Open MSO 2007 Files in Earlier Versions



I personally prefer the older version of Microsoft Office 2003 than the newer MSO 2007.[1] I have classmates who use the newer version on their Vistas, but I still work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations on my MSO 2003 with a Windows XP. In a situation like this where group projects and collaborative works are a necessity to get things done, and a non-ideal working environment of different computers with different software,[2] I happily share a solution for those people who cannot just give up an older licensed copy for a cracked upgrade.

Microsoft Office 2007 has a multitude of changes compared to the earlier versions. It doesn’t have the standard menu-and-toolbar environment we are used to be working on, but a general-purpose Office button and the Ribbon of the new Fluent User Interface. It also comes with a set of new file formats from the Office Open XML specification, primarily the .docx, .xlsx and .pptx file formats. Using ZIP compression, these new file formats are a lot smaller than the old formats[3] MSO 2003 or earlier versions create.

If you still have your Microsoft Office version at 2000, XP (2002) and 2003, you may want to install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. This will enable you to open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. You just need to update to the latest service packs for those earlier versions. There are, however, some document element differences you may encounter while working on a newer file format with an older application version.


  1. ^ especially because I know a bug I still haven’t had news about being fixed.
  2. ^ or software versions.
  3. ^ .doc, .xls and .ppt, respectively.


2 responses to “Open MSO 2007 Files in Earlier Versions”

  1. A good piece of advice. Though more common is to teach everyone I encounter using MS 2007 to use the “Save As” feature and save their files in the earlier formats. Since most are still on MS 2003 or earlier, it does make everyone’s life a lot easier.

  2. I do that, too, but people usually forget.

    And, I think those who still use MSO 2003 on a Windows XP know better than those who use Vista bundled with MSO 2007. But, that is just my assumption.

    I’d say go for choice and support the most recent standards. 🙂