Fix file compatibility issues in Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3

Users of Microsoft Office 2003 who upgraded to Service Pack 3 (released in September) will strike compatibility problems with certain office documents, according to information that surfaced just last week. The service pack makes a range of older Word, Excel,PowerPoint and Corel Draw documents inaccessible. These include Word 6.0, Word 97 for Windows and Word 2004 for Macintosh.
According to a CNET report, users were given no warning of the effects when they downloaded SP3, and the changes were revealed in a Microsoft support document which was published on its website in December.
Microsoft released a workaround, KB 938810, for the problem. This document also has a full list of the blocked file formats, so you can check to see if your older files will be affected. The workaround (described by one slashdotter as "mindbogglingly complex") involves modifying the registry, so ensure you backup the registry before proceeding!


    I'm in a situation where everything I try to fix the problems Service Pack 3 created won't work and it looks like I may have to buy )ffice 2007 to fix my problems. Do you think the Service Pack 3 was released to make it too hard for users of Office 2003 to continue to use it and force them to update to Office 2007?

    I'm not familiar enough with Office 2003 to say, but at the very least Microsoft have admitted that they'd underestimated how many users were still using the old documents which they 'broke' compatibility for in SP3 - hence them finally releasing a decent fix for it.

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