A number of PowerPoint users have moved on to PowerPoint 2007 (or 2010 Beta), but many still work with PowerPoint 97-2003 or move files back and forth between versions.
If you plan to work with both versions, you should install the free Office Compatibility Pack at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. The Compatibility Pack enforces compatibility between Office 2003 and 2007 by suppressing some of the features in the new Open XML file formats that could cause problems in earlier versions. You may need to install certain high-priority Office 2003 updates first before downloading the Compatibility Pack.
- Once the Compatibility Pack is installed, you will be able to open, edit and save PowerPoint 2003 .ppt files in PowerPoint 2007 without converting them to .pptx format.
- When you open a PowerPoint 2003 file in PowerPoint 2007, you’re automatically in compatibility mode—you don’t need to take any extra steps. You will see [Compatibility Mode] in the top bar after the file name. The presentation saves automatically in .ppt format unless you intentionally save it in .pptx format.
- Some of the new features in PowerPoint 2007 will be unavailable when you work in compatibility mode.
- You can open .pptx files in PowerPoint 2003 after installing the Compatibility pack, but you may not able to edit some of the items that were created with the new features in PowerPoint 2007.
- If you work in PowerPoint 2007 and exchange files with someone who works in PowerPoint 97-2003, it can help to save the file in .ppt format first. Click the Office Button, hover on Save As, then select PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation. PowerPoint then automatically runs a compatibility check before saving to identify any issues. You’ll be warned of any slide content that may be incompatible in PowerPoint 97-2003.
- You should only remain in compatibility mode if you plan to work on presentations in both PowerPoint versions, or if you exchange files with others who do so. Otherwise save the .ppt file in .pptx format to take advantage of the many new features. Click the Office Button, then click on Convert.