Setting Compatibility Preferences in Word for Mac 2011

Take a peek at Word 2011 for Mac’s compatibility preferences by way of choosing Word→Preferences→Compatibility. The Compatibility preferences dialog for Word in Office 2011 lists a wide variety of specific behaviors of the application that have changed over the years. Turn specific behaviors on and off here, such as the following:

  • Font Substitution: If you open a document that used a font that isn’t available on your computer, Word substitutes a font that you do have for the font that you don’t have. If you’d rather choose the font, click the Font Substitution button and then choose the font you want.

  • Recommended Options For: This pop-up menu has preconfigured combinations of settings from the behavior options. You can change Word 2011 to behave like older versions of Word or even WordPerfect.

  • Options: You can turn individual Word behaviors on and off in this list by selecting or deselecting check boxes. The choices are eclectic. As you make choices, the Recommended Options For pop-up button changes to let you know which set an individual choice you check belongs to.

  • Default: Click this button to use the settings you’ve made as the default behavior for Word from now on. If you click this button, you must allow the Normal.dotm template to be modified in order to permanently change Word’s behavior.

  • Compatibility Report: In this section, select the Check Documents for Compatibility check box to activate the Compatibility Report feature. Click the Reset Ignored Issues button to tell the compatibility checker to recheck the entire document and also flag problems you had previously told it to ignore. Click Reset All Issues button to tell compatibility checker to recheck all documents for incompatibilities even if you told the checker to never check for errors again.

If you want to check whether a document is compatible with other versions of Word, choose Toolbox→Compatibility Report.

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