Files Open in Word 2003, but not Word 2000

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 9, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2000 and 2003


Denise reports a situation where her office receives documents from outside sources, and they cannot be opened in Word 2000. They open just fine in Word 2003, but if they try to open them on a Word 2000 system, it just shuts down Word.

Denise's experience is not singular; other readers provided similar tales. Most people reported that the offending documents were more than likely originally created in Word 2003, and some sort of file incompatibility causes the bad reaction in Word 2000. The problem is, Microsoft indicates that Word, in all versions from 2000 through 2003, uses the same document file format. Thus, a document that opens on one system should open on the other.

Despite this assertion, it is hard to argue with experience as a teacher. If there are problems opening the document in Word 2000, but not in Word 2003, then there is something in the document file that is causing a problem. Most people report that they were able to get around any such problem by using some sort of an intermediate conversion program. There are commercial ones on the market (a quick Internet search will locate several), but the simplest way to do a conversion is to load the file in Word 2003 and then save it in RTF format. The file should open just fine in Word 2000, where it can again be saved as a Word document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (282) applies to Microsoft Word 2000 and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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