Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving Excel 2011 workbooks to earlier versions of Excel, part of Migrating from Excel 2008 for Mac to Excel 2011.
If you are going to be working in a mixed environment, that is sharing your Excel 2011 workbooks with others who maybe haven't even upgraded to Excel 2008, maybe they're on a Windows PC using an earlier version of Excel for Windows. Well in those cases you'll need to know how to convert your existing workbooks back to those earlier versions. It's not very difficult at all. Take a look at the file we are using here in Excel 2011, TT_Budget with the extension XLSX. We see that up on the title bar. That's the format that was introduced in Excel 2008.
We are still using it here in Excel 2011, so if you're only sharing with Mac users using Excel 2008 or 2011, there is no conversion necessary. You might see some minor issues when it comes to color use and themes, but the functionality is compatible in both versions. Now, if you do have users you're collaborating with using Excel 2004 or earlier, or maybe even earlier versions of Excel on a Windows PC, you'll need to convert these back to those earlier formats, and to do that, you click File and choose Save As.
Now from here you can keep the same name if you like. It's the extension that's going to change. It won't be that XML-based format. We will be going back to a binary-based format. You can choose a different location, which I'm going to do. I am going to select the Desktop and now the important decision is the format. Of course, if you are converting an existing workbook, hopefully you don't have any functionality in this workbook that didn't exist in these earlier versions or you will see a warning. It's something to consider as you start creating your workbooks in Excel 2011.
But for now we need to convert this back and you will see the common formats. There's the old XLS extension, the binary-based format used by Excel 97 for Windows, all the way up to 2004 for the Mac. You can also do the same for templates, and then there are a number of other specialty formats to choose from. If you're using macros for example or Add-ins or if you just want to convert it back to a text format that anyone can use, even if they don't have Excel. But for now we are collaborating with Excel users and let's say they go as far back as Excel 97 for Windows.
So we'll select that and you'll see in the Description, indeed this is the ideal format for people using Excel 98 through 2004 on the Mac or 97 through 2003 for Windows. When you click Save, if you do have functionality that's new to Excel 2008 or 2011 not available in those earlier versions, you'll see this warning. You might have features that will not work or it may even be removed if we save it to the selected file format.
Do you want to continue? And just keep in mind, when you choose Continue, you might lose that functionality but you'll always have your original file in the original format with the XLSX extension. Click Continue and you're now using the file in the older format. So you have to go through and make sure that the functionality is still there, it's still working, and now you can share this by sending it off to people who are using earlier versions of Excel, prior to Excel 2008 or prior to Excel 2007 on the Windows PC.
And if you do want to know what that functionality is that maybe was lost or won't work in the earlier formats, there's a way to do that and we are going to talk about it next.
- Using keyboard shortcuts
- Understanding file format differences
- Staying compatible with the Compatibility Report
- Working with 2011 functions
- Using templates
- Recording VBA macros
- Creating PivotTable reports
- Protecting cells in a workbook
- Sharing a workbook