Compatibility Pack for 2003

This allows files created in 2007 and 2010 to be opened in 2003
This pack is for Excel, Word and PowerPoint
Once the pack has been installed you will be able to open, edit, save and create files using the new XML file formats.
The pack can be downloaded Free from the microsoft website
You may see a small "file conversion in progress" dialog box.


The following files you cannot open with the compatibility pack:
Word - dotx


Compatibility Mode for 2007 and 2010

This allows you to open files saved in the old file formats
This disables any new features in Excel 2007 that are not compatible with the earlier versions. Any .xls fikes which are opened are automatically put into compatibility mode.
When you are working in compatibility mode this is indicated in the title bar
When you open a file created in a previous version of Office [Compatibility Mode] is displayed in the title bar.
This indicates that you may not be able to make use of all the features in the 2007 release.


This prevents any accidental use of any of the new features that are only compatible with the new file format.
You will also notice that workbooks saved as .xls take longer to open, save and close in Excel 2007.
To exit compatibility mode convert the workbook to one of the new XML file formats and re-open it.




Compatibility Checker for 2007 and 2010

You can quickly convert an old file format into the new file format by selecting (Office > Convert)
This option is only available when you are working in compatibility mode
SS - 2010
SS - 2007


The compatibility checker will also run automatically when a workbook is saved in the 97-2003 file formats to ensure that there are no features that cannot be supported. The compatibility checker will identify two types of issues:

  • Features that are retained but function differently

  • Features that will not function and have been disabled

The compatibility checker will list the issues and the number of occurrences of each issue identified and will provide additional help when necessary.


If you regularly share files with people who still use the older version of office you have two options

  • Save your files in the older format

  • Persuade your colleagues to install the compatibility pack for 2003




When saving a file to the Excel 97-2003 file format, Excel will scan the file and display the following dialog box to help you make a decision about potential compatibility issues.
The compatibility checker can be run manually if you want to from (Office > Prepare > Run Compatibility Checker).
SS

Check compatibility when saving this workbook - The compatibility checker works on a workbook by workbook basis. Un ticking this option will stop the compatibility checker from running the next time you save this workbook. Without the prompt any new features will be lost when saving this file in an earlier file format.
Copy to New Sheet - The workbook will not be saved and a new worksheet will be inserted displaying a compatibility report.
Continue - The workbook will be saved.
Cancel - This dialog box will be dismissed and the Save As dialog box will be displayed.


Office 2007 application can still open files using the older format.
You can save a file you created in Office 2007 as a 97-2003 file format although some features that are new to Office 2007 will be lost in the conversion.


A list of issues will be reported to you and you can decide whether to accept these losses or make modifications before saving the spreadsheet.

If you regularly share files with people who use older versions of Office you have two options:
1) Save your files in the older format
2) Convince your colleagues to install a conversion utility that allows them to open (but not save) files created in the new format.


Compatibility Mode

Compatibility Mode is a setting to prevent incompatible features in Excel 2007 from being saved to a file that is saved in the old 97-2003 file format.
You will not be able to use new Office 2007 features which are incompatible with earlier versions of Microsoft Office.
Not all Microsoft Office Excel 2007 features are supported in earlier versions of Excel. When you work in compatibility mode or want to save an Excel 2007 workbook to the file format of an earlier version of Excel, the Compatibility Checker can help you identify issues that may cause a significant loss of functionality or a minor loss of fidelity in the earlier version of Excel.
This option is critical for users who plan to share workbooks with other users who have not yet migrated to Office Excel 2007.


This is automatically enabled in the following situations:
a) Open a file saved in file formats used by previous versions.
b) Convert a file from 2007 Office system to a previous version using Save As.
c) Set the application default to save using the file formats from previous versions of Office.

Compatibility Checker

The compatibility checker is activated when you re-save an Excel 2007 file in the Excel 97-2003 file format.
This scans your workbook for features that are not supported by the earlier versions of Excel.
The Compatibility Checker identifies two types of compatibility issues: features that are retained but that function differently in earlier versions of Office Excel, and functions that are disabled in Compatibility Mode and that are not functional in earlier versions of Office Excel
When saving a file to the Excel 97-2003 file format, Excel will scan the file and display the following dialog box to help you make a decision about potential compatibility issues.
The compatibility checker can be run manually if you want to from (Office > Prepare > Run Compatibility Checker).
This dialog box will list the issues and the number of occurrences of each issue.


