Open a Word 2007 document in an earlier version of Word

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To open Microsoft Office Word 2007 .docx or .docm files with Microsoft Office Word 2003, Word 2002, or Word 2000, you need to install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats and any necessary Office updates. By using the Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office system, you can open, edit some items, and save Office Word 2007 documents in previous versions of Word.

In this article


Install the Compatibility Pack

You can download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for 2007 Office system from Microsoft Office Online.

With the Compatibility Pack, you can use some previous versions of Word to open Office Word 2007 documents that were saved in .docx and .docm formats. You cannot open Office Word 2007 template files that were saved in .dotx or .dotm format.

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Document element differences in previous versions

Although you can open Office Word 2007 files in previous versions of Word, you may not be able to change some items that were created by using the new or enhanced features in Office Word 2007. For example, equations will become images that cannot be changed. The following is a list of document elements that are changed when they are opened in a previous version of Word.

Office Word 2007 element Change when opened in a previous version
Equations Become graphics and cannot be changed.
Themes Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using themes.
Theme colors Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using theme colors.
Theme fonts Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using theme fonts.
Theme effects Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, you cannot automatically change the style by using theme effects.
Content controls Permanently converted to static text.
Tracked moves Permanently converted to insertions and deletions.
Heading and body fonts Permanently converted to static formatting. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, heading and body fonts won't automatically change if you use a different style.
Relative text boxes Permanently converted to absolute positioning.
Margins Permanently converted to absolute positioning. If the file is later opened in Office Word 2007, the margins won't automatically change if you use a different style.
Bibliography Permanently converted to static text.
Citations Permanently converted to static text.
Placeholder text in citations Permanently converted to static text.
Placeholder text in content controls Permanently converted to static text.
Office Art Only a small subset of illustrations are available.
Charts and diagrams Some charts and diagrams will be converted to images that cannot be changed.
Custom XML (Extensible Markup Language (XML): A condensed form of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) that enables developers to create customized tags that offer flexibility in organizing and presenting information.) Not supported.

 Note   In addition to the changes listed in the table, the following items behave differently when you open an Office Word 2007 .docx or .docm file in Word 2000:

  • Macros and macro signatures will be removed.
  • Mail merge data will be lost and you will not be able to connect to data sources.
  • You will not be able to open password-protected files, even if you know the password.

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Applies to:
Word 2007