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  1. #1
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    Hi All,

    I have a new HP PC with Win 7 Home.

    I am transitioning from an old PC that just had Office 2003 on it. I also have Office 2007. To get over the 2007 learning curve, I want to install both on my new PC.

    I had read long ago, when 2007 was coming out (probably here on the Lounge), that this was no problem as long as only 1 version of Outlook was installed. Since I don't really use Outlook, that was not a problem. In fact, I'm not sure which version of Outlook I chose when I did the dual install.

    There was 1 caveat that I obeyed: install 2007 first so the subsequent install of 2003 would grab back the old (doc, xls, etc) file extensions.

    To say the least, it's unclear if I have a stable configuration of the 2 Offices. I have 2 accounts set up on the PC (admin and user) and extension-behavior (in terms of what opens what) seems different even across the 2 accounts. Since I expect to work predominantly on the user account, I'm trying to at least get that working reliably. I should also add that my main concerns are with Excel and Word.

    I've already installed 2007, followed by 2003. Since the associations weren't working, I uninstalled 2003 and installed again. This is what I've experienced so far:
    - with the associations the way I want, if I opened a 2007 doc (double click the doc file), the next attempt to open a 2003 doc resulted in the 2007 program opening them. I think I may have gotten past this based on recent results.
    - after booting up the PC and trying to open a Word 2007 doc (docx), Word 2007 goes into a startup configuration mode as if this was the first time Word 2007 was running. This takes about 30 seconds but it does open correctly.
    - when trying to open a Word 2003 doc by double clicking it, the Word 2003 opening screen flashes for about a second and then vanishes as if nothing had been clicked. About 5-10 seconds later, Word 2003 opens with the doc I had clicked. During those seconds, you're not sure what's happening. It seems this behavior is repeatable so it ain't all bad. But it is annoying.
    - when closing Word 2003, I got some kind of error msg but the program would close if I clicked thru. That was in the recent past and hasn't happened in a while.

    Excel seems more "stable" with the 2 versions.

    One of the ways I tried to get the associations set the way I wanted was to go thru the Control Panel Programs and use the dialog to associate a file type with a specific program. That didn't seem to work too well (will describe in a moment). Someone suggested going thru the document file's Properties Open With - Change or the Open With after right-clicking the file. But all 3 of these seem to get you to the same place where you need to navigate to the folder where the program is. I did that - navigating to Office 11 folder and choosing Excel and Word. As I said, that didn't seem to be very stable.

    Another suggestion, which I'm using now but am concerned with stability, was to rename WINWORD.EXE in the Office 11 folder to something else. After doing that and choosing the renamed version, I find that I have 2 versions of WINWORD in the Office 11 folder that seem identical - one called WINWORD2003.EXE and the other just WINWORD.EXE. When I right click a doc file and choose Open With or Properties Open With - Change, I see 2 choice of just Winword.

    With Excel, I only seem to have 1 version in the Office 11 folder and it's behaving well.

    Another suggestion I saw was to use the DOS ftype or assoc commands but it wasn't clear how to do what I want even in the Help and its examples. For one thing, I don't know what to put on the right side of the = in the syntax as the "name" of the program. Just looking at the current associations, the right side certainly is not a path to the program.

    Any ideas?

    I'm open to uninstalling both Offices and trying again since I'm still in dual mode (working on both PCs but anything important is on the old one with only Office 2003). But I am trying to get off that one "soon."

    Fred on shaky ground

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    "There was 1 caveat that I obeyed: install 2007 first so the subsequent install of 2003 would grab back the old (doc, xls, etc) file extensions."

    Well Fred, I don't know where you got that information, but multiple versions of Office on the same machine should always be installed in order of OLDEST to NEWEST (see KB928091).

    Also, copy and paste "http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/pub0009/LPMArticle.asp?ID=762" (without the quotes of course) into your browser's address bar (for some reason, I can't make this into a working clickable link) - a very informative article on configuring multiple versions of Office. Read the COMPLETE article. Hope this helps.
    John
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  3. #3
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    Thanks John.

