Hints'n'Tips: Reading Office 2007/2010 documents in Office 2000 and 2003
The file format for Word, Excel, Powerpoint has changed...

...which means that more and more, you’ll come across people sending you documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) which have been created using the more recent versions of Microsoft Office – Office 2007 and Office 2010. And if your version is 95, 2000, or 2003, you won't be able to read them.

For example, instead of MyDoc.doc you’ll see MyDoc.docx.
And instead of MySheet.xls you may see something like MySheet.xlsx,

Of course, by default, previous versions of office programmes (e.g. Word 2003) don’t understand these formats.

Fortunately, Microsoft have produced a backwards compatibility pack which will let you open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations, that were created in the newer versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Note that for this to work effectively, your copy of office 2003 etc. must have taken all the latest updates. If you’ve got a “kosher” copy of Word, Excel etc., and if you’ve got automatic updates turned on, then you should be completely up to date.

Also worth noting that for some of the newer features, it might not be possible to reproduce or edit them in olrder versions of Word etc.

The compatibility pack itself can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=3

 If you'd like to know more, or have any comments on this tip, phone or email - details above.