What Does ‘Compatibility Mode’ in MS Office Mean?

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We all have used MS Word for one reason or the other. Some of us received Word documents in emails that we could not open in Word and did not know the problem. When something like this happens, most assume it is a tech issue. Well, is it a tech issue?

How many of us observe the title bar of the Word document? If you look at it closely, you will find in an older version of Word that there is something called ‘compatibility mode’ right next to the name of that document. This is with an older version of all Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

So, when you receive a document from the older version of Word, it constrains you from utilizing the features in the new versions.

Several questions might be running through your mind, saying, why is this mode there? What do we do with the documents that were saved in older versions? How do we get those documents updated to the newer version? Well, these are the most important and frequently asked questions by anyone who has to deal with documents in compatibility mode. There are simple, easy-to-do answers to all these questions.

If you are curious to know, then continue reading this article…..

Example 1: If you are creating a document in the latest version, like 2016, with all the latest features and formatting styles. Then you don’t have to worry because you can still open this document in an older version of Office. You might be wondering why there isn’t a ‘Compatibility Mode’ present in the older version. Yes, that won’t change anything. Despite the compatibility mode, your latest version of the document will look the same as the older version. Remember, this mode was designed so that the newer and older versions of Microsoft will continue working together. The only thing is that when you open the latest version of the document in the older version in the compatibility mode, you will not be able to use the apps or features of the new version.

Example 2: If you get a document and are unsure which compatibility mode the document is opened in, here is how you find out. If you are opening it in a newer version, go to File, click on Info, then click on the check box for issues. When you click, there opens a small pop-up box with three options. Click on the check compatibility option. The check compatibility box is a select version showing a box with a drop-down menu. When you click on it, the check mark against the version is the document's compatibility mode.

Example 3: If you have a document from the older version in compatibility mode and you need to get it out of that compatibility mode, then this is what you will have to do. When you open that document, you need to click on the Office logo. On the top left-hand side, there comes a drop-down menu. Click on Save as there, and underneath Save type, select Docx. Which is in the newer version, and click on Save. When you do that, it will give you a window that says if you click ok, then the new changes and features of the new version will make changes in the document. To that, you click ok, and immediately, you will find the compatibility mode from the title bar disappears.

There are three examples of 'What does compatibility mode in MS Office mean.' At the same time, you have gained enough information on this topic. But if you are wondering how to upgrade from an older version like 2012 to 2013 at the same time while upgrading, you have ended up with some corrupted documents, then all you need to know is that there is a procedure to repair word 2013 documents.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…