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File Formats

The appearance and style of your document, e.g. the font size and type, any bold, underlining or paragraphs are maintained by the formatting codes of a file. Different versions of applications support different formatting. When you save your work, it will be saved by default in the file format of the version of software and application you are using.

If you are working on a file on more than one computer in different locations, for example at home and at college, you should ensure that the application and version of that application are the same on both computers. If you need to transfer your file between two different versions of an application you will need to save your file in a compatible format to allow you to open the file successfully. If you save a file in an older or newer version of the software, the document might not export successfully or will export but not all your formatting will remain the same. This can cause problems, as some commands in an older version of the software might have been made redundant in a newer version.

If you want to work on a file at college that you started at home, you must ensure that your file is compatible with the applications that IT Systems & Services have installed onto the college systems. If you want to be able to open up and add to your work using any of the college pc’s you must save it in the correct file format.

Office 2003, 2007 & 2010
We currently use Microsoft Office 2010. If you have an earlier version of Office on your home PC you might have noticed that Word files saved in office 2007 and above have the .docx file extension, this type of file will not open in older versions of Word and to avoid this problem when working in Office 2007/2010 please go to the file- save as option in word and select .doc as the file extension to save to. This will then be compatible in older versions of office.

When saving docuements at home using MS Works make sure that the document type is set at .doc or .rtf and then you will be able to open the document in MS Word at college.

Open office is a free open source package that you can download and install onto your pc/laptop which has applications in it that can be used much the same as microsoft office applications. Documents created in open office can be opened in MS Office.

Google Docs
As with Open Office, Google offer free to use applications for creating/opening/saving documents online that can be accessed and worked on anywhere. See‎ and also see Google Drive lets you store up to 15GB of your stuff for free, access them from anywhere, and share with others.

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Article created on 02/10/2004
Article last modified on 28/01/2014

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