Changing the Default Document Format

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 24, 2018)

Normally, Word saves your documents in what is known as "Word format." That means that the documents are stored in a format based on XML. This format may not be easily understood by other versions of Word, nor by other programs.

If you do a lot of work creating documents for other versions of Word or other programs, you may want to specify a different default file format for your documents. Word makes this easy by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click the Save option at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save option of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Use the Save Files In This Format drop-down list to select a default file format.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5983) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Cross-References in Footnotes

Need to make a cross-reference from one footnote to another footnote? You can do it if you throw bookmarks into the mix, ...

Discover More

Understanding Object Anchors

Do you have documents that contain objects? Understanding how Word handles objects and the way they are anchored can make ...

Discover More

Typing Pronunciations of Words

Take a look in a dictionary at the way that words are phonetically spelled. Those special characters used to type those ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Saving Personalized Copies of a Document

Need a series of documents that include an individual's name or a company name? Here's a handy little macro that will ...

Discover More

Limiting What is Shown in the Open Dialog Box

When you display the Open dialog box, Word has to determine what files to display. This tip looks at a baffling ...

Discover More

Size Limit for Documents

Word can handle large documents, but how large is large? This tip examines the issue and provides some advice on how ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.