Why Can't They Read My Word 2007 Document?

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

I recently switched to Vista and Word 2007 and, while I’m finally getting used to the new setup, I am having a serious intermittent problem. Here’s the thing: Sometimes when I send a memo to a client who uses Word 2003, I’m careful to configure the file in the older .doc format rather than Word 2007’s .docx. So I’m doing the right thing, right? But despite that, sometimes the client tells me he can’t read the memo. Hey, what’s up?

Yes, you’re doing the right thing, but there have been reports that sometimes the .doc files generated by Word 2007 in Vista cannot be read by an XP computer running Word 2003. Intermittent glitches are the most difficult to solve, and more often than not, they never get solved. My philosophy is not to waste time trying to fix them—just go around them.

For example, in this case, since the problem is intermittent and only happens to one client’s memos, I would just format those files as Rich Text Format. Everyone can read it. Although the memo may lose some of the more complex formatting, it will look fine otherwise.

How do you save in Rich Text Format? When you’re ready to save the document, click on the Office button (upper left-hand corner), then on Save As, Other Formats and select Rich Text Format (see screenshots below).


As another option, if the option is available, consider saving the file as an Adobe PDF document. That would maintain the exact appearance of your memo.

SPONSORED REPORT

Get your clients ready for tax season

These year-end tax planning strategies address recent tax law changes enacted to help taxpayers deal with the pandemic, such as tax credits for sick leave and family leave and new rules for retirement plan distributions, as well as techniques for putting your clients in the best possible tax position.

RESOURCES

Keeping you informed and prepared amid the coronavirus crisis

We’re gathering the latest news stories along with relevant columns, tips, podcasts, and videos on this page, along with curated items from our archives to help with uncertainty and disruption.