Compatibility changes between versions

The Compatibility Checker lists elements in your document that aren't supported or will behave differently in Word 2007 or in the Word 97-2003 format. Some of these features will be permanently changed and won't be converted to Microsoft Word 2010 elements even if you later convert the document to Word 2010 format.

In the Compatibility Checker, you can review a summary of elements that behave differently in earlier versions of Word and then either click Continue to save the document in Word 97-2003 format or click Cancel.

 Note   If you are using Microsoft Word Starter 2010, be aware that not all the features listed for Word 2010 are supported in Word Starter. For more information about the features available in Word Starter, see Word Starter feature support.

In this article


Feature availability in each mode

Feature 97-2003 2007 2010
New numbering formats Red X Red X Green check
New shapes and text boxes Red X Red X Green check
Text effects Red X Red X Green check
Alternative text on tables Red X Red X Green check
OpenType features Red X Red X Green check
Blocking authors Red X Red X Green check
New WordArt effects Red X Red X Green check
New content controls Red X Red X Green check
Word 2007 Content controls Red X Green check Green check
Themes Red X Green check Green check
Major/minor fonts Red X Green check Green check
Tracked moves Red X Green check Green check
Margin tabs Red X Green check Green check
SmartArt graphics Red X Green check Green check
Office 2007 charts Red X Green check Green check
Open XML Embedded objects Red X Green check Green check
Building blocks Red X Green check Green check
Bibliography and citations Red X Green check Green check
Equations Red X Green check Green check
Relative text boxes Red X Green check Green check
Previous-version WordArt Green check Green check Red X
Previous-version diagrams Green check Red X Red X
Previous-version charts Green check Red X Red X


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Feature behavior changes

Building Blocks

ShowBuilding Blocks and AutoText entries may lose some information.

Templates provide content that shows up in Building Block galleries in Word 2007. When you save a template in Word 97-2003 format, the content from the Building Block galleries will be permanently converted to static AutoText entries. You won't be able to convert the AutoText back to Building Blocks even if you later convert the document to Word 2010 format.

Content from the following Building Block galleries will be converted to AutoText:

  • Tables
  • Headers
  • Footers
  • Page Numbers
  • Text Boxes
  • Equations
  • Table of Contents
  • Bibliographies
  • Watermarks
  • Custom galleries

Citations and bibliographies

ShowCitations and bibliographies will be converted to static text and will no longer be updated automatically.

In Word 2010, citations and bibliographies update automatically when you modify their sources or apply a new document style.

When you save a Word 2010 document in Word 97-2003 format, citations and bibliographies are converted to static text that won't automatically update and their sources won't be available.

If you later convert the document to Word 2010, citations and bibliographies won't automatically update. For citations and bibliographies to automatically update, you must recreate the sources in the document or copy them to the Current List in the Source Manager dialog box, and then replace the static citations and bibliographies with the newly created ones.

For more information about citations and bibliographies, see Create a bibliography.

Content controls

ShowContent controls will be converted to static content.

If you save a document in Word 97–2003 format, all the content controls will be converted to plain text and associated properties will be permanently lost even if you later convert the document to the Word 2010 file format.

For example, in Word 97–2003, users will no longer see items in a drop-down list. Additionally, any protection properties (that is, regions that cannot be edited or deleted) will no longer be enforced and users will be able to delete and change the contents of the controls.

Embedded objects

ShowAn embedded object in this document was created in a newer version of Office. You cannot edit it in an earlier version of Word.

You can convert Open XML embedded objects so that people using earlier versions of Word will be able to edit them.

 Note   Converting objects is not supported in Word Starter. For more information about the features available in Word Starter, see Word Starter feature support.

Convert embedded Excel 2010 objects

  1. Right click the embedded object.
  2. Point to Worksheet Object, and then click Convert.
  3. In the Convert dialog box, click Convert to.
  4. Select Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet in the Object type list.

