Software

Don't get derailed by Office 2007 compatibility issues

As with any major upgrade, Office 2007 brings concerns about compatibility. Deb Shinder explains how to minimize compatibility headaches when you make the jump to the latest version.

As with any major upgrade, Office 2007 brings concerns about compatibility. Deb Shinder explains how to minimize compatibility headaches when you make the jump to the latest version.


Microsoft Office 2007 provides a lot of new features and functionality, but what about compatibility? Here are 10 tips for dealing with compatibility issues when you upgrade to the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Note: This information is also available as a PDF download.

#1: Understanding and using new file formats

All the Office 2007 programs use new default file formats based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The new formats are indicated by an "x" in the file extension. For example:

  • Word documents: .docx
  • Excel workbooks: .xlsx
  • PowerPoint presentations: .pptx

XML is an open standard, and the change makes it easier to move files between different applications. It also makes file sizes smaller than those saved in the old binary formats. However, some users with previous versions of Office may not be able to open files in the new formats.

You can still save files in Office 2007 programs in Office 2003 file formats. Just select Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc) from the Save As Type drop-down list in the Save As dialog box, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A: You can easily save individual files in the old Office 2003 formats.

#2: Changing the default format

If you want to always save files in the old format by default, click the Office button, then the <program name> Options button, and select Save in the left pane. Choose Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc) from the Save Files In This Format drop-down list, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B: You can set the default to always save files in the old Office 2003 format.

When you save a file in the old format that was originally created in the new format, you may get a message advising that some of the formatting and features that are only supported by Office 2007 programs will be lost.

#3: Using Office 2007 compatibility mode

Office 2007 programs introduce a new feature called compatibility mode. If you frequently share files with others who haven't upgraded or you need to work on your files on another computer (for example, a laptop) that doesn't have Office 2007 installed, you can ensure that the files you create in Office 2007 don't contain any features that aren't supported by the previous version of the Office program.

If you place your Office 2007 applications in compatibility mode, incompatible features, such as the SmartArt diagramming tool, won't be available to you. Instead, you'll use the diagramming tool from Office 2003 so that the diagrams you create can be edited in the older version of the program.

Compatibility mode is automatically on when you open a file that was saved in the old file formats, when you convert a file from the XML-based format to the older format, or when you configure the program to save to the old format by default. In Word, compatibility mode also kicks in if you create a new document from an old-format template (.dot).

When the Office 2007 program is in compatibility mode, it will be indicated in the document title bar, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C: Office Compatibility Mode is indicated in the title bar of the document.

Some features can be returned to the document if you reopen it in an Office 2007 program; others can't. For a full list of the features that are lost when you work in compatibility mode and which ones can be refreshed, see the article "Compatibility Mode in the 2007 Office System" on the Microsoft TechNet site.

#4: Installing the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack

If someone with whom you exchange files is still running an older version of Office and you want to be able to send them files in the new XML formats (for instance, so they can see the formatting features that are unique to Office 2007), they can install the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack.

The Compatibility Pack allows users of Office XP or Office 2003 to open, edit, save and even create files in the new XML-based formats. The pack is available as a free 27.1 MB download from the Microsoft Web site. It can be installed on machines running Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP1, and Windows Server 2003.

#5: Using the OMPM File Converter

If you have a large number of Office files saved in the old format that you want to change to the new XML-based format, you don't have to open and save them one at a time in the Office 2007 program. Instead, you can perform a bulk conversion using the Office File Converter that's included in the Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM).

The OMPM is a free 2.7 MB download available from the Microsoft Web site. It can also be used by administrators in organizations to scan and generate reports about the Office files on the network. You can install it on computers running XP SP2, Vista, or Server 2003.

Once the OMPM is installed, to perform bulk file conversions you use the OFC.EXE tool at the command line. You'll need to create an ofc.ini file with settings defining what you want to convert. Microsoft provides a template for the ofc.ini file that you can edit to indicate the path for the folders you want to convert. For more information on the contents of the ofc.ini file and how to invoke it programmatically, see "Converting Office documents to Open XML."

#6: Viewing PowerPoint presentations with PP Viewer 2007

PowerPoint 2007 provides many cool new graphical features that aren't supported by older versions of PowerPoint. These presentations can be viewed by Office XP/2003 users with the Compatibility Pack installed, but what if you want to see a presentation on a computer that doesn't have any version of Office installed?

