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Using MS Office 2003 and Office 2010 side-by-side

Posted on 2010-08-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have MS Office Pro 2003 and 2010currently installed on my machine, I disabled Outlook 2010 as I want to use 2003 as my default mail client. However, I would also like to be able to open 2010 documents in Office 2003.

For example, if someone sends me an email attachment as a 2010 file, I would like it to automatically open in the corresponding 2003 program. Is that possible?

I have already followed a few suggestions:
-Installing office in the proper order
-Re-installing and/or repair and detect to reset file associations
    **Both seem to be a temporary fix, after opening a 2010 doc the file association changes back to 2010
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Question by:SStarks
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33526048
I think you are generating unnecessary conflicts with respect to attachments. You can certainly open Office 2010 documents with Office 2003 by adding the compatability pack to Office 2003. With respect to opening from Outlook, I think it will open in the newer Office product.

Having used all recent versions of Office and now on Office 2010 (only), I think you would be better served with one suite only, and the newer suite works perfectly well.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33526072
I should also note that Office 2010 retains the ability to set the saved format to be 97-2003, so that documents you save and send around can be in the old format.  I do this because a lot of people continue to use Office 2003.
.. Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:SStarks
ID: 33526123
Thank you for the info, however, say I go to My Documents and just click on a 2010 file, how can I make it so that it'll open in 2003, without having to actually open 2003 and opening the file from in the program?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33526180
Now this is what I was pointing to with respect to conflicts. Having installed Office 2010, opening from My Documents (double clicking) will open it in Office 2010. If you want to use Office 2003, you will need to run the application and open file from the Open File menu.

There is no logical way one extension can point to two applications, so the newer one will be used.
... Thinkpads_User
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Accepted Solution

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Patrick Matthews earned 500 total points
ID: 33526446
SStarks,You could build a login script to reset the associations such that, say, *.xlsx will be associated with Excel 2003.  I can also see the merit in holding onto both versions, especially if you are a developer who has users on both platforms, or if you have to support customers who have a mix of platforms.That said, your safest bet is to open the ap first, and then open your file from within the app.Patrick
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33526512
I keep my version in separate virtual machines for testing purposes and to support my clients with a mixture of suites. This also completely avoids association difficulties.

Otherwise, on one host machine, a single suite works best in my experience. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:Patrick Matthews
ID: 33526558
thinkpads_user,Agreed that using a VM is probably the best approach :)Patrick
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Expert Comment

by:DanMar
ID: 33532493
I have found that opening the 2003 app and then opeing the attachment afterwards will force it to open in 2003 first unless it is an X?? doc. e.g. open excel 2003 then open .XLS.
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Author Comment

by:SStarks
ID: 33628857
Thank you all for your help. Doing further research online, I found a script to run that will allow the installation of both programs while still allowing the older version of MS Office to be the default program even when opening newer version documents.

http://www.technologyquestions.com/technology/microsoft-office/136810-how-set-office-2003-default-if-office-2007-also-installed.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:SStarks
ID: 33647147
There is a script you can run to make the oldest version run as the default, thanks you all your help!
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