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How to open new file formats in earlier versions of Microsoft Office

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Summary
If you are running Microsoft Office 2003 or Office XP, you can download and install updates so that you can open, edit, and save files that were created in newer versions of Microsoft Office, and also files that use Open XML Formats. The updates include all high priority updates from Microsoft Update and also the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. The Office Compatibility Pack can also be used together with Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to view files that are saved in the new file formats.

Note Depending on what version of Office that you are running, you must have Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) or Office XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) installed. If you are running Office 2000, you do not have to install any updates. To download Office 2003 SP3 or Office XP SP3, go to the corresponding Microsoft website: 





Note See the "Issues that occur if Office is not fully updated" section for examples of the kinds of issues and errors that you may receive if you try to use Office 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 Office system documents by using earlier versions of Office programs without installing the Office Compatibility Pack and updates. 
Prerequisites
Before you install the Office Compatibility Pack, make sure that your computer has all the necessary updates. To make sure that you are ready to install the Compatibility Pack, review the following information for your version of Office. 

Office 2003
For Office 2003, Office 2003 SP3 must be installed. To download Office 2003 SP3, go to the following Microsoft website: To make sure that these updates are installed for Office 2003, follow the steps for the operating system that you are running. 

Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Uninstall a Program.
  2. Locate the Office XP product in the list of installed applications.
  3. Click Organize, click Layout, and then click Details pane.
  4. Locate the Office 2003 product in the list of applications, and then make sure that Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3): MAINSP3 is in the list of installed updates for Office 2003.
Windows XP
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Click Change or Remove Programs on the right side.
  3. elect the Show Updates check box.
  4. Locate the Microsoft Office 2003 product in the list of installed programs.
  5. Make sure that Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3): MAINSP3 is listed among the updates for the Office 2003 product.


Office XP
For Office XP, Office XP SP3 must be installed. To download Office XP SP3, visit the following Microsoft website: Additionally, Office XP must be updated with the following updates, which were released after SP3:
918420 Description of the security update for Microsoft Excel 2002: July 11, 2006
917153 Description of the update for PowerPoint 2002: July 11, 2006
917347 Description of the update for Word 2002: July 11, 2006
To make sure that these updates are installed for Office XP, follow the steps for the operating system that you are running.

Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Uninstall a Program.
  2. Locate the Office XP product in the list of applications that are installed.
  3. Click Organize, click Layout, and then click Details pane.
  4. Verify that the installed version is 10.0.6626.0 or a later version. To do this, view the information at the bottom of the Uninstall or change a program window. This version number indicates that Office XP SP3 is installed.

    Note You may have to maximize the window in order to see the version information. To maximize the window, double-click the title bar.
  5. Click View installed updates in the list of Tasks on the left.

    Note Newer versions of the updates for Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002, and Word 2002 were released after the updates that are listed in this article. If these updates are not listed as installed updates, then you must check the file version of the application files to make sure that the minimum level is met. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, type %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office10 in the Search box, and then press Enter:
    2. Locate the Excel.exe, PowerPnt.exe, and Winword.exe files.

      Note The .exe extension may be hidden. In that case, the file names are listed as Excel, PowerPnt, and Winword. In some cases, when the visible file name extension is hidden, then the file name will be the same for multiple files. Select the file that has a Type that is listed as Application. To see the Type attribute, click Details on the Views menu.
    3. Select each file separately, and then on the File menu, click Properties. Click the Details tab to check the version. The minimum file versions are listed in the following table.
      ProgramVersion
      Excel.exe10.0.6809.0
      Powerpnt.exe10.0.6804.0
      Winword.exe10.0.6804.0
Windows XP
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Click Change or Remove Programs on the right side.
  3. elect the Show Updates check box.
  4. Locate the Microsoft Office XP product in the list of installed programs.
  5. elect the Office XP product, and then click the Click here for support information link. Verify that the version that is indicated is 10.0.6626.0 or a later version, and then close the Support Info dialog box.

