Word vs Word

October 14, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Microsoft Word’s ribbon menu has been with us for some time now, but there remains a sizable chunk of users who are still baffled by it. As a result it isn’t uncommon to find people installing Microsoft Word 2003 alongside Word 2007 or 2010.

The problem with this is that if you don’t understand how Windows deals with defaults, you won’t realize that the older software is overlooked in favor of the newer version, regardless of which was installed first. As a result you will need to know how to set Word 2003 as your default application. By doing this you can ensure that each time you launch a .DOC file your preferred version of Word launches.

Meanwhile, you may be aware that .DOCX is now a common file format. This is only available natively in Word 2007 and 2010, but you can add functionality to Word 2003 that allows you to view and save files in this format.

Who needs Word 2010?!

Many find Word 2003 easier to use than Word 2007 or 2010

Uninstall the Recent Version of Word

Actually, you don’t even need to go to the trouble of configuring your program defaults. If you’re feeling daring simply uninstalling the more recent version of Word is a suitable solution. To do this in Windows 7 open Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program and find Microsoft Word 2010 (or Microsoft Office 2010) listed. Highlight the software and select Uninstall from the toolbar, and follow the subsequent on-screen instructions.

Note that if you need to keep the other Office 2010 items then uninstallation of Word will take place by selecting Change > Add or Remove Features > Continue and then selecting the Microsoft Word drop down and choosing Not Available. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete removal of the application!

Configure Defaults

Whether you’re uninstalling the newer version of Word or not, you will need to correctly configure your Windows defaults so that when you click a .DOC file the right copy of Word launches.

In Windows 7 you should do this via the Start menu – head to Default Programs, then Associate a file or protocol with a program and scroll through the list to find the entry for .doc. Select this and then click Change program…  – a recommended program option of Word 2010 will probably be listed, so ignore this, select Browse… and then find your way to the default installation location of Word 2003 which is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11. Open this, select WINWORD.exe and then click OK, and in a few moments time your .DOC files will open with Word 2003!

Office Compatibility Pack

Just so that you can stay up to date with your old version of Microsoft Word, you can install the Office Compatibility Pack from www.microsoft.com/download.

This 37 MB download will work with Windows 2000 and later, and is designed to add the facility to Microsoft Office XP (2002) and 2003 to read and save .DOCX files as well as .XLSX and .PPTX files. These are the new standard formats for Microsoft Office as of Office 2007, so it is important that anyone using an old version of one of the Office applications is able to open them.

© 2008-2012 DeviceMag.com - All rights reserved | Privacy Policy