Change Default File Save Extensions And Formats In MS Office 2007 Using Group Policy
If you compare MS Office 2007 with older office versions such as Office XP, Office 2000 and Office 2003, you will notice a number of changes. The main difference is the XML based file extensions and formats in MS Office 2007. MS Office 2007 saves all the documents in XML file format by default.
Whenever, you save a new spreadsheet, workbook, word document or PowerPoint presentation in MS Excel 2007, Word 2007 or PowerPoint 2007, they are saved using file extensions and formats such as .xlsx, .docx and .pptx. These file extensions and formats are not compatible with older versions of MS Office and hence these versions are unable to read or open such files.
In order to take care of this compatibility issue involved with the different versions of MS Office, Microsoft has come up with MS Office Compatibility Pack. If you are using older version of MS Office like Office 2003, 2002 (XP), you need to simply install this Compatibility Pack on your system and you will be able to open, save and edit any documents having 2007 XML file formats.
As another solution to this issue, you can save any document created in MS Office 2007 in such a way that it is readable and editable in all versions of Office suite including Office suite for Mac which is not compatible with XML format. All you need to do is, save the MS Office 2007 document manually in an older format such as (97-2003).
For doing this, you need to manually choose the option “Save As” instead of choosing the “Save” option and select “Save as Type” as “Excel /Word /PowerPoint 97-2003 Document” for saving the documents with .xls/ .doc/. ppt extensions.
However, the methods mentioned above seem to be pretty troublesome. If you happen to be a system administrator who has to manage thousands of clients, installing the Compatibility Pack would be a huge and time-consuming exercise. Also, there is a chance that you might easily forget to save a document as “Excel /Word /PowerPoint 97-2003 Document”.
Therefore, the easiest option would be to set Office 2007 to automatically save documents in 97-2003 formats. This specially helps in maintaining a standard file format while you gradually migrate and switch to MS Office 2007. You can change the settings for file saving options in MS Office 2007 by using the GPO (Group Policy).
For changing the file save options using GPO, you need to first download System Administrative Templates or ADM for MS Office 2007 and then add these Administrative Templates to GPO Management Console.
Within the GPO Management Console, look into the left window pane and double-click on “User Configuration” and double-click again on Administrative Templates (In Windows Vista, you need to double-click on Classic Administrative Templates). Now, just follow the below mentioned procedure to change the setting for default file saving options in MS Office 2007.
For Excel 2007:
- Double-click on MS Excel 2007 and click on the MS Office icon placed on the top left corner. Select “Excel Options” and then click on the option “Save” placed in the left window pane.
- Now, within the right window pane, look under the section “Save Workbooks”.
- For the option “Save files in this format”, choose a preferred default format from the drop-down box. For instance, Excel 97-2003 Workbook (*.xls)
The other file format options available are Excel Workbook (*.xlsx), Excel binary workbook (*.xlsb), Excel 5.0/ 95 workbook (*.xls), Web page (*.html, *.htm), XML Data, XML Spreadsheet 2003, Excel Template, Excel macro-enabled Template, Excel 97-2003 Template, CSV (Comma Delimited), Unicode Text, Text (Tab Delimited) etc.
- Finally, click on “OK” button so as to save the changes made.
For PowerPoint 2007:
- Open MS PowerPoint 2007 and click on the MS Office icon placed on the top left corner. Choose “PowerPoint Options” and then click on “Save” option in the left window pane.
- Look into the right window pane. Under the section “Save Presentations”, for the option “Save files in this format”, choose a preferred default format from the drop-down box. For instance, PowerPoint Presentation 97-2003 (*.ppt)
The other file format options available are PowerPoint macro-enabled Dashboard (*.pptm) and PowerPoint presentation (*.pptx).
- Click on “OK” button to save the new settings.
For Word 2007:
- Open MS Word 2007 and click on the MS Office icon placed on the top left corner. Go to “Word Options” and choose “Save” from the left window pane.
- Within the right window pane, under “Save Documents”, choose a preferred default format from the drop-down box for the option “Save files in this format”. For instance, Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc).
The other file format options available are Word Document (*.docx), Rich Text Format (*. rtf), Word Template (*.dotx), Word XML Document (*.xml), Word macro-enabled document (*.docm), Plain Text (*.txt), Word 97-2003 Template (*.dot), Web page (*.html, *.htm), Web page Filtered (*.html, *.htm), Word 2003 XML Document (*.xml), Works 6.0 – 9.0 (*.wps) etc.
- Select “OK” to save the changes.