You can use the PowerPoint Viewer 2007 to view these presentations will all the new features intact. It also supports opening presentations that have been password-protected in PowerPoint 2007 -- however, it does not support viewing presentations that have been protected using Microsoft Information Rights Management technology.

The Viewer is a free 25.8 MB download available from the Microsoft Web site. It can be installed on computers running Windows 2000 SP4, XP SP1, Vista, and Server 2003.

At the time of this writing, viewers for Word and Excel 2007 were not yet available. But you can use the Word and Excel 2003 viewers to view Word and Excel 2007 files if you install the Compatibility Pack. For details, see KB article 925180, "How to view Word 2007 and Excel 2007 files by using Word Viewer 2003 and Excel Viewer 2003."

#7: Using the Compatibility Checker

Before you send a document that was created with an Office 2007 program to someone who's using a previous version of Office, you can run the Compatibility Checker, which is built into Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. It will identify any features or formatting you've used that won't be recognized by older versions of Office.

A list of the incompatible content will be displayed, and you'll be advised that such content may not be fully editable in the previous version. The Compatibility Checker runs automatically when you save a file in the old format. You can also run it manually from the Office | Prepare menu, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D: You can run the Compatibility Checker from the Office Logo | Prepare menu.

#8: Outlook 2007 and Exchange 5.5

Outlook 2007 works only with Exchange 2000 or later. Users who attempt to connect to an Exchange 5.5 Server will get a message that Outlook is unable to log onto the Exchange server. Extended lifecycle support for Exchange 5.5 ended in January 2006, and Microsoft intentionally designed Outlook 2007 to prevent it from connecting to Exchange 5.5 servers to avoid data loss and other problems that were anticipated with this combination.

Be sure you know what version of Exchange server your organization is running before you update to Outlook 2007.

#9: Office 2007 file formats and mobile devices

The XML-based file formats can't be opened with Pocket Office programs on Windows mobile devices running Windows Mobile 2003. However, Office Mobile 6.1, which can be installed on Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6, supports the XML-based document formats.

#10: Adding on a "classic" user interface

Although not exactly a compatibility issue, many users find Office 2007's new user interface incompatible with their way of doing things. The Ribbon replaces the old-style menus, and while this new tabbed Ribbon seems to be easier to learn for new users (who haven't used previous versions of Office), many longtime Office users have complained that they miss the old menus.

If you want, you can install a third-party add-on that gives you back the old menu bar without sacrificing the new Ribbon. Classic Menu for Office 2007 installs easily and costs $29; it's available from www.addintools.com. After it's installed, an extra tab appears on the Ribbon called Menus, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E: If the new Ribbon interface is incompatible with the way you like to work, you can add back the Classic Menu.

Other Office 2007 resources

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

42 comments
cpo7896
cpo7896

Can I put MS office2007 (or just outlook) from my desktop, to my samsung note 10 tablet? Or will I have to buy a ipad?

peter891
peter891

Thanks for the useful post - I definitely need all the help I can get with Office 2007. Top of my list of ten things to know about Office 2007 would be: 1. If you have Office already, don't upgrade. Stay with office 2003. You will save yourself a huge amount of frustration and lost productivity.

Andrea Zaretzki
Andrea Zaretzki

This was very helpful. But, it does not answer following 2 issues. Any answers on this front would be appreciated: 1-Are compatability downloads and features needed, and do they work, with MAC Office 2003? 2-When you first load 2007 Office to a PC that had pre-Office 2003 [probably 2002?], will old Word and Excel files be immediately viewable in 2007 Office or must any special steps be first taken? Should any such steps be taken BEFORE installing Office 2007

andretn
andretn

This must be the worst going backwards rather than forward development ever. I have been using Office since it came out and we moved away from Multimate and Quatro (giving my age away). Most unfriendly, hide and seek program ever!!

