Word 2007 Files Not Compatible

Hi Computer Lady.

I’ve been enjoying your newsletter for some time now and have a question.

I have Word 2007 on my new Del laptop and Word 2003 on my Dell XPS 400 desktop.
Documents from the laptop will not print when I copy them to my desktop computer. How can I make them compatible?
Thank you, Harry

Dear Harry,

The problem you are having stems from the fact that Word 2007 saves files in a new, .docx format that the older, 2003 version cannot read.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to your problem.

When you save a document on your laptop, follow these directions:

1. Click on the Office Orb in the upper left-hand corner of Word 2007.
2. In the menu, point to “Save As”. You will see a menu with 6 options.
3. Click on the option that says, “Word 97-2003 document”. This will save the file in the older .doc format.

If you want to save all your documents in the older format, you can change a setting in Word 2007 so that it will automatically save documents in the 2003 format. Here is how:

1. Open Microsoft Word 2007.
2. Click on the Office Orb in the upper left-hand corner of the window.
3. Click on “Word Options” at the bottom of the menu.
4. In the Word Options dialog box, click on “Save” in the left-hand column.
5. Under “Save documents” the first item says, “Save files in this format:”
6. Click on the drop down list, and click to select “Word 97-2003 Document(*.doc)”
7. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box to save your changes and close the window.

After making this change, all you have to do is save your documents the normal way, and they will automatically be in the older, .doc format.


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    • ron007
    • February 25, 2010

    Granted, it is easier if you pick one format or the other, that may not be possible. Personally I still use DOC format except for large documents or documents with images to take advantage of the file compression that is part of the DOCX format.

    There is another option that I prefer. MS provides a “Compatibility Pack” for Office. It installs in Office 2000, 2002 and 2003 and provides read and write/save access to the new X format files.

    With this enhancement installed you can use the older versions to create DOCX files that are readable by 2007.

    The MS page is:

    It also works with the older Viewer applications to allow them to read the newer format files.

    • cebrogers
    • February 26, 2010

    Another option would be to install the File Format Converter on the desktop system to be able to read and edit the Office files from the laptop. It’s a free download from Microsoft and I have had success with using it: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en

    If the link doesn’t work, just type Convert Office 2007 files in most any search engine. Go to the link on Microsoft’s page to be safe.

    • zlatan24
    • November 11, 2010

    I have many close familiars, who use MS Word, but once I by chance observed a tool, which was interested for me. And to my great surprise the software resolved my old issues simply just like would help in this problem to my mind – repair word.

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