Default To Doc in Word 2007

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 5, 2008
Updated • Jan 5, 2013
Microsoft Office, Windows

It seems that Lifehacker is having Ghacks week which I personally do not mind but the amount of articles that they referred to is large to say the least. You may know that Microsoft made the docx format the default format of Word 2007, which means that all documents you create and save in Word are saved in that format. The main problem here is that while users with Word 2007 do not have issues opening docx files, users of previous versions of Microsoft Office, Word or third party software may have.

I faced the same issues in the past when I saved documents in Word 2007 in docx format and transferred them to other users who notified me saying that they had no idea why the document was not opening up like the documents I sent to them before. My options were limited to saving the document as a doc file, helping them convert the file on their machine or the Internet,  or explaining to them how they could add support for the new format to their copy of Word.

This happened several times and I finally decided to look for an option to change the default save format in Word. The article at Technix Update reminded me of that and I thought it would be nice to post the quick tutorial as well.

All that needs to be done is to open Word 2007. Once open a click on the Office icon on the top and a selection of Word Options appear. Just select Save in the left pane and pick Word 97-2003 Documents instead of the default Word Document.

A document that is simply saved will from now on have the file extension doc and not docx. I have not checked but I assume similar options are available for Excel and Powerpoint which use different types of extensions obviously but default to the new xlsx and pptx formats as well.


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  1. Martin said on August 6, 2008 at 10:18 am

    I’m not in the position to judge their articles. I thought you would copy my article to your blog. If you change it go ahead, that’s fine and you do not have to ask for permission to do it.

  2. iampriteshdesai said on August 6, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Even I meant to make appropriate edits to make it an Ubuntu specific article and then link it back. BTW did you read the LH article? Do you agree with it?

  3. Martin said on August 6, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Lifehacker are writing their own recap (short that is) and link to my website. You wanted to copy the entire article and link to my site, see the difference?

  4. iampriteshdesai said on August 6, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Someone had problem when I asked for permission to use ‘somebody’s’ article. But I guess being Lifehacker helps. I mentioned the same point about LH in my blog
    The amount of articles blogs like LH ‘lift off’ is amazing. Plz read it you’ll be surprised.
    And the above hack is basic. Although many would benifit.

  5. garbanzo said on August 6, 2008 at 8:37 am

    this is very useful, thank you!

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