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Maintaining compatibility

From: Excel 2010 New Features

Video: Maintaining compatibility

One great thing about this new version is that the file format hasn't changed from the 2007 version. The .XLSX file format of Excel 2010 is the same format used in Excel 2007, and also the same as the format used by Excel 2008 on the Mac. But this is different from the three letter .XLS format used by Excel 2003 and earlier. Even though the format in 2010 is the same as a format in 2007, they are still formatting features that you could apply here that won't appear as you expect, or may not appear at all, if you open up in 2007.

Maintaining compatibility

One great thing about this new version is that the file format hasn't changed from the 2007 version. The .XLSX file format of Excel 2010 is the same format used in Excel 2007, and also the same as the format used by Excel 2008 on the Mac. But this is different from the three letter .XLS format used by Excel 2003 and earlier. Even though the format in 2010 is the same as a format in 2007, they are still formatting features that you could apply here that won't appear as you expect, or may not appear at all, if you open up in 2007.

Now you might think to yourself, well gee, I am just working on this by myself. Maybe I'm not going to share this with anybody. I guarantee, at some point down the road, you will need to share your work with someone who is using an older version of Excel. So hopefully the info you get in this movie will save you some headaches down the road. So I have this file open here, 01_03_current format.xlsx, and we have a couple of things here. We have this conditional formatting that's applied now. These particular icons are new in the 2010 version.

We'll also have the SmartArt. Let me just click this here, and the SmartArt here was introduced in 2007. So if I were to open this workbook in Excel 2007, that conditional formatting here, these icons, would disappear, but this green SmartArt here would function just great. If I were to give this document to someone who is using Excel 2003, first of all they might not be able to open the document at all. If they did, I guarantee you these conditional formatting things are going to be gone.

The SmartArt, it will be visible, and they will be able to edit it as regular shapes, but not as SmartArt. And if they did that, and then went ahead and open up in 2010, it would still be shaped. It wouldn't re-become SmartArt again. So you really need to be careful about that. Let's do this. Let's go and save this down here. So I am going to go up to the File menu, and I am going to Save As, and I am going to save this with an older 2003 extension, and I am going to call this 03 saved down.

Click Save. This gives us all kinds of warnings about all sorts of different things that aren't going to appear correctly by opening an older version, and up here you can see in the upper-left there is some formatting that's going a little haywire. So it's really good idea to keep tabs of what's going on here. You see this check box to Check compatibility when saving the workbook, so that way, it will catch anything that you might not notice. I'll just click Continue. I am going to go and close it, and I am going to reopen it.

I'll go to the File tab and open up saved down. And look at that! This conditional formatting, that stuff has gone. It was just removed. But the SmartArt, when we click here, you can see that this is still SmartArt, and it's still working perfectly fine. So when you're applying formatting, especially if you know that your work is going to be opened up by someone who's using an older version of Excel, it's a good idea to keep track of what formatting features you're using, what kind of features you are using in Excel, so that things won't disappear when you're not expecting them to disappear.

Well, this was all about taking a current 2010 version file and saving it down. Let's go the other direction. Let's take an older file format and save it up. So first, I'll just close this file here, and I am going to open, I'll just press Ctrl+L, and I am going to open this file here called 03 older format workbook in your Exercise Files and see this is just a plain old Excel sheet. First thing you'll notice here on top is where it has the file name it tells us Compatibility mode, so that this is an older version file that we can edit in 2010, but because this is an older format file, we can edit only using those features that are available in 2003, or those formats that 2003 can accept.

I'll select all the numbers. I'll click that first number, Shift+Click the last number there, so we have all of them selected. And on the Home tab here, I am going to go over to Conditional Formatting, and I am going to go over here to Data Bars. Then I'll just choose the first one. If you don't like this blue one, you want a green one, that's okay. You can just choose that. I'll just deselect so we can see. That's lovely! I am going to save over it. Now this is in Compatibility mode, so I could press Ctrl+S, or just click the Save button.

Again, this is telling us that, oh, there is going to be some loss of functionality because 2003 doesn't accept all of this. So I'll click Continue, and there it is. I am going to close the file, press Ctrl+F4. I'll reopen it. I'll go to the File tab. Click. There it is, and everything is here, and that's because this is 2010. Hey! It's super version. It will recognize everything. So keep in mind though, if you were to open this up in an older version, they probably wouldn't see this formatting at all.

Also in this chapter, we'll talk about how we can head off some of these conflicts before we save it.

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Excel 2010 New Features

25 video lessons · 10643 viewers

Bob Flisser
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