The column formatting may change when you save a Word 2007 or Word 2010 .docx file in the Word 97-2003 .doc file format

Applies to: Microsoft Word 2010

Symptoms


When you save a Microsoft Office Word 2007 .docx file in the Microsoft Word 97-2003 .doc file format, the column formatting may change. For example, text that is formatted in two columns in a Word 2007 .docx file may be formatted in one column in the corresponding Word 97-2003 .doc file.

This problem occurs when you insert a page break after the text to balance the appearance of the columns.

Cause


This problem occurs because Word 2007 attaches a paragraph mark to a page break. This behavior differs from earlier versions of Word. When you save a Word 2007 document in the Word 97-2003 .doc file format, the paragraph mark is separated from the page break. Therefore, the column formatting changes.

Resolution


To resolve this problem, use a column break instead of a page break to balance the appearance of the text between two columns in Word 2007. To insert a two-column break in Word 2007, follow these steps:
  1. Move the pointer so that it is after the text that you want to appear in columns.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, click the arrow next to Columns in the Page Setup group. Then, click Two.

Status


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information


By default, the Split apart page break and paragraph marklayout option is not set in Word 2007. If you set the Split apart page break and paragraph mark layout option, Word 2007 does not attach a paragraph mark to a page break. Therefore, a Word 2007 document will be compatible with the Word 97-2003 .doc file format.

To set the Split apart page break and paragraph mark layout option, follow these steps:
  1. Open a Word 2007 document.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  3. Click Advanced, and then expand Layout Options.
  4. Click to select the Split apart page break and paragraph mark check box, and then click OK.