Office 2007 Users Can Change Their "Save As" Defaults to Accommodate Those Still Using Office 2003


Q Although I upgraded to Office 2007 soon after Windows 7 came out, many of my clients and colleagues are still using Office 2003. As a result, they often can’t open my Word or Excel files. So I try to remember to save all the files I share with them in the older format, but, alas, I often forget and have to resave the files and send them a second copy. Other than tying a reminder bow on a typing finger, is there anything I can do to get around this problem?


A You could suggest they download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint File Formats at But you’ll probably find many people will resist such a high-tech exercise.


Other than that, the only thing you can do is change your Save As defaults in Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the 2003 format. A minor downside is that you will lose some relatively insignificant formatting elements. Also, your files will be somewhat fatter and won’t open as snappily—a small price to pay for the convenience.


In Word, click on the Office Button in the upper left-hand corner of your screen and then on the Word Options button at the bottom of the screen. Cursor down to the Save button and, under Save documents, change the default setting in Save files in this format: to Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc).



Follow the same general steps in Excel and PowerPoint.



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