issacsunil
issacsunil

Hi, My friend Using MS-Office 2003 and im using 2007 ,when he is sending me any exel sheet in outlook express im unable to open that excel sheet its taking long time and getting hanged up ,i even installed fileformatconverters still problem persits.can you please help me to fix this probem my email id is - issacsunil@live.com

rdelaplaza-at-hotmail.com
rdelaplaza-at-hotmail.com

Here we go AGAIN. With this move Micro$oft tries to FORCE people to buy their stuff or you are left out, receiving incompatible documents that you CAN NOT OPEN. Well they are missing the point AGAIN and shooting themselves in the foot. The whole point of office is "compatibility", you can send a document and anybody else can open it. But not with OFFICE 2007... what a stupid error. This has everybody that purchased Office 2007 sending documents that NOBODY ELSE CAN OPEN. and emailing again for something legible. STUPID again they (MS) could have set a little something warning to "off07" users, that this will happen, and letting they know that the document they are saving could be saved in "compatibility mode" so everybody else could open it. But nop. B R I L L I A N T. You did it again Miscro$soft people in the name of needless, fat, resuource-gobbler bells and wistles software, It makes me wonder if all this MS software fattening, has to do with backdoors that call home MS to leak important stuff from their users? conspiracy theory... could be. I'm steering clear out of MS's path, going to some Open Source type of office. Nice going, MS found they way to the path of the DODO bird, with Vista and Office 2007.

billm@vpqhc.org
billm@vpqhc.org

I have formatting issues with PowerPoint 2007. We all have Office 2007 in the office but when running in 97-2003 compatibility mode for some people the placeholders shift up making the slide formatting off. The same presentation will look different on different client machines. Sometimes the text doesn't even show up on the slide. Any help would be appreciated. I have found that if you set up a new profile for the client machine the presentation will look fine. It must be a user setting stored in the profile or Powerpoint that throws things off. Bill

billm@vpqhc.org
billm@vpqhc.org

I have deployed Office 2007 to our environment and have found that in Powerpoint sometimes the placeholders and text on slides are shifted up. Sometimes the text doesn't show up at all. It seems to be a user setting related to 97-2003 compatibility mode. If I log in under a different profile on the same machine the text looks fine. It is very strange and I haven't found a solution. Bill

mis
mis

Access 2007 has backwards compatibility issues with all previous versions of Access. They run at a snail speeds. Upgrading the Database to 2007 requires a rewrite since theres major changes between previous versions. Granted yes you shouldn't use access forms and use a windows or web app.But when you inherit an old Dinosaur that no one but you wants to change. You get stuck between a rock and a hard place. Avoid upgrading to 2007 stick with an earlier version if you use Access Forms.

ritchiej
ritchiej

I have Office 2007 Word running on Windows XP; my version of Office is the "Home and Student Edition". When I want to make and print a mailing label (a single label for sake of argument), I click on Mailings, then Labels. I get a window that displays an area in which I am supposed to put in the text I want on my label (usually someone's name and address). I have to type in the text myself, even if I have 100 labels to do. There seems to be no provision for opening up an address book, selecting an address, and inserting the address with a click. The "?" (Help) indicates I am to click on the "Insert Address" button in the Label window. There is no "Insert Address" button. There is no Address Book. The only Address Book in my Office 2007 appears to be the one associated with Outlook Express. I added an "Address Book" button to the ribbon (in the Quicktabs area), but it doesn't appear to be linked to MS Word and cannot be used while the Label window is open. What is the problem here? Someone suggested it might be my version of Office (Home and Student). I have seen this reported elsewhere as a "recognized issue". How do I fix this? Microsofted in Pittburgh

florafl
florafl

How do I open an Access 2007 file with my Access 2003? I have downloaded the compatibility pack, and i can open the 2007 Excel file with my Excel 2003. However, my Access 2003 still cannot open the Access 2007 file. Please advise, thx.

peteph
peteph

Are the really that stupid? Do they think we are that stupid? Guess no one will roll out Office 2007 for a few years, the costs of getting it to handle like Office (anything else) are astronomical!

