Opening Word 2007 Files in Older Versions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 14, 2017)

John prepared a document in Word 2007 and saved it on a memory stick. He uses Word 97 on his home system and wonders if there is any way he can convert the document so he can use it at home.

With the introduction of Word 2007, Microsoft changed the default file format used for Word documents. This format relies upon a variation of XML, and documents saved in this format have the DOCX filename extension.

One obvious solution is to open the file, again, on a Word 2007 system, and then save it using the format understood by Word 97. To do this, just press F12, which displays the Save As dialog box. At the bottom of the dialog box, choose Word 97-2003 Document in the Save As Type drop-down list.

Another option is to install the file filters in Word 97 that allow you to open and use DOCX files. Microsoft makes the filters available from its download service, for free. Simply visit the following site and search for the filters:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/

If you don't want to install the file filters in your older version of Word, you could use Zamzar, which is a free online conversion tool. Visit http://www.zamzar.com and you can convert a file up to 100 MB in size. (Word documents aren't the only things you can convert at Zamzar; take some time to look around.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3469) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Viewing Workbook Statistics

Excel keeps track of a range of stats about each workbook you use. If you want to take a look at those stats, it's easy; ...

Discover More

Checking Up On Numbers

When do you use digits in your prose and when do you spell out the numbers? Why not let Word help you make the decision? ...

Discover More

Understanding and Using File Attributes

Every file has several attributes associated with it. These attributes can be turned on or off in a couple of ways and ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Appending to a Non-Document Text File

Your macros can easily add information to the end of an existing text file. This is done by opening the target file in ...

Discover More

Deleting the Open Document File

Want to delete the document you are currently viewing? Word doesn't provide a way to do it, but you can use the macro in ...

Discover More

Confirming File Conversions

Open a file that isn't a Word document and Word will still try to convert it to a Word document. If you want Word to let ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.