Create a document to be used by previous versions of Word

You might sometimes want to share your documents with people who are using earlier of versions of Word.

Word 2007 and Word 2010 can open .docx files created with Word 2013. Word 2003 users who have installed Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats can also open Word 2013 documents.

If you aren't sure which earlier version they're using, save the documents in the Word 97 – 2003 (.doc) file format.

Note: To find out which content and features aren't available for editing in earlier versions, see Features that behave differently in earlier versions.

Create a new document in Word 97 – 2003 format

To create a new document in Word 2013 that someone using an older version of Word can review and edit, save it in Word 97-2003 format.

  1. Click File, and then click New.

  2. Open a new document by clicking Blank document.

  3. Click File, click Save As, and then choose a location to save your file.

  4. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the document in the File name box.

  5. In the Save as type list, click Word 97-2003 Document. This changes the file format from .docx to .doc.

  6. Click Save.

Features that behave differently when you use the Word 97 – 2003 document format

These tables include document elements that behave differently and document elements that aren't available when you edit .doc files.

Word 2013

Change when using the Word 97 – 2003 (.doc) file format

Apps for Office

Permanently removed from the document.

Web Video

Permanently converted to a picture with a hyperlink to the web video.

Comment reply/”done” information

Comment replies will become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked “done” are reset.

Collapsed by default headings

Headings are expanded by default; the property is permanently lost.

New Word 2010 numbering formats

Uppercase Turkish (Latin) {A, B, C, Ç, D, …}
Lowercase Turkish (Latin) {a, b, c, ç, d, …}
Uppercase Bulgarian (Cyrillic) {А,Б,В,Г,Д, …}
Lowercase Bulgarian (Cyrillic) {а, б, в, г, д, …}
Uppercase Greek

{Α, Β, Γ, Δ, Ε, …}
Lowercase Greek

{α, β, γ, δ, ε,…}
3-digit fixed format {001…NNN}
4-digit fixed format {0001…NNNN}
5-digit fixed format {00001…NNNNN}

New numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...).

New shape and text box effects

Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects available in the .doc file format.

Text effects

Effects on text are permanently removed.

Alternative text on tables

Tables lose alternative-text information.

OpenType features

OpenType features are permanently removed from text.

Blocking authors

Locks applied to regions of the document are removed.

New WordArt effects

Effects on text are permanently removed.

Content controls

Content controls are converted to static content.

Themes

Permanently converted to styles.

Major/minor fonts

Permanently converted to direct formatting of the fonts.

Tracked moves

Permanently converted to insertions and deletions.

Alignment tabs

Permanently converted to traditional tabs.

SmartArt graphics

Converted to a single image; if no changes are made in Word 2003, the SmartArt can be recreated by opening in Word 2013 and upgrading the document to the Open XML file format.

Charts and diagrams

Converted to a single image; if no changes are made in Word 2003, the chart can be recreated by opening in Word 2013 and upgrading the document to the Open XML file format. All data beyond the limits supported by Excel 2003 is permanently removed.

Open XML Embedded objects

No change.

Building blocks

Building blocks and AutoText entries might lose some information.

Bibliography

Permanently converted to static text.

Citations

Permanently converted to static text.

Equations

Converted to a single image; if no changes are made in Word 2003, the equation can be recreated by opening in Word 2013 and upgrading the document to the Open XML file format.

Relative text boxes (Text boxes sized to a percentage of page width or height)

Relative measurements are permanently converted to absolute positioning.

If you create a document to send to people who are working in earlier versions of Word and you know that they have installed the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats, you can work in Microsoft Word 2010 mode.

If you aren't sure whether the people you send your document to have installed the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint Open XML File Formats, you can work in Compatibility Mode. Compatibility Mode makes sure that no new or enhanced features in Word 2010 are available while you work in a document, so that people who are using previous versions of Word will have full editing capabilities.

Note: If you already created a document, and you want to find out what content won't be available for editing in earlier versions, see Features that behave differently in earlier versions.

Turn on Compatibility Mode

When you create a new document that will be used in an earlier version, you can turn on Compatibility Mode by saving the file in Word 97-2003 format.

