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When you open a drawing in Visio that was created in an older or newer version of Visio, you might see some problems with how the drawing looks and works. Compatibility mode helps with some of these problems, or you can save drawings in the older version’s format.

Compatibility Mode

When you open a document that was created in an earlier file format, it opens in Compatibility Mode. Compatibility Mode lets you open, edit, and save drawings from earlier versions, by turning off features of Visio that would cause problems in earlier versions.

How to start Compatibility Mode

  • Open a document that is in the earlier file format. It opens in Compatibility Mode.

  • Save a document in the earlier file format. After you save, the document is in Compatibility Mode.

How to stop running in Compatibility Mode

  • Save the document in one of the new file formats.

  • Convert the document to the new format by clicking File > Info > Convert. This command is only available while a document in the earlier file format is open.

Save diagrams to be opened in earlier versions of Visio

  1. Click File > Save As and choose your location.

  2. In the Save As dialog box, in the Save as type list, choose Visio 2003-2010 Drawing.

Tip:  If it might be easier to save all your drawings in the earlier file format, set Visio to do so automatically. Click File > Options > Save, then in the list next to Save files in this format, select Visio 2003-2010 Document.

If the document contains features that aren’t available in earlier versions of Visio, the Compatibility Checker appears and shows a list of potential problems. The Compatibility Checker runs when you save the document in the earlier format, and you can also run it at any time by clicking File > Info > Check Compatibility.

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