Use Word 2007 to open documents created in previous versions of Word

When you open a document in Microsoft Office Word 2007 that was created in Microsoft Office Word 2003, Word 2002, or Word 2000, Compatibility Mode is turned on, and you see Compatibility Mode in the title bar of the document window. Compatibility Mode ensures that no new or enhanced features in Office Word 2007 are available while you are working with a document, so that people who are using previous versions of Word will have full editing capabilities.

You can work in Compatibility Mode or you can convert your document to the Office Word 2007 file format. Converting your document allows you to access the new and enhanced features in Office Word 2007. However, people who are using previous versions of Word may be prevented from or have difficulty editing certain portions of the document that were created by using new or enhanced features in Office Word 2007.

Work in Compatibility Mode

When you open a Word 97–2003 document in Office Word 2007, Compatibility Mode is turned on, and you see Compatibility Mode in the title bar of the document window. In Compatibility Mode, you can open, edit, and save Word 97–2003 documents but you won’t be able to use any of the new Office Word 2007 features.

Document elements that behave differently in Compatibility Mode

The following elements will be permanently changed when you are working in Compatibility Mode, and you cannot convert them to Office Word 2007 elements even if you convert your document later.

Office Word 2007 element

Behavior in Compatibility Mode

Heading and body fonts

Converted to static formatting.

Relative text boxes

Converted to absolute positions.

Margins

Converted to absolute tabs.

Bibliography

Converted to static text.

Citations

Converted to static text.

Placeholder text in citations

Converted to static text.

Placeholder text in content controls

Converted to static text.

Themes

Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using themes.

Theme colors

Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using theme colors.

Theme fonts

Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using theme fonts.

Theme effects

Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using theme effects.

Content controls

Permanently converted to static text.

The following document elements will be changed when you are working in Compatibility Mode, but you can convert them to Office Word 2007 elements if you convert your document later.

Office Word 2007 element

Behavior in Compatibility Mode

Office Art

Only a limited set of diagram types is available..

Diagrams

Converted to images that cannot be edited.

Equations

Become graphics and cannot be changed.

 

Convert a document to Office Word 2007

1.     Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Convert.

2.     In the Microsoft Office Word dialog box, click OK.

3.     Do one of the following:

§  To replace the original file with a file in the Office Word 2007 file format, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save.

§  To save the original document in its original file format and create another document in the Office Word 2007 file format, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Save As, and then type a new name for the file.

This text is adapted from Help Section of MS Word 2007.

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