Dawn Bjork Buzbee
The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
Certified Microsoft Office 2010 Specialist (MOS 2010) Master Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office 2007 Specialist (MOS 2007) Master Instructor
Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office Expert
Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)
WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) Certified
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if you are using Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2007, it’s likely you
have a lot of files created in Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier. When
you open any of these Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files from Office 2010
or Office 2007, Compatibility Mode is turned on, and you see
[Compatibility Mode] in the title bar of the document window.
Compatibility Mode ensures your files can still be fully edited by
others who are using previous versions of Microsoft Office although you
may no longer need this backwards capability. What are your choices for
working with these “older” but important files in a newer version of
Options for Working with Office 2003 Files
- No Changes. When you are editing a file originally created in an
Office 2003 program, you can continue to work in Compatibility Mode and save
the file as usual without changing the file format. That is, keep working
with it and saving as before; the file will not be automatically changed to
a new version. These Office 2003 files can still be opened from Office 2010
or any earlier version.
- Save As to Newest Version. You can save any Office 2003 or
earlier file as a Microsoft Office 2010 (or Office 2007) version. The
Save As option is found under the Backstage View/File tab (Office 2010)
or the Office Button (Office 2007). The downside is that unless you specify
a different location or delete the older file, both files will remain in the
same location but with different file extensions.
- Convert to Newest Version. To take advantage of all of the latest
features in your current version of Microsoft Office, you can convert a file to the appropriate Office 2010/2007 file format. For example, the
Convert command in Microsoft Word converts and replaces a document with the
.doc format, and upgrades the file to the .docx format. The
Convert option is recommended over Save As.
>>Learn more about the changes to file
formats in Microsoft Office 2010 and Office 2007
How to Convert a File to an Office 2010
or Office 2007 File Format
Converting your file gives you access to the new and enhanced features in
Office 2010 or Office 2007 such as tables, expanded worksheets, and PivotTables
in Excel, SmartArt and Picture Styles in Word, and new graphics and transition
features in PowerPoint. However, people who are using previous versions of
Office may have difficulty viewing or editing certain portions of the file
created with these new or enhanced features.
To Convert a File:
- From one of your Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2007 programs (Word,
Excel, or PowerPoint), open any file created in an earlier version of
- In Office 2010: Select the Backstage View and choose the
Convert button from the Info tab. (Examples shown below).
In Office 2007: Click the Office Button in the upper-left corner and
choose Convert from the menu.
- Next, you will see a program-specific prompt about the convert action.
Navigate through your choices.
- If the program doesn’t close and reopen automatically, close the file
and reopen it to continue using it with all of the available features in
your Office 2010 program. The converted file will open with the appropriate
file extension. For example, when you save an Excel 2003 file containing
macros, it will normally be converted as an Excel 2010 macro-enabled
workbook (.xlsm extension).
Converted files are replaced with the updated file and file format. The
Convert command is not available when a file is already saved with an Office
2010/2007 file format.
Note: Before proceeding with the convert process, consider if you
want to first backup your files.
© Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro®
Dawn Bjork Buzbee
is The Software Pro®
and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office
Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist
(MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart
and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software
speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.
This article and
more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with
copyright and attribution.
more about how easy it is to share these valuable tips, tricks, and techniques.
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Press [F12] for Save As
Files with macros have a file extension ending with m such as
.docm and .xlsm for macro-enabled.