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Quick File Conversions in MS Office

Friday, September 17th, 2010 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Word

We all know that the newest version of Microsoft Office programs has a lot of really cool features.

We also know that many of these features just don’t work with older file formats.

I can’t speak for you, but I have a lot of files that were created with Office 2002 and I’m not about to start over just to access the new cool gadgets.

What happens when I open these old files?

Well, the file is opened easily enough and is running in Compatibility Mode. I know that we’ve all seen this at the top of our program window:


Which, again, is fine but what do I do when I want to use these new features in my old file?

For example, here’s the Picture Tools tab I’m given to work with in a Compatibility Mode file:


And, by contrast, here’s the Picture Tools tab for the same picture in a file with the new format:


I’m positive that we can all see the difference – and while I can’t speak for you, I find that to be a significant difference. Some of my favorite things about these new programs are the picture, table, shape and SmartArt tools.

So now what?

Well, I could do a “Save As” to change the file type… but I find that to be annoying – just one too many steps and it’s definitely a pain to find the correct file type in that huge list of choices.

So, what are my other choices?

Fortunately, Microsoft has included an easy way to get the job done – they’ve included a feature called Convert.


When you have a file open in Compatibility Mode and go to either the Office button or the File tab, Info choice you’ll find the Convert feature.

Once you make this choice you may be given a warning about the effects of converting:


If you choose to continue, your file will be converted to the new file format allowing you access to all the cool stuff that comes with Office 2007 & 2010.

Yeah :)

~ April

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