Devlesa
Devlesa

What it doesn't address for me is how to fix compatibility issues when the checker doesn't tell you WHAT the issue is. I get message like this which don't help at all: "Some cells or styles in this workbook contain formatting that is not supported by the selected file format. These formats will be converted to the closest format available." Could they be more vague?

george.poli
george.poli

I am new to the field of IT and need to know what you mean by setting up a new profile for the client machine. This problem has wasted over 20 hours of my time already. Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks and have a great day!

ssuh1224
ssuh1224

I have the same problem with PPT 2007 now. It seems like all Arial fonts got screwed up but the same file opens up fine in different computers. It was working fine until I converted 2007 file to compatible mode, which is not compatible at all.... I wonder if you have found any solution regarding your issue.

kristina_johnson
kristina_johnson

I had multiple instances where when one particular printer in my office was set as the default printer, the user would have this exact issue you describe. When I changed their default printer to another printer, the problem went away. I am not sure what it is about this particular driver or its compatibility with office 2007 but this is my experience with this issue... hope it was helpful.

rtyuRTYU5678
rtyuRTYU5678

Being an executive for a US Gov't Agency.. I couldn't agree more.. not just the $ expense of supposedly upgrading to 2007 but the retraining of users.. lost productivity time and of course the total cost of ownership for having to listen to users complain how they can't use this new wonder software.. It gives me more ammo for using Linux and Open Source software. I will be lobbying all agencies in the future to use Open Source and Linux.

techrepublic.posting
techrepublic.posting

You ask "Are the really that stupid? Do they think we are that stupid?", no we're not stupid, but you are. The item they are referring to is NOT Office 2007, but an add-in for Office 2007 to simulate Office 2003 menus.

funnybroad
funnybroad

I was getting so confused and frustrated trying to get my mind wrapped around how the Office 2007 file formats and features are compatible with previous Office versions, that I finally bit the bullet and tested it up one side and down the other. I was relieved to discover that IT WASN'T ME BEING STUPID... BECAUSE THERE IS A GOOD REASON I was so confused!!! THE BEHAVIOR OF THE COMPATIBILTY TOOLS (Compatibility Mode, Compatibility Checker, Feature Refresh, and Compatibility Pack) IS SO DIFFERENT depending on the Application you're using, that it would be impossible to simply learn "how to handle compatibility in Office 2007". You have to learn how to handle compatibility in Word 2007, then re-learn how to handle it in Excel 2007, then re-learn how to handle it in PowerPoint 2007.... even if you're doing the same exact task, using the same exact features (or no features at all!) So, I put this presentation together to help others out there who are trying to help themselves (and their users) understand it: http://www.slideshare.net/funnybroad/office-2007-compatibility-mode-confusion Feel free to re-distribute... but be sure you test the scenarios in your own environment to be sure you are getting the same results!

Fil0403
Fil0403

Are you really that stupid? So you think people are that stupid? If you guess no one will roll out Office 2007 for a few years... guess again (I did already, it cost me $0 so I could use it and I'm not ever going back). Thre costs of getting it to handle like Office (anything else) are $0, not to mention the money you save thanks to being more productive thanks to Office 2007.

gordon.couger
gordon.couger

The last time my Windows box crashed I went to Sun's OpenOffice. End of compatibility and upgrade problems for me. OpenOffice worked well enough the next time I bought a computer I got an Apple IMac and ended up with NeoOffice www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/index.php. Using classic Unix shell tools combined with a spread sheet had proved to be an extremely productive place to work from me. Even vi has its place for stripping formating form text as easy as any tool I ever found. I am sure that there are problems with keeping features in sync among Windows Office, OpenOffice and NeoOffice but I have more confidence in open source find in fixing problem in a timely manner than I do with Microsoft. The blob of code Microsoft tries to maintain is a nightmare of stuff you would be crucified if you tried to publish in open source code. That's not really Microsoft's fault it's a short coming of all propitiatory code. There is not the pressure to fix the minor problems and ugly spots that are OK that you can't get away with in code subjected to peer review. Which is what Open Source is in the end. Gordon

jcmichalak
jcmichalak

I was having the same issue with a user's PowerPoint file having formating issues with text outside of text boxes and bullets not working when opening in PowerPoint 2007. The file worked on other computers and on the same computer when I looged in. I changed the default printer and the issue was resolved. Rebuilding the profile would have appeared to work because the default printer would be changed.

