Question: I upgraded from Word 2007 to Word 2010. Save defaults to the latest Word format, but when I create a new document, it shows as being in Compatibility mode. Why?
Most users think of pre-Word 2007 *.doc files as being in Compatibility mode, and *.docx files as being Word 2007 and Word 2010 files. But, it’s not that simple. Word 2010 introduced several new features that were not present in Word 2007, most notably improvements to the graphics capabilities. As a result. Word 2010 *.docx files do not share the identical format with Word 2007 *.docx files, despite the fact that they both use .docx as the extension.
As a result, there are two Compatibility modes—not just one: We now have doc for Word 97-2003 files, and docx for Word 2007 files. When the latter format is in effect, the docx extension is used, but you will still see [Compatibility Mode] in Word’s title bar. Hence, if you edit a docx file created in Word 2007 using Word 2010, you see Compatibility Mode in the title bar.
“Okay,” you might wonder. “But, why does it say “Compatibility Mode” even for brand new documents I create using Word 2010.”
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