Troubleshoot file conversion

Opening and saving files

ShowThe Open dialog box doesn't list the file I'm looking for.

  • Check for the correct file type     Make sure that you have the correct file type selected in the Files of type box.


In the Files of type box, click All Files (*.*) to see files of all types listed in the dialog box.

  • Search for the file      If you still don't see the file, click Search on the Tools menu in the Open dialog box. Fill in the Search text and Other Search Options boxes as appropriate, and then click Search.

ShowI want to open a document in Office Word 2003 that was created in an earlier version of Word.

You can open documents created in an earlier version of Microsoft Word directly in Office Word 2003. All data and formatting created in these versions of Word are fully supported in Office Word 2003.

ShowI need to open a Office Word 2003 file in Word 6.0 or Word 95.

If you're using Microsoft Word 95 or earlier, you must install a converter before you can open a document created in Word 97 or later. After Word 95 or Word 6.x users install the Word 97 for Windows/Word 98 for Macintosh import converter, they can open documents created in Word 97 or later.

This converter is included with Office Word 2003. You can install it from the Microsoft Office Setup program, in the list of text converters, and distribute it to users of Word 95 or Word 6.x.

 Note   Some new features that were introduced in Word 97 or later are not supported in earlier versions of Word and other programs. If you use these new features, you might lose data or formatting when you follow this procedure.

ShowI can't save a file in Word 97, Word 2000, or Word 2002 format.

Microsoft Office Word 2003 saves in the same file format as Word 97, Word 2000, and Word 2002, so no converter is needed to open or save files from these versions of Word.

If you're sharing documents with people who use Word 97, you can customize new or existing documents by turning off features not supported by that version. To do this, select the Disable features introduced after check box (Tools menu, Options command, Save tab). When you save the document, if it contains items that will be converted, Word displays a list of the features it will convert so that the document can be used in previous versions.

When you open a Office Word 2003 document in Word 2000 or Word 2002, most items in your document will be unchanged. Therefore, there isn't an option to disable Word 2000 or Word 2002 features.


ShowThe text of the document was converted correctly, but the graphics disappeared.

Make sure that you have turned on the display of graphics. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab. Clear the Picture placeholders check box. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, click From File, and then check the list of filters in the Files of type box. If the filter you need is not listed, you might need to install it.

ShowThe fonts are different in the converted document.

Documents created in other word-processing programs may contain fonts you don't have installed on your computer. If you open a document that contains fonts you don't have installed on your computer, Microsoft Word substitutes fonts you do have. To control which fonts are substituted, click Options on the Tools menu, and then click the Compatibility tab. Click Font Substitution, and then select the options you want.

ShowLine breaks and page breaks are different, or the document increased in size.

Microsoft Word might treat line breaks and page breaks differently than the program that the converted document was created in. To customize the way your converted document appears on the screen, click Options on the Tools menu, click the Compatibility tab, and then select the options you want. The selected options only affect how Word displays the current document while you're working with it in Word. The document is not changed permanently.

ShowThe file size increases when I save my document in Word 97-2003 & 6.0/95 - RTF or in Rich Text Format.

The Microsoft Word document format used by Word 97 and later handles image compression better than the format used by earlier versions of Word. Because of this difference in compression capabilities, the file size of a document may increase if it's saved as Rich Text Format (RTF) (rich text format (RTF): A file type used to transfer formatted text documents between applications, even those that run on different platforms, such as IBM and Macintosh.) or with the Word 97-2003 & 6.0/95 - RTF converter.

Applies to:
Word 2003