Configure Microsoft Office 2007 to Save Files Using the Old Office 97-2003 Format

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Having trouble opening an Office 2007 file in Office XP or Office 2003? Or maybe you have Office 2007, but always need to save files in an older to share them with others. There are two simple methods to solve this problem.

One way is to have everyone who has the older versions of Office install the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. The second method is for the person with Office 2007 to save all the files in the older 2003/XP format.

We'll go through the steps on how to change Office 2007 so that all files are saved in the older format by default instead of the new XML format.

In Office 2007, all configuration menus can be accessed by clicking on the Office Button show in the screenshot below.

Microsoft Office 2007

Word 2007

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.

Microsoft Office 2007

In order to have all documents saved by default using the old format, click on the Office Button and then on Word Options.

Microsoft Office 2007

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.

Microsoft Office 2007

Excel 2007

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.

Microsoft Office 2007

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.

Microsoft Office 2007

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!

LAST UPDATED 8/26/2008