Open A Word 2013 Document In An Earlier Version Of Word

To open up a Word 2013 document in Word 2010 or Word 2007, you just do what you would ordinarily do: double click on the document, right click and select open, or open the document from inside Word itself by pressing ctrl + o and navigating to it. Word 2013 documents all have the .docx extension, which was introduced with Word 2007.

To open a Word 2013 document with versions of Word prior to 2007 (this means Microsoft Word 2003, Word 2002, or Word 2000), you will need the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. With the Compatibility Pack, you can open, change some items, and save .docx and .docm files documents in earlier versions of Word. Some parts of the document might work differently in those versions, though.

Although you can open Word 2013 documents in earlier versions of Word, you might not be able to change some items that were created by using the new or enhanced features in Word 2013. For example, equations will become images that can’t be edited. Here’s a list of features that work differently when they’re opened in an earlier version of Word.

Word 2013 How Word 2010 Deals With It How Word 2007 Deals With It How Word 97-2003 Deals With It
Apps for Office The app does’t run, but will be available when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. The app does’t run, but will be available when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. The app is permanently removed from the document.
Web Video The video is replaced with a picture and a hyperlink to the web video. The video is replaced with a picture and a hyperlink to the web video. The video is replaced with a picture and a hyperlink to the web video.
Comment replies and comments marked as “done” Comment replies become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked as “done” will appear as regular comments. If the comments are not changed, the original state will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. Comment replies become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked as “done” will appear as regular comments. If the comments are not changed, the original state will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. Comment replies become top-level individual comments, and all comments marked as “done” are reset.
Headings that are collapsed by default Headings are expanded by default and the property is permanently removed. Headings are expanded by default and the property is permanently removed. Headings are expanded by default and the property is permanently removed.
The new numbering formats like Uppercase Turkish (Latin) {A, B, C, Ç, D, …}, etc. The same Lists using the new numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, …) etc. Lists using the new numbering formats are converted to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, …) etc.
New shape and text box effects The same Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects that are available in Word 2010 format. If the shape isn’t changed, it will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013. Shapes and text boxes are converted to effects that are available in Word 2010 format. If the shape isn’t changed, it will be restored when the document is upgraded in Word 2013.
Text effects like shadow, reflection, glow, and 3-D The same Effects on text are permanently removed unless the effects are applied by using a custom style. If they are applied by using the style, the text effects will appear again when the document is reopened in Word 2013. Effects on text are removed.
Alternative text on tables The same Tables lose the alternative-text. Tables lose the alternative-text.
OpenType features like ligatures, stylistic sets, number forms, and contextual alternates The same All OpenType features in use are removed. All OpenType features in use are removed.
Blocking authors The same Blocks applied to regions of the document are removed. Blocks applied to regions of the document are removed.
New WordArt effects like Text Outline and Text Shadow The same New effects in use are removed. New effects in use are removed.
Content controls Repeating section content controls are converted to static text; XML mappings on rich text content controls are removed. Repeating section content controls are converted to static text; XML mappings on rich text content controls are removed. All content controls are converted to static text.
Themes The same The same Themes are converted to styles. If the file is later opened in Word 2013, you cannot automatically change the style by using themes. All theme information is lost.
Major/minor fonts The same The same Permanently converted to static formatting. If the file is later opened in Word 2013, heading and body fonts won’t automatically change if you use a different style.
Tracked moves The same The same Permanently converted to insertions and deletions.
Tabs The same The same Alignment tabs will be converted to traditional tabs.
SmartArt graphics The same The same SmartArt graphics become a single object that can’t be edited unless no changes are made and it is reopened in Word 2013.
Charts and diagrams The same The same Some charts and diagrams are converted to images that cannot be changed. Data beyond supported rows is lost.
Open XML Embedded objects The same The same Converted to static content.
Building blocks The same The same Building Blocks and AutoText entries may lose some information.
Bibliography The same The same Permanently converted to static text.
Citations The same The same Citations are permanently converted to static text.
Equations The same The same Equations become graphics and cannot be changed. Any comments, endnotes, or footnotes in the equations are permanently lost when the document is saved.
Relative text boxes (where the width and height set as a percentage of the page, margin, or column width and height) The same The same Permanently converted to absolute positioning.

In addition to the changes detailed above, the following features behave differently when you open a Word 2013 .docx or .docm file in Word 2000:

  • Macros and macro signatures are removed.
  • Mail merge data is lost and you will not be able to connect to data sources.
  • You will not be able to open password-protected files, even if you know the password.