How come a new version of Word cannot open a document made with an old version of Word?

by on January 3, 2011

Q: Microsoft software compatibility quest. I use the old MS Suite w/ word 2003. I have sent an email attachment (word doc) to another person who has a newer MS version. She cannot open my attachment and when she sends me an attachment I cannot open it. (I open it and get stuck with a bunch of comp code junk) Have any info on this? I thought (as a general rule) that an old version of MS could not open a new version but that a NEW version could open up a doc from the old version.. any info

Is there a sorta universal format that all word docs can be opened (regardless of software) — say, always use RTF or PDF, or whatever?


One Response to “How come a new version of Word cannot open a document made with an old version of Word?”
  1.  

    Microsoft has a compatibility pack that allows for Word 2003 to open the new doc format found in Word 2007 and 2010.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en

    Make sure to read the overview before download and installing the update.

    RTF or PDF(if editing isn’t needed) are both worth trying.

    Assuming the other person has Word 2007 or Word 2010 installed there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to open older word 2003 doc files and save then in either the new or old format.