tjaffe
tjaffe

Funnybroad you are a guru when it comes to understand compatibility issues. I posted the following problem last week with no responses. I was hoping you might have an idea as to how to resolve my problem Thanks Todd tjaffe@comcast.net Problem loading microsoft office compatibility pack for Office 2007 I have successfully loaded the compatibility pack on some computers using a 2003 version of Windows, but I am running into difficulties on two computers that use "MS Windows XP Pro version 2002 with SP2 installed" and Office XP which has word 2002 and SP3 installed). After downloading the compatibility pack (FileFormatConverter.exe) and running it, I get an error messages stating "Compatibility Pack for 2007 office System cannot be installed on this computer. The compatibility pack requires Microsoft Windows 2000 Service pack4, Microsoft windows server 2003 or Microsoft windows XP service Pack 1". As I mentioned above, I already have SP3 installed. Just to be on the safe side, I tried downloading SP1 and SP3 again. The compatibility pack still does not install. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

if you have the right HW. But fortunately for me I do not need nor care to use either. I like Office 03 just fine. I do not like getting lost trying to figure out a function all over again in Outlook. I do not like trying to re-learn how to use Words basic functions. I do not like trying to figure out why the hell the system runs soooo very poorly when I have Off07 on Vista. wait, I know the answer. It is because both Vista and Office are resource hogs. Having both on the same system causes it to slow down badly. XPSP2 and Off03 are hogs too, but tolerable. Obviously you buy new HW often. good for you, helps the economy. But many people may not want to. Nor does Office 07 bring a real need for most users out there to upgrade and re-learn how to use it. And since when is MS Office free? I do not recall it being free, if it was I would not have purchased a new copy of 03 for home last year. Hmmm. Something fishy... So MS fanboy, is this how you think you are helping MS? By pirating their SW and telling everyone how wonderful it is? Also, why rip on everyone who has a different opinion? HMMM? I use OpenOffice just fine, and it truly is free. I am writing this from OpenSUSE on my notebook as well. I do this because of MS's BS. And I have personally found that I like Linux and use it more than my XP box now. Cost of last years upgrade for XP and Off03 -- something like $500. Cost for OpenSUSE and OpenOffice -- $0 Ok, OO is a bit slower, and is missing some advanced functions. But it is hardly noticeable for what I use it for, and I can run it on a system with 256 MB RAM. Yes, that is right, 256 MB RAM. For this, XP would run slow, vista would be non-functional and adding MS Office to it would make me pull my hair out trying to type each letter. So, my point, Get Over Yourself! Many people have many different needs or preferences. Yours is not the '1 size fits all' solution. As that solution has never worked well on anything.

Tig2
Tig2

I have thousands of end users. This is a MAJOR change. We will have to change MANY things. Glad you are having a positive experience with whatever you are using. Always a good first step.

lee0078
lee0078

You should be happy,something free is always better than having to pay for it. But it is still stealing and, in this case, it would be grand larceny, a felony. And you think that proves you have a brain? It just proves that you are a thief.

rtyuRTYU5678
rtyuRTYU5678

I have finally reached the end of my rope with Office 2007. I have un-installed as best I can. I will use either 2003 or OpenOffice from now on. While there are good features in 2007 they do not overshadow the pain in rear that the scrambled new menus are. A compatibility mode is REQUIRED not a nice to have that can be left out!

Deacon Z
Deacon Z

Anyone else have a problem with Excel taking a very long time to open old spreadsheets? If you minimize the window it will pop back up immediately with the document though. lol.

Fil0403
Fil0403

The last time my Windows box crashed (quite some time ago, since I have Vista) I investigated what made it crash and leant from it. Either way, never had any compatibility and/or upgrade problems with Office ever. OpenOffice and NeoOffice don't have e-mail client, don't have half the features Office 2007 have, take you double as much time to do the same thing in Office 2007 and PowerPoint presentation made with these suits next to PowerPoint 2007 is a shame. You get what you pay for.

lee0078
lee0078

All previous versions of Microsoft Office provided a spell checker for Outlook Express. Office 2007 attempts to do this but only provides a French dictionary.(No English Spell Checker in OE.) Additionally the spell and grammar checkers in Word 2007 are a joke. Microsoft acknowledges these shortcomings but so far has refused to fix them. Until they do, it is my advice to stay with Office 2003 or what ever else works for you.

funnybroad
funnybroad

First, I am very very far from being a guru. If I was a compatibility guru, I wouldn't have had to write all that stuff down just to get myself to understand it. I've only ever installed and tested the compatibility pack with Windows XP SP2 with Office 2003 Professional installed. I've not ever observed that error message: "Compatibility Pack for 2007 office System cannot be installed on this computer." I will keep an eye out for the message though. I surf all kinds of Office sites, blogs, discussion groups, etc... If I see a mention of it, I'll come back and post what I found. Sorry I couldn't help any more than that!

