Compatibility Checker

When you use the Compatibility Checker, you might see messages that determine potential losses of functionality when you save a Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 presentation in the PowerPoint 97-2003 file format (.ppt). This document contains messages that the Compatibility Checker generates. Use the information under each message to see what causes the message to appear and suggestions about what action to take.

 Note   To learn how to use the Compatibility Checker, see Determine whether a PowerPoint 2010 presentation is compatible with PowerPoint 2003 or earlier.

In this article


There are two kinds of Compatibility Checker messages:

  1. In the more common case, you will lose edit functionality only when you open the file in an earlier version of PowerPoint. For example, if you save a presentation with a SmartArt graphic to an earlier version of PowerPoint format, and then open that file in some earlier versions of PowerPoint, the SmartArt graphic is changed to a picture. However if you open the file again in PowerPoint 2010, without making any edits to that SmartArt graphic picture, you can continue to edit your SmartArt graphic. These kinds of messages have “in earlier versions of PowerPoint” in them.
  2. In the second case, you will permanently lose functionality. For example, if you have modified the placeholder text on a custom layout, that placeholder text will be permanently lost.

You cannot edit some PowerPoint 2010 content in some earlier versions of PowerPoint. For example, shapes and text with new effects are converted to pictures (bitmaps (bitmap: A picture made from a series of small dots, much like a piece of graph paper with certain squares filled in to form shapes and lines. When stored as files, bitmaps usually have the extension .bmp.)) in some earlier versions of PowerPoint to make sure that they look the same in a presentation. As a result, you cannot change the line width, fill color, or other aspects of the shapes and text. Also, after the text is turned into a bitmap, any animations on that text does not display during the presentation.

 Tip   If you want to modify a SmartArt graphic, a shape, or other objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.) in your PowerPoint 2010 presentation, save a copy of your PowerPoint 2010 presentation, and then save the copy as a PowerPoint 97-2003 file (.ppt). By doing so, you can make changes to your original PowerPoint 2010 presentation if your SmartArt graphics, shapes, or other objects are converted to pictures when you save the presentation in the file format of an earlier version.

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“The media clips inserted or upgraded in this version of PowerPoint will be saved as Pictures.”

Media clips that are embedded or upgraded in PowerPoint 2010 are converted to an image that you cannot edit in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
A media clip that was inserted or upgraded in the presentation. Re-insert the media clip and use Link to File instead of embedding.

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"The shape can no longer be edited, although any text in it can be edited when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

To maintain the visual appearance of your shape, some effects are converted to images that are used as the fill for the shape. You can still edit any text because the text appears on top of these images.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
A shape with one or more of the following effects: shadow (inner), glow, bevel, soft edges, or gradient fill. Remove the effects.

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"The shape and any text in it cannot be edited when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

To maintain the visual appearance of your shape, the shape and any text in that shape is converted to an image that you cannot edit in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
Text with one or more of the following effects: reflection, shadow (inner), glow, transform, 3-D rotation, text outlines, or fills (gradient, picture, and texture). Remove the text effects.
Strikethrough or double strikethrough text, columns of text, text indented levels 6 - 9, or vertical text. Remove these by using the buttons in either the Font group or Paragraph group on the Home tab.
A shape with a reflection effect. Remove the effects.

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"The grouped shapes and any text in it cannot be edited when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

To maintain the visual appearance of your grouped shapes, your grouped shapes are converted to an image that you cannot edit in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
Grouped shapes with one or more of the following effects applied to all shapes: reflection, glow, 3-D rotation, or fills (gradient, picture, and texture). Remove the effects.

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"The SmartArt graphic and any text in it cannot be edited when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

To maintain the visual appearance of your SmartArt graphic, your SmartArt graphic is converted to an image that you cannot edit in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
A SmartArt graphic. SmartArt graphics are converted to a single object that cannot be edited in versions of PowerPoint earlier than Office PowerPoint 2007. However, you can Ungroup the SmartArt graphic, which can then be modified by using earlier versions of PowerPoint. Note that after you convert the SmartArt graphic to individual shapes, functionality on the SmartArt Tools tabs is no longer available.

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"The table and any text in it cannot be edited when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

To maintain the visual appearance of the table, your table is converted to an image that you cannot edit in an earlier version of PowerPoint.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
A table with WordArt in the cells. Remove the text effects.
A table with one or more of the following effects: reflection, cell bevel, shadow, or fills (gradient, picture, and texture). Remove the effects.

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"Any effects on the shape are removed when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

When you add an effect to a shape that causes the converted image to be larger than 30 megabytes (MB), this message appears.

The message appears because your shape contains Solution to try
A shape with one or more of the following effects: reflection, glow, bevel, soft edges, 3-D rotation, or fills (gradient, picture, and texture). Remove the effects.

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"Any effects on the grouped shapes are removed in earlier versions of PowerPoint."

