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Office 2010 document compatibility

Can Office 2010 read documents made in earlier versions of MS Office - yes, of course.

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by Office Watch

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Kellye H writes:

"The only version of Microsoft Office for Home and Students at Best Buy is 2010. Can the older programs, since that is what most have, read the new one? I have heard conflicting answers and aren't sure what to believe."

Office 2010 reads and writes to all the document formats supported by earlier versions of MS Office and other office suites.

In other words, you can buy Office 2010 with no concerns about document compatibility. 

We can’t imagine anyone truly knowledgeable about Microsoft Office suggesting anything else. 

Office 2007 introduced new improved document formats (.docx, xlsx, .pptx etc) which are also supported in Office 2010.

The older MS Office document formats (.doc .xls .ppt etc) can also be read and written in Office 2007 or Office 2010.  Office 2003 and earlier versions of Office can download a free Compatibility Pack to read the newer formats.

In addition Office 2010 can read and write a less used rival document standard OpenDocument (.odt etc) as well as other documents like Rich-Text (rtf), web pages and Microsoft Works files.  WordPerfect v5 or v6 can be read.

Some other comments:

Best Buy has decent prices on Office 2010 but is showing that Amazon USA has a cheaper price at the moment with free shipping.

As we always say, watch out for purchases of Microsoft Office bundled with a new computer (aka OEM or the new Product Key Card).  While that software has the same name it's limited to a single install of Office which can't be transferred to another computer. Retail purchases of Home and Student edition can be installed on three computers and moved to other computers in the future.

If buying a new laptop, it may come with the new Office 2010 Starter Edition which is a limited feature version of Word 2010 and Excel 2010.

Article posted: Thursday, 17 June 2010

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