There are times when you are out to make an important presentation and suddenly you realize that your files in word, Excel or PowerPoint are not opening. This might happen due to an older version present on your computer, while your files have been built in the newer versions. So what happens in such a scenario? You need to learn the technique to open files of newer versions in the older formats.

Why newer versions do not open in older versions?

Microsoft has incorporated a new office open XML formats within Microsoft Office Excel 2007. This has helped enhance the quality of data and file management, even as the files sizes have reduced considerably. XML uses ZIP compression in order to store documents. Due to the incorporation of this new XML format, the new documents are not supported by the older versions of Microsoft office.

How to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 files in older versions?

In order to open the new versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, you will be required to download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. This compatibility pack will let you open, edit and save the documents and files in any version that you require. This compatibility pack is also usable for Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003. However, always ensure that you have high-priority updates offered by Microsoft update installed in your system, prior to downloading the compatibility pack.

How to check for the high priority updates?

There are no updates required for Office 2000, while Office XP will require installation of certain updates and presence of SP3 or Service Pack 3. In order to check if the updates are already installed in your system, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click on ‘Start’ located on the left most corner of your screen. Go to ‘Control Panel’ and click on ‘Add or remove programs’.

Step 2: Next click on ‘Change or remove programs’. Select ‘show updates’.

Step 3: Search the list of installed programs for Microsoft Office XP.

Step 4: Select the Office XP product and click on the “Support information” link. Ensure that the version is 10.0.6626.0 or a higher version. Once checked, close the support info box.

Point to notice: Excel 2002, Powerpoint 2002 and Word 2002 have had several updates released after the release of updates mentioned above. In order to ensure that these updates are installed in your computer as well, you will need to check the file version of the application files. In order to do this, follow the steps explained below:

Step 1: Go to ‘Start’ and click on ‘Run’.

Step 2: Copy and paste the command “%programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office10” into the text box and press enter.

Step 3: Look for Excel.exe, PowerPnt.exe, and Winword.exe files.

Step 4: Select the files separately and go to the ‘file’ menu. Then click on the ‘properties’ option. Next, go to the ‘version’ tab and check for the versions. Minimum file versions for: Excel.exe should be 10.0.6809.0, Pwerpnt.exe should be 10.0.6804.0 and  Winword.exe should be 10.0.6804.0.