    Note Newer versions of the updates for Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002, and Word 2002 were released after the updates that are listed in this article. If these updates are not listed as installed updates, then you must check the file version of the application files to make sure that the minimum level is met. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click Run. Copy and then paste (or type) the following command in the Open box, and then press Enter:  
      %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office10
    2. Locate the Excel.exe, PowerPnt.exe, and Winword.exe files.
    3. Select each file separately, and then on the File menu, click Properties. Click the Version tab to check the version. The minimum file versions are listed in the following table.
      ProgramVersion
      Excel.exe10.0.6809.0
      Powerpnt.exe10.0.6804.0
      Winword.exe10.0.6804.0

Download and install the Compatibility Pack

To open 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 Office System documents in Office 2003, Office XP, or Office 2000, you must install the Office Compatibility Pack. To do this, follow these steps: 
  1. Go to the Microsoft Download Center to download the Office Compatibility Pack
  2. To download the Compatibility Pack (FileFormatConverters.exe), click Download.
  3. When you are prompted, click Run to install the Compatibility Pack.
  4. After the Compatibility Pack is installed, close any Office programs that are open.
  5. Restart Office programs to open documents in the newer format.
Note You must manually close and restart any Office programs that were open when you installed the Compatibility Pack. After those programs are restarted, the Office programs can open files that use the Open XML Format.

See the next section, "Use 2007 or a later version Microsoft Office documents in earlier Office programs," for tips about opening and saving 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 Office System files in your version of Office programs. 

For more information about how to install the Compatibility Pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
923505 How to install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack so that you can open and save Office Open XML formats in earlier versions of Microsoft Office
If you received an error or the installation did not finish, see the "Additional support information" section.

Open files that were created in 2007 Office System or a later version 

After you install the required updates and the Compatibility Pack, you can open Microsoft Office 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 files in earlier versions of Office programs. 

Excel 2003 and Excel 2002
In Excel 2003 and Excel 2002, you can now create, open, edit, and save the following Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 file formats: 
  • Excel Workbook (*.xlsx)
  • Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook (*.xlsm)
  • Excel Binary Workbook (*.xlsb)
  • Excel Template (*.xltx)
  • Excel Macro-Enabled Template (*.xltm)
  • Excel Add-In (*.xlam)
Additionally, you can use Windows Explorer to open and save files in the Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 or Excel 2007 file formats. 

Excel 2000
In Excel 2000, you must use Windows Explorer to open and save Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 documents. To open an Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 file in Excel 2000, follow these steps: 
  1. Locate the file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the file.
Note Excel 2000 must be installed on the computer. If other versions of Microsoft Excel are also installed, the file may open in a different version of Excel. 

To save a file opened in Excel 2000 file as an Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 file, follow these steps: 
  1. Locate the file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the file, and then click Save As.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, click one of the following Excel file formats in the Save as type box, and then click Save:
    • Excel Workbook (*.xlsx)
    • Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook (*.xlsm)
    • Excel Binary Workbook (*.xlsb)
  4. Click OK.


PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2002
In PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2002, you can now create, open, edit, and save the following PowerPoint file formats:
  • PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)
  • PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation (*.pptm)
  • PowerPoint Template (*.potx)
  • PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Template (*.potm)
  • PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx)
  • PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Show (*.ppsm)
Additionally, you can use Windows Explorer to open files and save files in the newer PowerPoint formats. 

PowerPoint 2000
In PowerPoint 2000, you must use Windows Explorer to open and save PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 documents. To open a PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 file in PowerPoint 2000, follow these steps: 
  1. Locate the file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the file.
Note PowerPoint 2000 must be installed on the computer. If other versions of Microsoft PowerPoint are also installed, the file may open in a different version of PowerPoint. 

To save a PowerPoint 2000 file as a PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 file, follow these steps: 
  1. Locate the file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the file, and then click Save As.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, click one of the following PowerPoint file formats in the Save as type box, and then click Save:
    • PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)
    • PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation (*.pptm)
  4. When the save is complete, click OK.
Word 2003, Word 2002, and Word 2000

In Word 2003, 2002 and 2000, you can now create, open, edit, and save the following Word file formats: 
  • Word Document (*.docx)
  • Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)
Additionally, you can use Windows Explorer to open files and save files in the Word 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 formats. 

