Changing the Default Document Format

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 14, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 Microsoft 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

Beginning a Mail Merge

Performing a mail merge can be intimidating to some people. It needn't be; Word provides step-by-step wizards that lead ...

Discover More

Comments Don't Appear when Cell is Pointed To

One way that you can view comments in a worksheet is to have them appear when you hover the mouse pointer over a cell. If ...

Discover More

Counting Lists

Word makes it easy to add both numbered lists and bulleted lists to your document. If you are working with longer ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Page Counts for Many Documents

Need to see the page count on a large number of documents? Windows provides an easy way to see the information you ...

Discover More

An Automatic File Name

Do you have a set "standard" for how you name new documents? If so, you may be interested in implementing the technique ...

Discover More

Changing the Default File Name

When you first save a new file, Word bases the name of that file on the contents of the start of the first paragraph in ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 1 - 0?

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.

Videos
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.