Changing Microsoft Office Word 2007′s Default Save Options

Microsoft Office 2007 is by far one of the best products Microsoft has ever made, with the exception of one thing. Microsoft decided it was necessary to introduce a new document format. These include xlsx, pptx, and docx. For the longest time, their Office products have used the doc, ppt, and xls formats. In addition to this change, none of these new formats are backwards compatible with Microsoft’s older Office products, which has caused a lot of people undue stress.

I’ve had several clients and co-workers wondering why they can’t open their Office 2007 documents from anywhere else except their own computer. One of my professors upgraded to Office 2007 and posted a docx file to the course management software. The entire lecture the next day was in uproar saying that they couldn’t open the file.

Luckily there is a way around this so that you can still have the great functionality of the software, without losing the portability.

  1. Every time you do a “Save As” you can change the drop down menu to save as a .doc (Microsoft 97/2000/2003 Compatible) instead of a .docx
  2. You can change the default save options to automatically save as a format of your choosing.

Microsoft has an article in their knowledge base about making this change. For your convenience, here is the rundown for making the change in Microsoft Word 2007. The article also explains how to do it in Excel and Powerpoint.

1. Double-click Microsoft Office Word 2007, double-click Word Options, and click Save.
2. In the right pane, right-click Save files in this format, and select Properties.
3. In Save files in this format, select Enabled.
4. In the drop-down box, select a default file save format.
5. Click Apply to save the settings.

I’m sorry Microsoft, but the world needs a new document format, like the United States needs Bush in power for another 4 years. (Oops, probably shouldn’t have said that.)

I’d like to thank Phil and Warren for helping me test this process.

0 thoughts on “Changing Microsoft Office Word 2007′s Default Save Options

  1. Yeah I have that converter installed here at work so that I can read files from my laptop and/or home computers.

    If you’re having trouble finding the “Word Options” button, it can be found like this:

    - Click the Office Icon in the top left corner of Word
    - The “Word Options” button is in the bottom right corner of pop up menu

  2. Tried this, it didn’t work. Editing the registry key directly HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options\DefaultFormat is the value to change. It was already doc, yet word persisted in saving as .docx …

  3. The comment about the reg key for the default format. Have you tried deleting the key and re-adding it, have tried this with a client and apears to be holding it this time.

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