rtyuRTYU5678
rtyuRTYU5678

I totally agree with the statement Compatibility Mode is REQUIRED not a nice to have. I wish Steve and Bill would get a clue with their wonder children in the Gen X and Y worlds that they are not the most populus people and changing menus just to make them happy every few years is not really acceptable. PITA (Pain in the A_ _ ) is the term in my office for 2007. Especially when you have to tell users there is no compatibility mode for the menus.

Tig2
Tig2

You say that your last crash was "quite some time ago and [you] have Vista". As the release of non Beta Vista was ~6 months ago, can I then conclude that "quite some time" means ~6 months? Wake up, Fanboy. Every user has different requirements that are not solved by a single tool. In each and every case, it is essential to determine what the NEEDS are and meet them. PERIOD. And regardless of personal preference.

nbsc
nbsc

I ran into the same problem following my upgrade? to Office 2007. I did find a solution to this problem & it is free. Not only that it works perfectly. Imagine that, free & it works. Here is the link to it: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/spelloe.html

gordon.couger
gordon.couger

I have not used Office 2007. But OpenOffice on Windows was not all I thought it should be compared to what the port NeoOffice of OpenOffice to a dual core and Apple IMac is. I do a good deal of work with a large data base from the USDA foreign Agriculture Service that has production, yield, consumption, imports, exports and a lot of other data that effects price an needs of most countries around the world. It is the best source of that kind of data in the world as they have been compiling it for a long time and cross check many sources. It has to be filter by crop and often split up by categories for different sheets such as production, yield and and harvested acres, import & exports so it can get by the line lime of spread sheets. The full Monty on cotton makes up 4 or 5 sheets. I have used lots of tools for it but Classic Unix Shell scripts to make comma delimited text files that any spread sheet can read is hands down the best way to do it bar none. I can get a special request from the complete data set in a matter of minutes including a number of things most people don't think affect the use of a crop. With Window I found this data set to unwieldy to use. I am sure part the the bias I have for the IMac was the giant step form a 1.4 GHz Blue Light special Windows box to a $2,500 2.5 GHz dual core Intel computer with top notch peripherals and the speed boots I get from Unix over Windows and not havening to run as much of the virus protection the bogs Windows down. The down side of OS X is getting to Unix commands that the hide for the average Apple user. Gordon

lee0078
lee0078

I have no desire to use Outlook 2007 as the OE program is much simpler and quite adequate for my purposes, that is until Office 2007 ruined its spell check function that was always provided by previous Office versions. I don't need the bells and whistles in Outlook 2007. Nor do I need Vista which is not supported by many third party hardware and software vendors. A new softwareware suite is supposed to add functionality, not make it difficult for the saps who buy it. For now, neither Office 2007 nor Vista are ready for prime time. If you don't like hearing the truth you shouldn't encourage others to complicate their lives.

Fil0403
Fil0403

FYI Microsoft Office 2007 apelling & grammar checker is available on all Office 2007 applications (at least in mine is and I don't think Microsoft decided to be especially nice to me in particular). A priceless moment in time, yes: your post.

Fil0403
Fil0403

Interesting you say all that, because I've never had any problem regarding spell checking in Office 2007 (my English installation even automatically recognizes when I'm writing Einglish or Portuguese) and I don't know what's a joke in the spell and grammar checker in Word 2007. Until someone explains why spell and grammar checker in Word 2007 are a joke and why one wants spell checker for Outlook Express when they work perfectly on the much better Outlook 2007, it is my advice to upgrade to Office 2007 if you want to be more productive.

gordon.couger
gordon.couger

A spell checker in open office and NeoOffice is all I can ask. I never use the grammar checker I don't want to sound like a computer. Cost for working spell checker, grammar checker, office 2007 support on Open office and NeoOffice for apple $00.00. Runs on Windows, vista, Xp, 98 and probably 95, Mac, FreeBSD Linux, Sun and cost $00.00. Microsoft Office 2007 spelling & grammar checker not available at any price. A priceless moment in time. Gordon