Create a document for use with earlier versions of Word

When you open a document in Word for Mac 2011 that was created in an earlier version of Word, either Word for Mac or Word for Windows, compatibility mode is turned on. [Compatibility Mode] shows in the title bar of the document window. Compatibility mode indicates that the document was created in an earlier version of Word or was saved in an earlier file format. In compatibility mode, no new or improved features in Word 2011 are available. However, users can still edit the document by using features that are compatible with the earlier file format.

You can work in compatibility mode or you can convert your document to the Word 2011 file format. When you save in the Word 2011 format, the document layout appears as if it were created in Word 2011 and the file format changes from .doc to .docx. In this format, you can access the new and improved features in Word 2011. However, anyone who uses an earlier version of Word may be prevented from or have problems editing parts of the document that were created by using new or enhanced features.

Document elements that behave differently in compatibility mode

The elements listed in the following table might change permanently when you work in compatibility mode. You can't convert them back to Word 2011 elements even if you convert your document to Word 2011 later.

Word 2011 element

Behavior in compatibility mode

Bibliography

Converted to static text.

Blocked authors

Information about where other authors were editing the document will be lost permanently.

Citations

Converted to static text.

Advanced typography features

All font-supported advanced typography features, for example, ligatures, are removed when the document is saved in the .doc file format.

Open XML embedded objects

Permanently converted to static content.

Placeholder text in content controls

Converted to static text.

Relative text box positioning

Converted to absolute positions.

Text box text alignment

All text that is not already top-aligned is converted to top-aligned text.

Text effects

Text effects such as Reflection, Glow, 3-D Format, and 3-D Rotation are lost.

Alternative text on tables

Alternative text on tables is permanently removed.

Themes, theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects

Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Word 2011, you can't automatically change the style by using themes.

Tracked moves

Converted to deletions and insertions.

WordArt

Converted to static text.

The document elements listed in the following table change when you work in compatibility mode. However, you can convert them to Word 2011 elements if you convert your document to Word 2011 later.

Word 2011 element

Behavior in compatibility mode

SmartArt graphics

Converted to images and cannot be edited.

Diagrams and charts

Converted to images and cannot be edited.

Shapes and text boxes

Converted to effects that are available in the .doc file format.

Equations

For documents in compatibility mode, presented as images that cannot be edited. Equations can be edited when the document is saved in a Word 2011 file format.

To turn on compatibility mode

You can create new documents that are compatible with earlier versions of Word by using compatibility mode.

  1. Open a new document.

  2. On the File menu, click Save As.

  3. In the Save As box, type a name for the document.

  4. In the Format pop-up menu, select Word 97-2004 Document (.doc), and then click Save.

    [Compatibility Mode] appears in the title bar after the document name.

To convert a document from compatibility mode

The Convert Document command clears the compatibility options so that the document layout appears as if it were created in Word 2011. If the file is in .doc format, the Convert Document command also upgrades the file to the .docx format. After you convert the document, you can access the new and enhanced features in Word 2011. However, people who are using earlier versions of Word may be prevented from or have problems editing certain parts of the document that were created by using new or enhanced features in Word 2011.

  • On the File menu, click Convert Document.

See also

My document title says [Compatibility Mode]

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