Is Your Document Compatible with Office 2011 for Mac? - dummies

Is Your Document Compatible with Office 2011 for Mac?

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

In Office 2011 for Mac, the Compatibility Report tool shows if a document that was created in an older version of Microsoft Office is compatible with Office for Mac. Compatibility Report knows almost every aspect of each Office version since Office 97 (that’s the last 11 versions of the software suite, collectively, on Windows and Mac platforms!).

Not only can Compatibility Report give you a report; it might be able to fix some aspects of your document so that what you see in Office 2011 is what your co-workers or friends see when they open your file in their older software.

Before you start using the Compatibility Report, it’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of your original document:

  1. First save your document by choosing File→Save.

    Or just click the Save icon on the Standard toolbar.

  2. Now that all changes you last made are saved, choose File→Save As to create a new copy of your file. Give the compatible document a new name.

    This way, if you use the Fix feature in the Compatibility Report, you will still have an unchanged version of your original document.

You can find the Compatibility Report tool in the Toolbox. To use it, start at the top and work your way down:

  • Check Compatibility With: Choose which version of Office you want your document to be compatible with.

    You can opt to make your document compatible with a particular Windows or Mac version, or with all Windows and Mac versions.

  • Document: Click to start checking your document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

  • Results: Potential problems are displayed. Click a result to see an explanation.


  • Fix: If Compatibility Report knows how, the potential problem may be fixed if you click this button. Alternatively, the Fix option might be grayed out.

    Formatting or other changes needed to make your document compatible with the version of Office you chose (see the top of this list) will be made. You may have to manually fix certain problems.

  • Ignore: Tells Compatibility Report to ignore instances of the selected problem. If you click the small downward arrow, you can:

    • Ignore Once

    • Ignore All

    • Don’t Show Again

  • Help: Opens Office Help.