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Office Open XML I: Exploring the Office Open XML Formats

Message offering to download compatibility pack

Users of Microsoft Office 2003, XP, or 2000 are automatically prompted to download a compatibility pack the first time they try to open a 2007 Office system file saved in one of the Office Open XML Formats.

When you need to share 2007 Office system files with users of earlier Microsoft Office versions, you have two primary options:

  • Users of Microsoft Office 2003, XP, or 2000 are automatically prompted to download and install a free compatibility pack when they first try to open a 2007 Office system file saved in one of the Office Open XML Formats.
  • You can save a copy of your 2007 Office system file in a legacy format.

Note     If you choose this option, watch out for file size changes. Files containing many new 2007 Office system graphics (for example, a PowerPoint presentation that contains SmartArt graphics on many slides) are especially likely to increase in file size when saved in a legacy file format.

To retain the ability to edit new types of content (such as SmartArt diagrams) when you next edit the Office Open XML Format file in the 2007 Office system version of the applicable program, use the following guidelines:

  • For Excel and PowerPoint, to retain functionality of all new content types when you next edit the file using the 2007 Office system, keep the file in the Office Open XML Formats.
  • In Word, to retain functionality of some object types (such as SmartArt graphics), you may need to convert the document back to an Office Open XML Format after it has been saved in an earlier version. If [Compatibility Mode] appears in the title bar in Word 2007, even if the file is saved in an Office Open XML Format, use the Convert option under the Microsoft Office Button to regain functionality of these objects.
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