  1. Open a new document.

  2. Click the File tab.

  3. Click Save As.

  4. In the Save as type list, click Word 97-2003 Document. This changes the file format to .doc.

  5. In the File name box, type a name for the document.

  6. Click Save.

Features that behave differently in earlier versions

These tables include document elements that behave differently and document elements that aren't available when you work in Compatibility Mode.

Note: If you are using Microsoft Word Starter 2010, be aware that not all the features listed for Word 2010 are supported in Word Starter. For more information about the features available in Word Starter, see Word Starter feature support.

Word 2010 element

Change when opened in Word 2007

Change when opened in Word 97-2003

New numbering formats

New numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...).

New numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...).

New shapes and text boxes

Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects available in this format.

Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects available in this format.

Text effects

Effects on text are permanently removed unless the effects are applied by using a custom style. If they are applied by using the style, the text effects will appear again when the document is reopened in Word 2010.

Effects on text are permanently removed unless the effects are applied by using a custom style. If they are applied by using the style, the text effects will appear again when the document is reopened in Word 2010.

Alternative text on tables

Tables lose alternative-text information.

Tables lose alternative-text information.

OpenType features

New type features are removed.

New type features are removed.

Blocking authors

Blocks applied to regions of the document will be removed.

Blocks applied to regions of the document will be removed.

New WordArt effects

Effects on text are permanently removed.

Effects on text are permanently removed.

New content controls

Permanently converted to static content.

Permanently converted to static content.

Word 2007 Content controls

No change.

Permanently converted to static text.

Themes

No change.

Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Word 2010, you cannot automatically change the style by using themes.

Major/minor fonts

No change.

Permanently converted to static formatting. If the file is later opened in Word 2010, heading and body fonts won't automatically change if you use a different style.

Tracked moves

No change.

Permanently converted to insertions and deletions.

Tabs

No change.

Alignment tabs will be converted to traditional tabs.

SmartArt graphics

No change.

Become a single object that cannot be edited unless no changes are made and it is reopened in Word 2010.

Charts and diagrams

No change.

Some charts and diagrams will be converted to images that cannot be changed. Data beyond supported rows is lost.

Open XML Embedded objects

No change.

Converted to static content.

Building blocks

No change.

Building Blocks and AutoText entries may lose some information.

Bibliography

No change.

Permanently converted to static text.

Citations

No change.

Permanently converted to static text.

Equations

No change.

Become graphics and cannot be changed. Any comments, endnotes, or footnotes in the equations will be permanently lost when the document is saved.

Relative text boxes

No change.

Permanently converted to absolute positioning.

Although people who use previous versions of Microsoft Office Word and have installed the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats can open documents that are saved in the Microsoft Office Word 2007 format, they may not be able to change some items that were created by using new or enhanced features. For example, if you use a previous version of Word to open a document that contains equations, the equations will become images that cannot be edited.

To create a document that will be used in a previous version of Microsoft Office Word, you can work in Compatibility Mode. Compatibility Mode ensures that no new or enhanced features in Office Word 2007 are available while you are working in a document, so that people who are using previous versions of Word will have full editing capabilities.

Note: The File menu has been replaced with the Microsoft Office Button Office button image .

Turn on Compatibility Mode

When you create a new document that will be used in a previous version, you can turn on Compatibility Mode by saving the file in Word 97-2003 format.

  1. Open a new document.

  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Save As.

  3. Select Word 97-2003 Document in the Save as type list.

  4. In the File name box, type a name for the document.

  5. Click Save.

Document elements that behave differently in Compatibility Mode

The following is a list of document elements that behave differently or aren't available when you work in Compatibility Mode.

Office Word 2007 element

Behavior in Compatibility Mode

Relative positioning text boxes

Only absolute positioning is available.

Margins

Only absolute tabs are available.

Theme colors

Are unavailable.

Theme fonts

Are unavailable.

Theme effects

Are unavailable.

Content controls

Are unavailable. However, legacy controls are available.

SmartArt

Only a limited set of diagram types is available.

Equations

Are unavailable.

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