MS Publisher 2003/2007 complications

  Pineman100 18:48 09 Apr 2010

A friend of mine recently had a new hard drive installed in his computer, with his Windows Vista Home Premium reinstalled on it.

He decided to upgrade from MS Office 2003 to Office 2007, so he bought the Home & Student version and installed this.

He then discovered that this version of Office doesn't include Publisher, so he couldn't open his old Publisher files. He therefore reinstalled Office 2003 (without removing Office 2007), so he is running two versions of Office.

When he launches Publisher in Office 2003 and tries to open one of his old Publisher files, he receives a report that the file is not compatible with that version of Publisher (even though the file was created in that version).

Is it possible that, when he installed Office 2007, all of his old Office files (including the Publisher files) were updated to the latest XML format? If so, then will the Office Compatibility Converter solve the problem? According to the reports I've read, the Converter only works on Word, Excel and Powerpoint files.

Any ideas for a solution, please?

  Woolwell 19:07 09 Apr 2010

When I installed Office 2007 it certainly did not update all of my old files automatically. Publisher 2007 retains the .pub file extension. The problem with Publisher is that it isn't very good at being backward compatible.
I suspect the problem lies with running Office 2007 and 2003. Was the whole of Office 2003 installed or just Publisher 2003?

  skeletal 20:30 09 Apr 2010

I am using Office 2010 beta, 2007 and 2003 all at the same time, with few problems. I don’t use Publisher very much, but I just opened up Publisher 2003, made a simple document, saved it, opened it in Publisher 2007, modified it, saved it, and re-opened it in 2003 without any issues.

Although not a huge test, it shows that the various versions of Publisher can co-exist.

As Wollwell said, the installation of 2007 does not automatically change the file types.

However, the order of installation of Office is important; you start with the oldest first and do a custom install for each new version telling the installer to keep the earlier version. It is possible that the problem occurred because your friend installed the old (2003) version AFTER the new (2007).

Before uninstalling everything and starting again from scratch it would be worth trying to do a “Detect and Repair” from the help menu in Publisher 2003.


  Pineman100 10:55 10 Apr 2010

That's very useful information.

I'll tell my friend to try the "Detect and Repair" process. If that doesn't work, I'll recommend that he uninstalls both versions of Office and then reinstalls them in chronological order.

I'll post back when I hear back from him (which may not be too immediate - he's quit eodl and tends to take a l-o-o-o-o-ng time over such things!).

I do appreciate your help.

  Sea Urchin 11:05 10 Apr 2010

I would insert the Office 2003 disk again, and simply remove all elements except Publisher 2003.

  Pineman100 11:18 10 Apr 2010

As he's got to uninstall and reinstall both versions of Office, maybe I could just tell him to reinstall ONLY Publisher from the 2003 disk.

  Sea Urchin 11:33 10 Apr 2010

That would certainly have the same effect - I was just thinking that removing all of Office 2003 except for Publisher might solve the problems and save the extra uninstallation work.

  Pineman100 13:04 10 Apr 2010

OK, I see what you mean. The only thing is that skeletal has recommended that the two versions of Office should be installed chronologically.

So it's probably worth taking the extra time to do that, and as you suggest, to install only Publisher 2003.

Thanks again.

  Sea Urchin 13:44 10 Apr 2010

Although skeletal's "prognosis" was partly based on the situation of having two versions of Publisher installed - and of course you don't.

But obviously run it whichever way you and your friend feel happier doing it.

  skeletal 19:06 10 Apr 2010

Of course, whenever you get a problem like this, the solution could be related to something really odd; I don’t know, a dodgy print driver or something, and it can take weeks to sort out!

There is no doubt that installing office “in the wrong order” can cause problems, but you would imagine that if you’ve only installed Publisher 2003, that all should be well (because there should not be two versions competing with one another).

However, there clearly is a problem, and it seems related to the various installs of different versions. Given the known issues of installing in the wrong order, it would seem a good idea to “do it properly”.

I do agree with the other ideas though, as you would have nothing to lose by trying them first. It would be good if you could get it to work without having the pain of uninstalling and reinstalling everything.


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