    I read both the articles you mentioned COMPLETELY.

    I'm still confused on one thing.

    It seems that I cannot have my cake and eat it too, but I'm not sure.

    I want Word 2003 to be the default Word and to be able to open doc files; it will be a long time before I worry about many docx files, let alone a majority of them. I want Word 2007 to not be the default Word but still be the Word that opens when clicking on a docx file (clearly that couldn't be Word 2003 anyway).

    So let's say I uninstall both Office 2003 and 2007 and reinstall them in oldest order first, as suggested (not sure where I got the ordering either).

    Let's further say that I add the register word NOREREG for Word 2007 so Word 2003 is "at the front of the line" (by making sure I open it and close it just before doing the regedit trick). That solves the problem of Word 2007 reconfig'g, which was a PITA.

    It's not clear from reading the articles what the status of the associations are. If Word 2007 is not "at the front of the line", what happens if I double-click a docx file? I'm assuming Word 2003 will get the doc double-clicks.

    And it's still unclear as to why using the Control Panel's (or other similar approach) to try to associate doc with Word 2003 and docx with Word 2007 seems unreliable.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    Thanks John.

    I read both the articles you mentioned COMPLETELY.

    I'm still confused on one thing.

    It seems that I cannot have my cake and eat it too, but I'm not sure.
    IMO, unless there is some compelling reason you should "bite the bullet" and go with Office 2007. I think you'll find the learning curve is not as steep as you might think. Yes, there are some frustrations for experienced Office users. Overall, you'll get used to Office 2007 quickly. You'll probably end up spending a lot of time trying to manage the two versions that could have been spent learning 2007.

    With either version you can open the files created by the other. If you have a file that uses Office 2007 specific features and open the file in Office 2003 those features will not be available. In Office 2007 you can save files in older Office formats. With the Download details: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats you can open Office 2007 files in Office 2003.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Fred,
    I agree with Joe's observations. There really is no need to have both versions installed. As Joe pointed out, the Office Compatibility Pack is one alternative (if you want to open and modify Office 2007 files with Office 2003). If only Office 2007 is installed, you can choose to save documents in older (i.e. Office 2003) formats.

    The only Office Application which I ever actually required multiple versions installed was Access. I was maintaining Access database applications created in several different versions of Access, and having multiple versions installed was necessary. In your case (especially where Word and Excel seem to be your primary considerations), a single installation of Office 2007 should be completely adequate for your needs. You then have the best of both worlds - create and save files in either Office 2003 format or Office 2007 format.
    John
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    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    Thanks guys.

    For the near term, (unloading both Offices and) just going with 2007 is not really a very desirable option.

    I understand that for my applications, unlike using Access, just 2007 would be ok. I am not worried about saving doc or xls versions from 2007 since I'm not sending them to anyone that only has 2003. Nor do I have a need to send docx or xlsx files to 2007-only users. I don't need the new features of 2007 for my every day use (yes, it would be nice to be able to have, for example, more than 3 conditions in Excel conditional formatting but my every day use doesn't require it)

    My near term usage is for keeping school grades and making up tests and quizzes, hence usage almost every day of my 2003 files in both Word and Excel. I have other files that I use for personal reasons (e.g., tracking medical expenses) but that is not as "mission" critical. So what I need for 90% this application is to be able to get into the files, enter grades or modify an old test, print (if needed), save, and exit. While those tasks may not require much of a learning curve in 2007, I'd rather stay with 2003. Further, there is the 10% of the school-application that uses other features like mail merge. Also, knowing myself, I'd start to play around with other things in 2007 and end up staying awake until 2AM; I'd rather not do that for now.

