What happens when you're sharing work with people who use an older version of Word? Word 2003 and 2000 are supposed to detect when you first try to open a DOCX file, then prompt you to download and install an Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. After you've done this, the older Word should convert your Word 2007 files and remove incompatible features. When you reopen that same DOCX file again in Word 2007, the file's original elements are supposed to stay intact. On the other hand, if you open an older DOC file within Word 2007, it will also run in Compatibility Mode, shutting off access to some of the newer program features, which explains why two documents within Word 2007 may display different formatting options.
Unfortunately, Microsoft isn't providing an option for storing or editing Word files online to most users who buy below the $679 Ultimate edition of Office, and there's no browser-based version of Word. Need to collaborate on a file with specific people or take work on the road? At this time, you may have to e-mail those documents. Alternately, you could upload a Word file into one of the many free, Web-based word processors served up by other companies, including Zoho Writer, which offers a free upload add-in for Word 2007.
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