Solve Backward Compatibility Issues in MS Office

Many firms are caught at the awkward stage when they are in communication and document exchange with others who use a higher version of MS Office.  Sometimes different versions exist within the same office; making teamwork and file sharing a real problem.  In other instances, home office computers sport an older version, making it difficult to work from home.  Are you, or some of your co-workers, having problems opening those newer files with your older version of software?

To open Microsoft Office Word 2007 .docx or .docm files with Microsoft Office Word 2003, Word 2002, or Word 2000, you need to install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats and any necessary Office updates. By using the Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office system, you can open, edit some items, and save Office Word 2007 documents in previous versions of Word.

I assumed that most everyone knew this, until a recent post on the American Bar Association LawTECH listserv reminded me that this wasn’t really common knowledge.  The Compatibility Pack is a free download  which you can get here.

Keep in mind that this is a temporary fix.  It doesn’t mean you can continue to operate indefinitely behind the majority of the computing world.  So if you’re still on the fence about upgrading, you may want to read yesterday’s post entitled “Should You Upgrade from Office 2003?

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