Copy to New Sheet - The workbook will not be saved and a new worksheet will be inserted displaying a compatibility report.
Continue - The workbook will be saved.
Cancel - This dialog box will be dismissed and the Save As dialog box will be displayed

How can I convert a spreadsheet from the old file format to the new Excel 2007 format ?

Open the workbook as normal which will open it in compatibility mode.
Select (Office > Convert).
This will convert your workbook to the new file format and allow you to use all the new 2007 features.
If you have a lot of workbooks to convert there is an option to switch this prompt off permanently.
Press OK to confirm the conversion.
Once the file has been converted there will be another prompt asking if you want to close and reopen so you can use the new features.

Useful Links

blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2006/07/20/671995.aspx - Official Excel blog explaining the new file formats
technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178998.aspx - Compatibility mode in the 2007 Office system
support.microsoft.com/kb/929355 - How to disable the Compatibility Checker when you deploy PowerPoint 2007 for many users
technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179188.aspx - Migration considerations for Excel 2007
office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HA100778231033.aspx - Office Excel 2007 features that are not supported in earlier versions of Excel
microsoft.com/whdc/xps/default.mspx - XML Paper Specification: Overview
office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HA101641791033.aspx - Microsoft Office Excel 2007 top 10 benefits


Other Notes

The following is a very short summary of features that are not supported in older versions:
The workbook contains more than 65,536 rows and 256 columns. This data will not be saved and any references to this data are changed to #REF!
You can create custom international calendar formats, such as Hebrew, Chinese, etc. However, these calendar formats are not supported in earlier versions of Excel and will be automatically changed to Gregorian date format.
Colour and formatting can be applied to header and footer text. This will be displayed as plain text.
Different headers and footers on even pages or on The first page.
Some cell styles and formatting is not supported and will be converted to The closest format.
Contains more font types and you can use up to 512 per workbook. Some fonts will not be saved.
Custom formulas or text in The total row of a table. The data will not be displayed as a table range.
Option to display or hide the header row of a table. Earlier versions have always had a header row .
table styles are new. in earlier versions You could only format a table manually.
Any tables with read-only connections to SharePoint Services List tables will be lost.
Pivot table limits have been increased for example they now support 1,048,576 unique items per field instead of 32,500 in earlier version.
Pivot tables styles and conditional formatting rules will be lost.
You can now sort using custom lists and by specifying formatting information. This will be lost in earlier versions.
Some filtering conditions are not supported in earlier versions
The number of workbook array formulas in now limited by memory rather than a limit of 65,472.
formulas can now contain structured references making it easier to work with tables of data or portions of data.
Named ranges can have names longer than 255 characters in the new version. They will work in earlier versions but will not be displayed in full in the Name dialog box.
You can apply conditional formatting without stopping when The condition is/has been meet.
You can apply conditional formatting to ranges that are not adjacent.
Pivot tables can have conditional formatting applied to them.
Special affects can be added to shapes and graphics (like transparent shadows)
Embedded objects created in The new version cannot be edited in previous versions.
Workbooks cannot be shared among uses who use a combination of new and earlier versions of Excel. To ensure that all shared workbook features are available, you should save the workbook in the Excel 97-2003 file format.
Table Sorting can now have more than 3 sort conditions.
Formulas can now be nested up to 64 levels instead of 7.
The maximum length of a formula has been increased to 8,192 characters instead of 1,024
The maximum number of operands in a formula has been increased to 1,024 instead of 40.
Certain formulas have had their total number of arguments increased to 255 rather than 30 (eg Median).
User defined functions can now contain up to 60 arguments rather than the previous VBA limit of 29.
table filtering on several items can now be done
Improved sorting and filtering - In Office Excel 2007, you can quickly arrange your worksheet data to find the answers that you need by using enhanced filtering and sorting. For example, you can now sort data by color and by more than 3 (and up to 64) l



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