Learn to use ‘Save as type’ to format your document so users of older versions of Word can access them

You can easily exchange files with users of older versions of Word. This is because Word 2007, 2010, and 2013 essentially share the same file format. So it is pretty easy to open any Word document created using version 2007, 2010 or 2013 in any other of these three versions of Word. In addition, Word 2007, 2010, and 2013 will open files from any previous version of Word.

However, when you need to share a Word 2007, 2010, or 2013 file with someone using a much earlier version such as Word 2003 or a Mac version of Word, you must save the file using their particular Word file format. This is because the file formats are not the same and the older versions of Word cannot read the newer file formats.

To save using the appropriate format, select the File tab on the Ribbon, and click Save As. In the Save As dialog, click the Save as type: dropdown list and select the word processing format that matches the software that your other user is using such as Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc). Then click Save to save it in that format.

Helen Bradley