Open a Word 2013 document in an earlier version of Word

To open a Microsoft Word 2013 .docx or .docm file in Word 2010 or 2007, you don’t need to do anything extra. Just open the file.

To open Word 2013 files in Microsoft Word 2003, Word 2002, or Word 2000, download and install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats and any necessary Office updates. With the Compatibility Pack, you can open, change some items, and save .docx and .docm files documents in earlier versions of Word. Some parts of the document might work differently in those versions.

 Note    You can’t open template files that were saved in .dotx or .dotm format.

Features that behave differently in earlier versions

Although you can open Word 2013 .docx or .docm files in earlier versions of Word, you might not be able to change some items that were created by using the new or enhanced features in Word 2013. For example, equations will become images that can’t be edited. Here’s a list of document elements that work differently when they’re opened in an earlier version of Word.

Word 2013 Change when opened in Word 2010 Change when opened in Word 2007 Change when opened in Word 97-2003
Apps for Office The app does’t run, but it will be available when the document’s upgraded in Word 2013. The app does’t run, but it will be available when the document’s upgraded in Word 2013. The app is permanently removed from the document.
Web Video The video is permanently converted to a picture with a hyperlink to the web video. The video is permanently converted to a picture with a hyperlink to the web video. The video is permanently converted to a picture with a hyperlink to the web video.
Comment replies and comments marked “done” Comment replies become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked “done” will appear as regular comments. If the comments are not changed, the original state will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. Comment replies become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked “done” will appear as regular comments. If the comments are not changed, the original state will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. Comment replies permanently become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked “done” are reset.
Headings that are collapsed by default Headings will be expanded by default; the property is permanently removed. Headings will be expanded by default; the property is permanently removed. Headings will be expanded by default; the property is permanently removed.

New numbering formats:

Uppercase Turkish (Latin) {A, B, C, Ç, D, …}

Lowercase Turkish (Latin) {a, b, c, ç, d, …}

Uppercase Bulgarian (Cyrillic) {А,Б,В,Г,Д, …}

Lowercase Bulgarian (Cyrillic) {а, б, в, г, д, …}

Uppercase Greek {Α, Β, Γ, Δ, Ε, …}

Lowercase Greek {α, β, γ, δ, ε,…}

3-digit fixed format {001…NNN}

4-digit fixed format {0001…NNNN}

5-digit fixed format {00001…NNNNN}

No change. Lists using the new numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...). Lists using the new numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...).
New shape and text box effects (most of the effects in the Format Shape pane) No change. Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects available in this format. If the shape isn’t changed, it will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects available in this format. If the shape isn’t changed, it will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013.
Text effects like shadow, reflection, glow, and 3-D No change. Effects on text are permanently removed unless the effects are applied by using a custom style. If they are applied by using the style, the text effects will appear again when the document is reopened in Word 2013. Effects on text are permanently removed.
Alternative text on tables No change. Tables lose alternative-text information. Tables lose alternative-text information.
OpenType features like ligatures, number forms, stylistic sets, and contextual alternates No change. All OpenType features in use are removed. All OpenType features in use are removed.
Blocking authors No change. Blocks applied to regions of the document are removed. Blocks applied to regions of the document are removed.
New WordArt effects like Text Outline and Text Shadow No change. New effects in use are permanently removed. New effects in use are permanently removed.
Content controls Repeating section content controls are converted to static text; XML mappings on rich text content controls are permanently removed. Repeating section content controls and check box content controls are converted to static text; XML mappings on rich text content controls are permanently removed. All content controls are converted to static text.
Themes No change. No change. Permanently converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Word 2013, you cannot automatically change the style by using themes.
Major/minor fonts No change. No change. Permanently converted to static formatting. If the file is later opened in Word 2013, heading and body fonts won't automatically change if you use a different style.
Tracked moves No change. No change. Permanently converted to insertions and deletions.
Tabs No change. No change. Alignment tabs will be converted to traditional tabs.
SmartArt graphics No change. No change. Become a single object that cannot be edited unless no changes are made and it is reopened in Word 2013.
Charts and diagrams No change. No change. Some charts and diagrams will be converted to images that cannot be changed. Data beyond supported rows is lost.
Open XML Embedded objects No change. No change. Converted to static content.
Building blocks No change. No change. Building Blocks and AutoText entries may lose some information.
Bibliography No change. No change. Permanently converted to static text.
Citations No change. No change. Permanently converted to static text.
Equations No change. No change. Become graphics and cannot be changed. Any comments, endnotes, or footnotes in the equations will be permanently lost when the document is saved.
Relative text boxes (width and height set as a percentage of the page, margin, or column width and height) No change. No change. Permanently converted to absolute positioning.

 Note   In addition to the changes listed in the table, the following items behave differently when you open a Word 2013 .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 2013