Use Project 2010 with previous versions

Project 2010 lets you open and edit projects from previous versions of Microsoft Project, without having the previous versions on your computer. You can also save a Project 2010 file to several earlier versions of Project without downloading and installing a converter.

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What happens when you open earlier versions of Project files in Project 2010

When you use Project 2010 to open .MPP files from previous versions of Project, Project operates with reduced functionality, and Project displays Compatibility Mode in the title bar at the top of the application window. In compatibility mode, you can open, edit, and save Project 2000-2003 and Project 2007 files into their original formats, but you won't be able to use any of the new Project 2010 features. Project continues to operate in compatibility mode until you convert the project to the Project 2010 file format.

When Project 2010 operates in compatibility mode, some features that are new to Project 2010 will operate with reduced functionality.

Project 2010 Feature Behavior in Compatibility Mode
Inactive tasks     Tasks cannot be set to inactive.
Manually scheduled tasks     Tasks cannot be manually scheduled. Tasks can only be set to automatic scheduling.
Blank dates     Because tasks without dates are a feature of manually scheduled tasks, start and finish dates must be applied to all tasks.

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What happens when you save a Project 2007 file in Project 2010

When you convert a Project 2007 file to a Project 2010 file, Project will operate with full functionality and not in compatibility mode. However, Project's default behavior for existing and new tasks will differ from new files that are created in Project 2010.

Project 2007 Feature Behavior when saved to Project 2010
Auto scheduling     Existing tasks are set to automatic scheduling.
New task creation     New tasks are set to automatic scheduling by default. They can be set to manually scheduled after they are created.
Task Mode column     The Task Mode column (which indicates whether a task is set to automatic or manual scheduling) will not be displayed. However, the column can be added.
Master projects     Master project files are displayed with full functionality. However, sub projects that are within the master project and that have not been converted to Project 2010 cannot be expanded. Subprojects that are converted to Project 2010 can be expanded.
Cross project links     Cross-project links from Project files that have not been converted to Project 2010 and that are contained within a file that has been converted to Project 2010 cannot be expanded. Cross-project links that are converted to Project 2010 can be expanded.
Resource pool files     A Project that has been converted to Project 2010 that uses a shared resource pool file that has not be converted to Project 2010 will not have access to the resource information in the resource pool file, unless the resource pool file is converted to Project 2010.
Field changes in formulas    

If you use fields within formulas to create custom fields in Project 2007, some fields will be automatically changed to their Project 2010 equivalent. The following fields will change:

  • The Start field will change to Scheduled Start.
  • The Duration field will change to Scheduled Duration.
  • The Finish field will change to Scheduled Finish.
  • The Baseline Start field will change to Baseline Estimated Start.
  • The Baseline Duration field will change to Baseline Estimated Duration.
  • The Baseline Finish field will change to Baseline Estimated Finish.

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What happens when you save a Project 2010 file to an earlier version

When you save a Project 2010 file to an earlier version of Project, some task settings will change. The earlier the version of Project, the more changes there are to the task settings.

Feature Behavior when saved to this earlier version
Project 2007    
  • Manually scheduled tasks     Manually scheduled tasks are set to automatic scheduling.
  • Inactive tasks     Inactive tasks are deleted.
  • Strikethrough font     Strikethrough font is removed. The task is not deleted.
  • Color effects     32-bit color is set to the closest of the 16 types of color for bar styles, indicators, and other graphical effects.
  • Summary tasks    Summary tasks that are manually scheduled are set to milestone tasks in Project 2007.
Project 2000-2003    

The following additional features from Project 2007 are removed when a Project 2010 file is saved to Project 2000-2003:

  • Budget information     Information contained in the budget fields is lost.
  • Cost resources     Information contained in the cost resource fields might be changed because cost resources are converted into material resources. Information contained in other cost fields is not lost.
  • Background cell formatting     Sheet cells that have background formatting applied to them lose their background formatting. Information in these fields is not lost.
  • Assignment owner     Information contained in the new Assignment Owner fields are lost.
  • Calendar exceptions     New exceptions that were added to project calendar and resource calendar functionality (such as monthly exceptions, yearly exceptions, and those with arbitrary dates) are lost.
  • New fields and custom fields     Information within fields new to Project 2007, or any formulas relying on new fields, are lost. New options that are set on custom fields that were created in Project 2007 are lost, such as the new roll-down setting for calculation of assignment rows. Task assignment custom field values will also be lost.
  • Enterprise custom fields     Any enterprise custom fields created within Project 2007 are lost.

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Applies to:
Project 2010