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MS Word 2007 Is Not Compatible With Earlier Versions - A Lesson I Learned The Hard Way

by Yvonne Russell on January 25th, 2008

Recently I had a rush writing job. I had to send out important MS Word documents with a tight deadline. I met the deadline okay, but I still struck a problem. The other parties quickly emailed back to say they couldn’t open the file? Why?

I’d forgotten that I have the latest (2007) version of Microsoft Word, and some people have the previous version. I learned the hard way that I needed to save it as a MS Word 1997-2003 file, so it would be compatible. I can open earlier version files, but it doesn’t work the other way around.

This tip may save both you and those you deal with some angst and frustration. It’s best to ask which version of Microsoft Word they use before sending the file.

When you use something every day it’s easy to forget about compatibility, but lessons learned the hard way are often those best remembered.

Tags: Microsoft-Word-2007-Compatibility

POSTED IN: Technology

7 opinions for MS Word 2007 Is Not Compatible With Earlier Versions - A Lesson I Learned The Hard Way

  • Hope Wilbanks
    Jan 25, 2008 at 5:46 am

    The same thing happened to me when I first got my new laptop. Now I make it a habit to save everything I do for clients as a rich text file or a downward compatible version of Word. :)

  • Yvonne Russell
    Jan 25, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Hi Hope
    This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way… the type we best remember. :)

  • Mary Emma Allen
    Jan 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Good point, Yvonne. You’ll also find that some editors won’t accept attachments. I send one weekly newspaper column to editors by cutting and pasting into the e-mail message.

  • Mary Emma Allen
    Jan 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks, Hope, for stopping by and sharing your experience. I think we know one another from a writers’ list, don’t we?

  • Lillie Ammann
    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    This happened to me in reverse. Before I got Word 2007, a client sent me a document to edit. I couldn’t open the file because it was the newer version. There is something you can download from Microsoft that lets you open Word 2007 in earlier versions of Word then save to the earlier version, which is what I did since I didn’t want to inconvenience the client. However, now that I have 2007, I always save client files in the earlier format.

  • Yvonne Russell
    Jan 27, 2008 at 5:00 am

    Mary Emma
    That’s a good reminder about attachments. It definitely pays to follow the client’s specifications for how they like to receive files.

  • Yvonne Russell
    Jan 27, 2008 at 5:01 am

    Hi Lillie
    Good to know it can work both ways. I always ask now just to be sure. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips.

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