Convert embedded PowerPoint 2010 slide objects

  1. Right click the embedded object.
  2. Point to Slide Object, and then click Convert.
  3. In the Convert dialog box, click Convert to.
  4. Select Microsoft PowerPoint 97-2003 Slide in the Object type list.

Convert embedded PowerPoint 2010 presentation objects

  1. Right click the embedded object.
  2. Point to Presentation Object, and then click Convert.
  3. In the Convert dialog box, click Convert to.
  4. Select Microsoft PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation in the Object type list:

Convert embedded Word 2010 objects

You can convert embedded objects so that people using earlier versions of Word will be able to edit them.

  1. Right click the embedded object.
  2. Point to Document Object, and then click Convert.
  3. In the Convert dialog box, click to select Convert to.
  4. In the Object type list, select Microsoft Word 97-2003 Document.

Equations

ShowEquations will be converted to images. You will not be able to edit the equations until the document is converted to a new file format. Any comments, endnotes, or footnotes present in the equations will be permanently lost on save.

If you save the document in Word 97-2003 format, equations will be converted to images that you can't edit. However, if you later convert the document to Word 2010 file format and no changes have been made to the equation images in a previous version, the equations will become text and you will be able to edit them.

SmartArt graphics

ShowSmartArt graphics will be converted into a single object that can't be edited in previous versions of Word.

When you save a document that contains SmartArt graphics in Word 97-2003 format, they will be converted to static images. You will not be able to edit text inside a graphic, change its layout, or change its general appearance.

If you later convert the document to Word 2010 format and no changes have been made to the images in an earlier version, the graphic will be changed back to a SmartArt object.

Margin tabs

ShowAlignment tabs will be converted to traditional tabs.

In Office Word 2007, alignment tabs are used to position text relative to the margins of your document or a region within the document and adjust their position if you change the margins.

If you save the document in Word 97-2003 format, alignment tabs will be permanently replaced with traditional tabs and will no longer automatically adjust their position if you change the margins. If you have used alignment tabs to create a complex layout, the tabs may shift position and change the appearance of your document.

Text boxes

ShowSome text box positioning will change.

In text boxes, text that is centered vertically or aligned to the bottom will be permanently aligned to the top even if you later convert the document to Word 2010 format.

Tracked moves

ShowTracked moves will be converted to deletions and insertions.

If you save the document in Word 97-2003 format, tracked moves will become tracked deletions and insertions. If you later convert the document to Word 2010 format, the tracked insertions and deletions will not be converted back to tracked moves.

New numbering formats

ShowNew numbering formats will be converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...).

Lists that are formatted with the new numbering formats (0001, 0002, 0003, 0004, ...) will be converted to standard Arabic-numeral formats (1, 2, 3, 4, ...).

New shapes and text boxes

ShowShapes and text boxes will be converted to effects available in this format.

Shapes and text boxes that are created in Word 2010 can be formatted with a variety of new effects, such as Bevel and 3-D Rotation, that aren't available in previous versions of Word. In previous versions of Word, these effects will be converted to effects that are available in those versions.

Text effects

ShowEffects on text will be removed

Effects on text are permanently removed unless the effects are applied by using a custom style.

If the text effects are applied by using a custom style, they will appear again when the document is reopened in Word 2010.

Alternative text on tables

ShowTables will lose alternative-text information.

Alternative text is displayed when a document is on the Web. In Word 97-2003 format, alternative text on tables is permanently removed.

Blocking authors

ShowAll information on where other authors are editing in this document will be permanently removed.

Author blocks are removed from any regions to which they were applied, and the entire document is available for editing.

WordArt

ShowEffects on text will be removed.

WordArt is converted to static text.

Charts and diagrams

ShowA chart in this document may contain data in cells outside of the row and column limit of the selected file format. Data beyond 256 (IV) columns by 65,536 rows will not be saves.

Some charts and diagrams will be converted to images that cannot be changed. If the chart or diagram is based on data beyond the rows and columns supported by Word 97-2003, that data will be lost.

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Applies to:
Word 2010