To maintain the visual appearance of your grouped shapes, your grouped shapes are converted to an image that you cannot edit in earlier versions of PowerPoint and any effects are removed.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
Grouped shapes with one or more of the following effects applied to all shapes: reflection, glow, bevel, soft edges, 3-D rotation, or fills (gradient, picture, and texture). Remove the effects.

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"Any document-specific customizations added to the Quick Access Toolbar and other custom UI is lost if saved."

You might receive this message if your presentation contains a customized Quick Access Toolbar, custom user interface parts that are not supported in versions of PowerPoint earlier than Office PowerPoint 2007, or both. These custom features will not be available in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try

One or more buttons added to the Quick Access Toolbar specific to this presentation.

A customized interface.

Because the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface in Office PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2010 is very different from the menus and toolbars in earlier versions of PowerPoint, any customizations that were made in Office PowerPoint 2007 or PowerPoint 2010 are not available in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

In earlier versions of PowerPoint, you can add similar custom commands to toolbars and menus.

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"A chart in this document may contain data in cells outside of the row and column limit of the selected file format. Data beyond 256 (IV) columns by 65,536 rows cannot be saved."

In Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Excel 2010, the worksheet size is 16,384 columns by 1,048,576 rows. However, the worksheet size of earlier versions of Excel is only 256 columns by 65,536 rows. Data in cells outside of this column and row limit is lost in earlier versions of Excel. Formula references to data in this region will return a #REF! error.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
A chart that was created from data in cells outside of the row and column limit of the selected file format. In the Office Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 Compatibility Checker, click Find to locate the cells and ranges that fall outside of the row and column limits, select them, and then put them within the column and row limits or on another sheet by using the Cut and Paste commands.

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"Code associated with objects on custom layout is removed if saved."

When you save an PowerPoint 2010 presentation that contains a custom layout with one or more ActiveX controls (ActiveX control: A control, such as a check box or button that offers options to users or runs macros or scripts that automate a task. You can write macros for the control in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications or scripts in Microsoft Script Editor.) as a PowerPoint 97-2003 presentation (.ppt), this message appears.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
One or more ActiveX controls that were added to a custom layout.

If your presentation does not include code, click Continue. The code is then removed from the presentation.

If your presentation includes code and you want to keep it, click Cancel.

 Notes 

  • In PowerPoint 2010 you cannot save code associated with ActiveX controls on custom layouts to file formats earlier than PowerPoint 2007.
  • To avoid lost or corrupt code, save the file as a presentation (.pptx) file.

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"Customized prompt text in custom layouts is removed in earlier versions of PowerPoint."

When you save a presentation that contains a custom layout with customized prompt text, this message appears.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
A custom layout with customized prompt text.

When saving a PowerPoint 2010 as an earlier version, PowerPoint automatically changes the prompt text to the default placeholder text or to a text box.

Change the placeholder to a text box and type the custom prompt into the text box.

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"Animation applied to placeholders on custom layouts is removed if saved."

When you add an animation effect to a placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) on a custom layout, this message appears.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
An animation effect added to a placeholder on a custom layout.

When saving a PowerPoint 2010 as an earlier version, PowerPoint automatically changes the placeholder to the default placeholder without animation.

Change the placeholder to a text box or shape and apply the animation to it.

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"Animations on uneditable shapes may be removed when using earlier versions of PowerPoint."

When you apply certain animation effects to shapes, and then save your presentation in the file format of an earlier version of PowerPoint, your animations might not be seen. This is because the animation is connected to text or a shape that was turned into a picture.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
An animation effect applied to a shape that will become uneditable (for example, SmartArt graphics).

When saving a PowerPoint 2010 as an earlier version, PowerPoint automatically changes the placeholder to the default placeholder without animation.

Change the object into an animated picture by doing the following:

  1. Select the shape on the slide.
  2. Right-click the shape and select Save as Picture.
  3. After saving, on the Insert tab, in the Images group, click Picture.
  4. Navigate to your picture and then click Insert.
  5. Apply the animation to the picture.

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"Uninitialized ActiveX controls are converted to static objects if saved."

When you save a presentation that contains an uninitialized ActiveX control (ActiveX control: A control, such as a check box or button that offers options to users or runs macros or scripts that automate a task. You can write macros for the control in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications or scripts in Microsoft Script Editor.), this message appears. An uninitialized ActiveX control is a control that has not been enabled. For more information about how to enable ActiveX controls, see Enable or disable ActiveX settings in Office files.

The message appears because your presentation contains Solution to try
An uninitialized ActiveX control.
  1. Click Options on the Message Bar. A security dialog box will appear that gives you the option to enable the ActiveX control. Doing so will initialize the ActiveX control. For information about how to make a secure decision before you click an option, see Enable or disable ActiveX settings in Office files.
  2. If you continue to see the message after you follow Step 1, delete the ActiveX control from your presentation.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2010