Solved MS Office Compatibility Mode


Senecio

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I've been using MS Office for at least four decades, and consequently have many many .doc and .xls files - some of which I revisit. I currently use Office 365 and have no plans to change any time soon. My question is that a lot of my files (e.g. recipes) open in compatibility mode. That, in itself, is not an issue. I mostly don't use or worry about the various tweaks which MS has introduced in later versions, however I do still want to have access to my old files, and I wonder whether at some point in the future those old files will become unreadable. Is there a way to convert old files to the current version using a batch file or similar app?

I used to use MS Works in the days when I couldn't afford MS Office, and I recall there was a batch conversion app which would make those files Office compatible (apart from the databases). Is there something similar for MS Office?

John
 

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johnlgalt

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There is easy, not so easy, and app based.

Easy way - you *may* be able to do it, but I tried and I cannot do it with a current Office 365 install.

From 3 Quick Ways to Batch Convert Word DOC to DOCX Files and Vice Versa

Method 3: Use the “Save As” Way​

  1. Firstly, arrange all doc or docx files in one folder.
  2. Secondly press “Ctrl” and click to select all files.
  3. Next right click and choose “Save As” on the menu.
  4. Now there shall be multiple “Save As” windows popping up, so choose doc or docx for file type accordingly.
  5. Finally click “Save” to close all windows.
However, due to the variety of Windows or Office version, the “Save As” option might not be available on the contextual menu. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to take the 2 macro ways to conduct the task.

The first 2 methods on the same page are similar also to the method outlined at this site: How to batch convert .doc format files to .docx in Word?

Finally, there is an app (that is rather old) but does allow for Office 2007 formats (the original office that started using the 'x' on the extensions): MultiDoc Converter is a Freeware to convert multiple documents between Word, OpenOffice, PDF and many more

Honestly, though, unless you have over 1000s of these files, I'd do it manually. even if it takes a few months, it's better that way overall - because you open the file, then Save As and change the type from .doc to .docx, as an example - and the original is left intact.

No matter which method you do, though, make a full backup of all the docs as they are - say in OneDrive, or else another storage drive or different online storage provider first.

HTH
 

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Bree

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I used to use MS Works in the days when I couldn't afford MS Office, and I recall there was a batch conversion app which would make those files Office compatible (apart from the databases). Is there something similar for MS Office?
Batch convert app? I don't think so, not from Microsoft at least. You can of course use Excel and Word to convert files one at a time with 'Save as...' or the Convert option in File > Info.

If you really need to batch convert, then you could write a macro to do that, as is suggested here....

answers.microsoft.com | batch convert xls to xlsx
 

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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022.

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johnlgalt

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I do remember there being an app from Microsoft to convert Works files to Office. The app I linked to is not from Microsoft, though, and they have not made one to convert from old pre-Office 2007 formats to 2007+ formats, ever.
 

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Bree

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I do remember there being an app from Microsoft to convert Works files to Office. The app I linked to is not from Microsoft, though.....
Another option would be to use LibreOffice to open them, then 'Save as....'. MS Works is one of the (many) formats supported in LibreOffice.

1654775032957.png
 

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Senecio

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Thanks @johnlgalt and @Bree I suspect I will go the manual/individual file route as John suggests. It's really a matter of training myself to check for the Compatibility Mode message at the top and making sure I convert the file before closing it. At least then the files which I actually use will be updated. I would worry that a macro would leave some files corrupted without any indication, so I'd have to open them all to check anyway.

The main reason that I stick with MS Office rather than jumping to Libre Office or one of the other alternatives is that I like and am used to Outlook.

On the other hand, there's a good chance that MS Office will continue to open my old files indefinitely anyway.

John
 

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RFS

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What I've found when converting some files is that the original ends up in the Recycle Bin, and a new file is saved to the source location. Took me by surprise when I went to empty the Recycle Bin and found it full of all my stuff ...
 

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Bree

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I suspect I will go the manual/individual file route as John suggests. It's really a matter of training myself to check for the Compatibility Mode message at the top and making sure I convert the file before closing it.
I suspect there is no rush to convert. MS Office should continue to support opening and saving older formats for the foreseeable future. I have older versions of Office installed on some of my machines, so I'll continue to keep using the older format and compatibility mode for those spreadsheets I share between machines.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.
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