Office versions are not the same

We support every template we build at some point. A lot of comments or questions we get in feedback relate to people using the different Office versions of Word or PowerPoint with their colleagues, as well as the differences people have in terms of skill level. Just because it’s Word, it doesn’t mean that all versions of Word are the same.

Strange goings on

Toolbar or ribbon?Let me give you a common example. We work with a lot of designers, who inevitably work on a Mac, not in Windows. The majority seem to have Office 2011 for Mac, which is supposed to be a stable-mate to Office 2010 for Windows. If they are really unlucky, they are still using Office 2008 for Mac. Currently, our standard level is Office 2013 or 2016 for Windows, but these present a few compatibility issues for the Mac versions. For instance, a table doesn’t quite take up the same space as in it’s Windows version, or have the same text in the same position in the table cell. Also, a page break at the very bottom of a page can often be on the next page when opened in Mac Word.

Now, we have seen and know of a lot of issues like this. We work in different versions of Office every week, and turning a design into a functional template takes a fair bit of lateral thinking. Next time you need some technical help, give us a call. Software is upgraded, not downgraded, and along with it come some very subtle differences. Office versions are not the same.

Here’s something we had earlier
We built a three column newsletter template in Word for a design client, who still uses Word 2008 for Mac. Their client specified Office 2013 for Windows, so that’s what we built it in. When the designer reviewed it, a number of text breaks were different, and one table was pushed onto the next page. There were two issues here. Arial is not quite the same width font in Word 2008, and a single return was fractionally deeper, which meant the table didn’t quite fit on the page. It’s the little things that count!

So, the next time you hear someone say, ‘Well, it’s just Word, isn’t it?’, let them know that that’s not entirely true.

If you’re interested in how Compatibility Mode works in Office 365 software, like Word or PowerPoint, click the link below.

Compatibility mode

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