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California State University, Long Beach
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Solution to Potential Microsoft Office Document Compatibility Problem

Inability of Office 2003(Windows)/Office 2004 (Macintosh) to Open Office 2007 Documents

T he exchange of Microsoft Office documents by CSULB faculty, staff and students, as well as vendors and other off-campus third parties becomes difficult with the recent release of Microsoft Office 2007. For example, Office 2007 documents cannot be opened by older versions of Microsoft Office without updating the software. Macintosh Office 2004 users face a more difficult problem since Microsoft has not released an update.

Updating computers running Office 97-2003 and Office 2007 solves the problem. These updates allow both Windows and Macintosh Office users to open documents created in Office 2007.

University-owned computers connected to the campus network are being updated through automated processes or by local technical support personnel with the goal of completing the work by the beginning of Fall semester. Those faculty and staff assigned university owned laptops should contact their local technical support organization for information on updating laptops.

Updating home computers running Office is essential. Instructions for updating your home computer are attached to this email. Read the following to help you determine the updates needed on your home computer:

  • I have an older version of Microsoft Office for Windows.
    Install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and Powerpoint (details)

  • I have Office 2007.
    Default Word, Powerpoint and Excel to automatically save documents in the older version (details)

  • I have Microsoft Office for Macintosh
    A beta converter tool is available for download and installation if you have Office 2004 11.3.4 or later, or Office v. X 10.1.9 or later on your Macintosh. ( Please note: This tool expires on December 31, 2007 and you may need to remove the beta tool in order to install the final version of the converter. )

    Macintosh owners with versions other than those listed above must either install the required version of Macintosh Office or wait until the newest Macintosh Office product is released by Microsoft.

The adoption of Office 2007 campuswide requires discussion and planning since the new office suite may require upgraded computer hardware, has a significantly different look and feel and product installation, configuration and upgrade processes must be changed. More information regarding the adoption of Office 2007 will be available late Fall.

Please direct questions regarding this memo to your local technical support organization or contact the Technology Help Desk via phone (562) 985-4959 or email

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