If you’ve updated to the new Mac version of Microsoft Office 2008, you may have noticed Word now saves files in Microsoft’s new DOCX format. The problem is, just as Windows users found, not everyone can open this new file format yet. The easy way to prevent compatibility problems with colleagues and co-workers is to change your default file format back to the old DOC format until everyone in your life has upgraded to the new version of Word.

Here are the quick step-by-step instructions to change this preference in Word 2008.

Choose Word > Preferences in your Mac’s menu bar.


Click on the Save icon in Word Preferences.


Choose “Word 97-2004 Document (.doc)” under the Save Word files pop-up menu.


Click OK. As you create new Word documents, they will be saved in the old DOC format everyone in your life is used to receiving.

Problems Opening a DOCX file?

If you find yourself on the other side of this problem — receiving DOCX files when you don’t have Office 2008 yet — check out an updated version of our tip from last year:

Updated: Open MS Word 2007 .DOCX files on a Mac.

Source: This tip inspired by a question from Brian McKenna at Top Dog Talent, a new talent agency representing experienced marketing and communications professionals in the Puget Sound area.