    If I had a "big" chunk of time, I'd bite the bullet and start using 2007. I've used both Excel and Word 2007 once or twice (but cheated by doing almost everything with shortcut keys), and I've seen some "packages" (macros?) that give a 2003 menu in 2007. So I could begin to use it in this mode. But there are things that don't have shortcut keys that I just can't spend the time searching the ribbons for. As of this moment, I seem to have a pretty stable configuration of both Excel and Word, so I don't see much/any time needed to manage the 2 versions for the near term; unfortunately, that's been expended already if everything stays as is (if not, I can just go back to my old PC as much as I'd hate doing that).

    Unfortunately, the 2 schools I teach at have different spring breaks so I only have a little time off to start down the learning curve. Come summer, I should have more time.

    So what I was looking for was a dual install so I could fool around a little in 2007 until summer. But the hard rqmt that 2003 opens doc/xls files while 2007 opens docx/xlsx files is the main reason I wanted the dual install. I do occasionally get some of those files as email attachments.

    I guess one alternative is to uninstall both and reinstall just 2003 for now and forego those little moments for the next 2 months. THen I could load 2007 (which would be the right order) and do what I need to transition to 2007 by the time the next semester begins (I may be teaching over the summer so the window is not as big).

    But I'd still like to understand the question in my last email regarding application registering and file association.

    Fred

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    Hi fburg,

    Like you I wanted both Office 2003 & 2007 installed and working acceptably.

    2003 so I could quickly produce work I needed and 2007 so I could take my time and learn.

    Using the NoReReg registry entry works fine for Word (I ran Word 2003 then closed it before doing the registry hack so Word 2003 is my default word processor) and all the other Office programs I use do not have the "re-install/re-configure" issue other than Access. I have not found a solution to the Access re-install/re-configure issue but I rarely use Access so it is not a high priority for me at the moment. But I would still like to find a solution for completion and just for the heck of it!!!

    Regarding you query "But I'd still like to understand the question in my last email regarding application registering and file association" it seems to me so far that only Word and Access need to re-register (exactly why I don't know but is is probably because of their expanded file handling capabilities). However, with my system, once the NoReReg key is added, I can associate .doc files with Word 2003 and .docx files with Word 2007 using the Windows 7 Default Programs/Associate..... menu from within Control Panel, and all works well.

    Regards

    Bob G

  8. #8
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    Hi fburg,

    There is another approach you could take - uninstall Office 2003 and, in Office 2007, instal one of the add-ins that gives you a 2003-like interface for when you need it. Takes up a whole lot less disk space and eliminates any potential conflicts (I've regularly found the need to 'repair' an Office 2000 installation after Office 2007 has applied some update to my system). Office 2007 can happily work with Office 97-2003 files, and you can even set it to save Word and Excel files in those formats by default.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the latest thoughts.

    Sounds like from Bob G that getting the Offices loaded in the right order and using the registry tweak for Word would solve my Word issues (today, I double clicked a doc file and it eventually opened in Word 2003 but while it was opening Word 2007 started configuring itself -- what happened to the "tearing my hair out" emoticon?).

    macropod - I think your solution could be the answer and I even mentioned that in my last post. Would you recommend any particular packages? I think I actually have them on my other computer and it's off right now, so I can't see what I downloaded months ago. Also, you mentioned problems with an older version of Office when 2007 added updates but that was Office 2000; any clue if those problems exist if the older version is 2003?

    Fred

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    Hi Fred,

    As I've never used any of those utilities, I can't really recommend any of them.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  11. #11
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    We switched from 2003 to 2007 in our corporate environment, at our location probably 100 to 200 PCs. Since I already had 2007 at home the switch was pretty easy for me. I only heard of minor problems with some PCs that utilize macros, but insignificant learning curve problems. In the time you spend installing, then uninstalling , then reinstalling in the correct order and getting everything to play well together, you would have been through the learning curve and happily flying along with 2007. I found a learning curve of perhaps a few hours at most, and that was mainly figuring out where everything is located.

    As stated previously 2007 can open earlier versions of all 2003 files, and can be set to save by default in 2003 format so others without the good luck to have 2007 can open and read your documents.

    My suggestion would be to bite the bullet now, install 2007 and by tomorrow be very comfortable with 2007. Go for it.
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