Pin Me

Install the Compatibility Pack for Microsoft Office

written by: Terry Caron•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 7/29/2010

With MS Office 2010 available, users of older versions of Office may be wondering if their software and documents will be compatible with the new formats. Find out what you need to do.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Many of the features of Office 2007 are included in Office 2010, such as smaller file sizes, XML format and others. Along with this, Microsoft has expanded the capabilities of its Office productivity suite with an array of new features to unlock the creative potential of its users. It is now possible to edit pictures right from the document itself, doing away with the need for editing in a different program and inserting it into your document or presentation. Editing videos directly in PowerPoint will definitely increase productivity, as will the ability to access documents anywhere in the world via the web.

    One potential drawback is the newer file formats, based on XML, and their lack of compatibility with older Office suites. For users of Microsoft Office suites prior to Office 2007, this could be a problem when opening documents created in Office 2007 or Office 2010. Fear not, for the wise developers at Microsoft have developed the “Microsoft Office Compatibility" pack to allow cross-functional compatibility among programs.

    Just as in Microsoft Office 2007, the file names have changed along with their structure. They now end in x, such as Word documents changed from .doc to .docx. This represents the format changes that occurred in the transition from 2003 to 2007 and the use of the XML format. The Office 2010 Compatibility pack was created as a download from Microsoft.com to install on older versions of Office allowing them to read and format these newer file formats. Installation is relatively simple.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Pre-requisites:

    • For users of Office 2003 and Office XP, service pack 3 (SP3) must be installed along with all required and critical updates prior to installation of the Office 2010 Compatibility pack.
    • Office XP requires 3 additional updates to be installed in addition to SP3.
      • KB918420 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918420/ ) Security update for Microsoft Excel 2002: July 11, 2006
      • KB917153 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917153/ ) Update for PowerPoint 2002: July 11, 2006
      • KB917347 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917347/ ) Update for Word 2002: July 11, 2006
    • For Office 2000, no updates need to be installed.
  • slide 3 of 5

    System Requirements:

    • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows Server 2003; Windows Vista; Windows Vista Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 2; Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Windows 7

    Recommended Microsoft Office programs:

    • Microsoft Word 2000 with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Excel 2000 with Service Pack 3, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 with Service Pack 3
    • Microsoft Word 2002 with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Excel 2002 with Service Pack 3, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 with Service Pack 3
    • Microsoft Office Word 2003 with at least Service Pack 1, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 with at least Service Pack 1, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 with at least Service Pack 1
    • Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003
    • Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003
    • Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2003

    • slide 4 of 5

      Download and Installation

      1. Once you have verified that all the required updates have been installed, you can download and install the Office 2010 Compatibility pack.

      2. Download and save the file to your hard disk.

      3. Double-click the "FileFormatConverters.exe" program file, on your hard disk, to start the setup program.

      4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the install. Always restart your computer after installation.

    • slide 5 of 5

      Note: The program may show up as “Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office system". This is ok since it has been updated to work with file formats of the Office 2010 file formats. These formats are the same in Office 2010 and Office 2007.

      Microsoft Office 2010 has many features to improve productivity and creativity. If you are not able to upgrade at this time, the Office Compatibility pack will help you to remain in the game working with documents from all versions of Office.