Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Formatting Differences between Word Versions.

Formatting Differences between Word Versions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2015)

Greg's office has a mixture of machines, all running different versions of Word. Some are running Word 2000, some Word 2003, some Word 2007, and others Word 2010. The folks in the office frequently have to exchange documents for editing. Whenever Greg receives a document prepared with an older version of Word and opens it in Word 2010, the line spacing and even the font spacing are frequently different, so much so that the pagination can be completely different on the two versions. Greg is wondering what causes this and if there is a cure.

There are a lot of factors that go into determining how Word renders a document—so many that it is sometimes hard to pinpoint the cause for any given problem. There are a couple of things you can check out, however.

One possible cause is the printer drivers used on the different machines. Different printer drivers can render different fonts in subtly different ways, which can affect pagination over the course of a document. Check to make sure that the two machines have the same version of printer driver, and that they are both using the same printer driver.

Once the printer drivers are the same, you will need to make sure that both versions of Word use the printer driver to do their layout. In Word 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Options button. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  3. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the options and use the Lay Out This Document As If Created In drop-down list to choose which version of Word should be considered the standard for layout.
  5. Click OK.

Now, in the other machines in the office, display the compatibility options and make sure that they are set the same way you set them in Word 2010. (How you display and change the compatibility options depends on the version of Word you are using. In most versions through Word 2003 display the Compatibility tab of the Options dialog box. In Word 2007 display the Word Options dialog box and click Advanced at the left side. The compatibility options are at the bottom of those displayed on the screen.) Hopefully the printed versions on the two machines will now be much closer to identical.

If that still doesn't work, then you might try round-tripping the document through the RTF filter. Save the document in RTF format, then reload it from the RTF file. This may help to clear up any formatting idiosyncrasies that may have crept into the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10418) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting Differences between Word Versions.

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

Allowing Passive Voice in Writing

When you have Word do grammar checking on your document, it typically marks everything it considers wrong with the way you ...

Discover More

Setting Cell Width and Height Using the Keyboard

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? Here are a couple of ways you can reject the mouse and still adjust the height and ...

Discover More

Forcing Printouts to Black and White

If you want to force Word to print some of its colors in black and white, you may be out of luck. One bright spot, as ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (RIBBON)

Using the Format Painter with Editing Restrictions in Place

Word allows you to apply protection to your documents that can affect which tools users can access. If you want to exempt ...

Discover More

Working with Other People's Files

When you get files from other people, you may want a quick way to apply your formatting to their text. Provided that the ...

Discover More

Cleaning Up a Document that Mixes Styles with Direct Formatting

Need to get rid of direct, explicit formatting applied to a document? Here's an easy way to do it using familiar Word tools.

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share