Issues that occur if Office is not fully updated


The following issues can occur if the computer is not updated to be fully compatible with the Office 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007 documents, and you try to open, save, or edit files in the new file format. 

When you try to open a file that was saved in Office 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 formats in an earlier version of the Office program, you may experience one of the following issues. 

Issue 1

If the computer is not updated and you did not install the Office Compatibility Pack, you will receive one of the following error messages when you try to open the file, depending on the program that you are using.

Word

When you use the Open dialog box or when you use a drag-and-drop operation to move the file into the version of Word that you are using, you receive the following message:
Select the encoding that makes your document readable.
When you double-click the file in Windows Explorer, or you double-click the file as an attachment in email, you receive the following error message: 
Windows cannot open this file.


Excel


When you use the Open dialog box or when you use a drag-and-drop operation to move the file into the version of Excel that you are using, you receive the following error message:
The file is not in a recognizable format.
When you double-click the file in Windows Explorer, or you double-click the file as an attachment in email, you receive the following error message: 
Windows cannot open this file.


PowerPoint


When you use the Open dialog box or when you use a drag-and-drop operation to move the file into the version of PowerPoint that you are using, you receive the following error message:
PowerPoint can't open the type of file represented by filename
When you double-click the file in Windows Explorer, or you double-click the file as an attachment in email, you receive the following error message:
Windows cannot open this file.

Resolution for Issue 1

To resolve this issue, install the Office Compatibility Pack and each update for your version of the Office program.

Issue 2

If the computer is not updated, but the Office Compatibility Pack is installed, you might receive an error message when you try to open the file, depending on the program that you are using.

Word

When you use the Open dialog box or when you use a drag-and-drop operation to move the file into the version of Word that you are using, the file opens correctly. And, when you double-click the file in Windows Explorer, the file opens correctly.

Excel

When you use the Open dialog box or when you use a drag-and-drop operation to move the file into the version of Excel that you are using, you receive the following error message:
The file is not in a recognizable format.
When you double-click the file in Windows Explorer, the file opens correctly.

PowerPoint

When you use the Open dialog box or when you use a drag-and-drop operation to move the file into the version of PowerPoint that you are using, you receive the following error message:
PowerPoint can't read the outline from filename. No text converter is installed for this file type.
When you double-click the file in Windows Explorer, the file opens correctly.

Resolution for Issue 2

To resolve this issue, install each update for your version of the Office program.

Issue 3

If the computer is updated, but the Office Compatibility Pack is not installed, you receive the following error message when you try to open a file in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint:
This file was created by a newer version of Microsoft program. Do you want to download a compatibility pack so that you can work with this file?

Resolution for Issue 3

To resolve this issue, install the Office Compatibility Pack. For more information about the compatibility pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
919026 Error message when you try to open or to save a 2007 Office document: "Do you want to download a compatibility pack so that you can work with this file"
Additional support information
If you were unable to download or install the Compatibility Pack or the updates, you might want to ask your system administrator for help. You can also use the Microsoft Customer Support Services website to find other solutions. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services website provides include the following:
  • Searchable Knowledge Base: Search technical support information and self-help tools for Microsoft products.
  • Solution Centers: View product-specific frequently asked questions and support highlights.
  • Other Support Options: Use the Internet to ask a question, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services, or provide feedback.
If you continue to have questions after you use these Microsoft websites or if you cannot find a solution on the Microsoft Support Services website, click the following link to contact Support:
XL2000 XL2002 XL2003 XL2007 XL2010 XL2013 Excel2000 Excel2002 Excel2003 Excel2007 Excel2010 Excel2013 PPT2000 PPT2002 PPT2003 PPT2007 PPT2010 PPT2013 PowerPoint 2000 PowerPoint2002 PowerPoint2003 PowerPoint2007 PowerPoint2010 PowerPoint2013 WD2000 WD2002 WD2003 WD2007 WD2010 WD2013 Word 2000 Word2002 Word2003 Word2007 Word2010 Word2013 Office2000 OfficeXP Office2003 Office2007 Office2010 Office2013

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Article ID: 924074 - Last Review: 09/23/2015 07:44:00 - Revision: 17.0

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