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

Jumping Back to the TOC

Word allows you to create a table of contents that provides hyperlinks to headings within your document. It doesn't make ...

Discover More

Adjusting Table Row Height

When working with tables, you can adjust the height of individual rows. How you go about such adjustments depends on the ...

Discover More

Copying Headers and Footers

Need to get headers and footers from one document to another? You can use the steps in this tip to help make quick work ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Sizing the Preview Pane

Some versions of Word allow you to resize your Preview Pane, others do not. Here is how to make your view larger.

Discover More

Jumping Around Folders

If you need to move between two different folders quite regularly in the Open dialog box, you'll find the technique ...

Discover More

Documents Opening in the Wrong Program

Double-click a Word document on your desktop, and you expect Word to spring into action and load the document. What if ...

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 two less than 5?

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.