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MS Project: Opening a Microsoft Project 2007 (.mpp) file using Microsoft Project 2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 17 @ 14:04:49 EDT by webadmin

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So you are working with Microsoft Project 2003 and someone sends you a Microsoft Project (.mpp) file that was saved using Microsoft Project 2007.  When you attempt to open the file you receive the following message:

“The file was created by a newer version of Microsoft Project and a converter is needed to open it.  Do you want to download the converter from the Microsoft Office Website?”


“Project cannot open this file because the format is not recognized.  The file was probably created using a newer version of Project.”

If you choose Yes from the first message, you will be directed to a website entitled Project 2007 Converter Information.  Or here!
On this page, you will see the following information:

“You reached this page because the Microsoft Project Plan (MPP) file that you are trying to open was created in Microsoft Office Project 2007.

Converters for opening Office Project 2007 files will be provided as part of Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3), which will be available during the last quarter of 2007. After upgrading to Office 2003 SP3, you will be able to open a Project 2007 file in Microsoft Office Project 2003 as a read-only file.”

You actually do not need to download the entire Office Service Pack 3.  The converter to open Microsoft Project 2007 files using Microsoft Project 2003 is really contained within Microsoft Project Service Pack 3 (sp3).  You can download Microsoft Project SP3 here.

Once you download sp3, install and restart, you can now open the MS Project 2007 file using MS Project 2003.  Note that the file will be Read Only.  You can save this file in 2003.  However, keep in mind that you may loose information that was saved within MS Project 2007.  Project will actually recognize that you are about to save what was originally a file from 2007 in 2003 and present you with the following message:

Microsoft Office Project 2003 has detected that the original file was created in Microsoft Office Project 2007 and might contain some information only available in Project 2007.
If you use Project 2003 to save this file in the Project 2000 - 2003 MPP format or an older file format, you can lose data in areas where Project 2007 contains enhanced functionality.

The following types of data or formatting can be lost:

Budget information    Information contained in the new budget fields will be lost.

Deliverables and Dependencies   Information contained in the new, cross-project deliverables and dependencies fields will be lost. Information contained in task links will not be lost.

Cost resources   Information contained in the new cost resource fields might be changed, converting cost resources into material resources. Information contained in other cost fields will not be lost.

Background cell formatting   Sheet cells that have background formatting applied to them will lose their background formatting. Information in these fields will not be lost.
Assignment owner information   Information contained in the new assignment owner fields will be lost.

Calendar exceptions   New exceptions that were added to project and resource calendar functionality (such as monthly exceptions, yearly exceptions, and those with arbitrary dates) will be lost.

New fields and custom fields
  Information within new fields, or any formulas relying on new fields, will be lost. New options that are set on custom fields created in Project 2007 will be lost, such as the new roll-down setting for calculation of assignment rows. Task assignment custom field values will also be lost.

Enterprise custom fields  Any enterprise custom fields created within Project 2007 will be lost.

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