Even though we don’t generally write about Microsoft Office 2007, we have received many e-mails from people asking us different things about it. One of the most common questions is: ‘why Microsoft Office 2007 files cannot be opened by Microsoft Office 2003 or XP?’. That’s because this version uses a new file format called Office Open XML. This new format offers a series of advantages, including a smaller file size compared to the format used by the old versions of Microsoft Office. All Microsoft Office 2007 file extensions have an ”x” at the end: ‘.doc’ is now ‘.docx’, ‘.xls ‘is now ‘.xlsx’, etc. By default, older versions of Microsoft Office cannot open files created with version 2007.
However, there are ways to save files created in Microsoft Office 2007 using the old formats. In this article we will describe them for you.
In Office 2007, all configuration menus can be accessed by clicking on the Office Button show in the screenshot below.
You have two options: you can save an individual document using the old Microsoft Word format (‘.doc’) or you can configure Word 2007 to save all documents by default using the old format.
To save only a document using the old format, click on the Office Button, go to Save As and choose Word 97-2003 Document.
In order to have all documents saved by default using the old format, click on the Office Button and then on Word Options.
In the Word Options window, go to the Save section. Here you have a ‘Save files in this format’ drop-down list. From the list of available formats, select ‘Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)’ and click on OK.
The same goes for Excel: click on the Office Button, go to Save As and choose Excel 97-2003 Workbook. If you want to permanently use the old format, click on the Office Button and then on Excel Options.
In the Excel Options window, go to the Save section. From the ‘Save files in this format’ drop-down list, select ‘Excel 97-2003 Workbook’ and click on OK.
The same steps can be followed also for PowerPoint 2007 in order to save files using the older ‘.ppt’ format. This all there is to it!