classrooms and computer centers will be upgraded to Office 2007.

  • Sharing Access databases. Access 2007 can read and write Access XP and 2003 .mdb files. However, earlier versions of Access cannot read the new Access 2007 format. If a database file is converted to or saved in Access 2007, it cannot be opened with the previous version.

    Note: Access 2007 is not included in the standard install.

  • Using the Equation Editor. The Equation Editor in Word 2007 is more intuitive and easy to use.  However, a file created in the new format, then saved in the old format, the equation objects will be saved as an image that you will not be able to edit.

  • Using your old macros.  Office 2007 can run macros embedded in existing Office documents and templates.  The suite still includes the Visual Baisc for Applications (VBA) programming.  However, changes in the Office 2007 interface will hide some existing macros.  Since Office 2007 replaced most menus and toolbars with the Ribbon, custom menus and toolbars that have macros have no place to go.  Instead, these features will end up in the "Add-Ins" tab on the Office 2007 ribbon. 

  • Refworks and Endnote users.  RefWork user must install the new Write-N-Cite III from Refworks to work with Office 2007. 

    Endnote X and X1 are compatibile with Office 2007. Click here for more information.

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Compatibility Issues for Office 2003 Users

If you decide not to upgrade to Office 2007, note that you are still highly likely to receive files created in Office 2007 from your colleagues or students.

To avoid problems with opening, reading, editing, or saving any Office 2007 files you receive, you must install the Microsoft Office Compatibilty Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Compatibility Pack installation instructions, along with a discussion of other important compatibility issues that may affect Office 2003 users, especially faculty, are provided on the Compatibility Issues web page.

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On-Line Tutorials and Guides

Office 2007 has a new user interface that is much different from previous versions. Instead of presenting options in traditional menus, the new interface groups related functions under separate tabs, each with its own "Ribbon" toolbar. Users can choose to hide the Ribbon or keep it visible while they work. Many options are also available in easily-accessible pop-up menus.

If you'd like to explore the Ribbon and other features of the new user interface, we recommend the following on-line demos and tutorials provided by Microsoft: 

Word 2007 tutorials

Excel 2007 tutorials

PowerPoint 2007 tutorials

Microsoft has also created interactive guides to help you quickly learn where to find menu options, buttons, and other interface elements that are not in the same location as in Office 2003.

Word 2007 guide

Excel 2007 guide

PowerPoint 2007 guide

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 |  Last updated January 10, 2013

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