I have seen so many people asking about compatibility mode in various forums. There are lots of questions and confusion about compatibility mode like why title bar show compatibility mode, how to get out of it and the list goes on. So here I am putting an end to this confusion. Let’s discuss it from scratch. Very few people know that before the release of MS Word 2007 .doc file extension were used while saving documents but now the latest versions of MS Word has incorporated the new Office Open XML format, indicated by the file extension .docx. This new format is not fully backwards compatible with earlier versions of MS Word; therefore a new feature known as compatibility mode was added to new versions of Word so that people who are using previous version can easily share documents.
What is Compatibility Mode in MS Word 2007? When you open a previous version document i.e. MS Word 97-2003 in MS Word 2007 or 2010, you will see Compatibility Mode written in title bar of document window. In Compatibility Mode you won’t be able to use advance features of Word 2007 like SmartArt Graphics, Office Art diagram. You can just open, save and edit earlier version document in Word 2007.
You can stay in Compatibility Mode if you want to share documents with people who are using previous versions of Word or you can convert your document in Full Compatibility Mode by Converting your document you will be able to use advance features of Word 2007.
Getting out of Compatibility Mode- There are two methods for getting out of Compatibility Mode.
Using Convert Command
2. A dialog box will open. Click OK. This will convert the file to Word 2007 format.
3. Save the file by clicking on Save.
Using Save As Command: Save As one of the new .docx format.
1. Open Word, click the Microsoft Office button and select Word Option.
2. Select Save on the left side and set the “Save file in this format” dropdown to "Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)".