Updated: 2007-08-13

This topic lists differences between Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Office 2003 that might be relevant to your migration to the 2007 Office system. This is not a complete list of all the changes.

We recommend that you review the changes between Office 2003 and the 2007 Office system, at Differences in the 2007 Office system, to identify additional migration considerations.

Clip Art Gallery

The Clip Art Gallery has a new appearance in Office 2003.


Office 2003 stores multiple Clipboard entries. A user can press CTRL+C twice to see a new task pane with the Clipboard entries that accumulated during the current editing session. Users can access previously selected material through this task pane, instead of selecting the material again.

Default folder locations

Important folder locations are different than they were in Office XP. For example, the STARTUP and XLSTART folders appear with a versioned folder structure, such as:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\STARTUP

You should consider these changes before you deploy Office 2003 to users who are using custom macro solutions.

FrontPage 2003: Design Time Controls (DTC) no longer supported

Programming calls to methods in the IDesignTimeControl interface are not supported for DTC.

HTML Help differences

If you have custom Help solutions, you may need to adjust a few settings to make the settings compatible with Office 2003. Verify that registry settings point to the locations of customer Help files.

Installation differences

The following information lists the most obvious differences in the setup options for Office 2000 and Office 2003. Some of the setup options that were available in Office 2000 and Office XP are integrated into Office 2003 applications.

Microsoft Office Access

  • .NET Programmability Support is added.

  • The Access 2.0 database conversion utility is not available on the installation CD. For more information about converting Access databases, see Access 2003 Conversion Toolkit (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=49681).

  • Client Server Visual Design Tools is no longer included.

Converters and filters

The following converters are removed from the installation CD:

  • Text Converters

  • Microsoft Excel Converter

  • Word 6.0/95 Export Converter

  • Word for Macintosh 4.0-5.1 Converter

  • Word for Windows 2.0 Converter

  • Works for Windows 4.0

  • Word 6.0/95 for Windows/Macintosh

  • Lotus 1-2-3 Converter

  • Graphics Filters

  • Tag Image File Format Import

  • FlashPix (FPX) File Import

  • Windows Bitmap (BMP) File Import

  • Enhanced Metafile (EMF) File Import

  • PC Paintbrush (PCX) File Import

  • Windows Metafile (WMF) File Import

  • Kodak Photo CD Import

Some of the more common file converters are integrated into the Open or Save dialogs of Office 2003 applications. Some converters are removed due to obsolescence.

The following converters are available as a download from the Office Resource Kit for Office 2003, at Office Converter Pack.

File Name Format Open/Save As Converter


Office Word 5 (Asian equivalent of Office Word 2)

Open, Save As


Microsoft Excel


Note: This converter is not used for copy or paste.


Lotus 1-2-3



Mac Word

Open, Save As

Note: Office Word 2003 does not use this converter to open Macintosh files. Other applications might use this converter.


Japanese Office Word 6.0/95

Save As


Simplified Chinese Office Word 6.0/95

Save As


Traditional Chinese Office Word 6.0/95

Save As


Korean Office Word 6.0/95

Save As


Office Word 2.0

Open, Save As

Note: Office Word 2003 does not use this converter to open Office Word 2.0 files. Other applications might use this converter.


Office Word 6.0/95

Save As


Office Word 6.0/95

Save As


Office Word 6.0/95 and 97+ RTF

Save As


Works 4

Open, Save As


Works 2000

Open, Save As


Text with Layout

Open, Save As

Microsoft Office Excel

.NET Programmability Support is added.

Microsoft Office FrontPage

Office FrontPage is not included in Microsoft Office 2003 Professional.

Microsoft Office InfoPath

Office InfoPath is a new product.

Microsoft Office OneNote

Office OneNote is a new product.

Microsoft Office Outlook

  • .NET programmability support is added.

  • Act 2.0 import is removed.

  • Ecco import is removed.

  • Junk e-mail is removed.

Microsoft Office PowerPoint

  • .NET Programmability Support is added.

  • Genigraphics Wizard support is removed.

  • Some converters or translators are removed due to obsolescence or security concerns. The following translators are still available as downloads, but these translators are not recommended due to the security risks they present:

    • Harvard Graphics 3.0 and 2.0 for DOS

    • Lotus Freelance 1.0-2.1 for Windows

  • Pack and Go menu option is replaced by a more robust feature named Package for CD.

  • Presentation Broadcasting is removed due to security concerns. You can download Presentation Broadcasting at Online Broadcasting Service (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93534).

Microsoft Office Publisher

Office Publisher is not included in Microsoft Office 2000 Professional.

Microsoft Office Shared Features

  • Fonts are added.

  • Microsoft Handwriting Component is added.

  • International support changes:

    • Armenian and Georgian font option is removed.

    • Hindi font option is removed.

    • Tamil font option is removed.

    • Korean font option is removed.

    • Traditional Chinese font option is removed.

    • Simplified Chinese font option is removed.

  • New and Open Office Document shortcuts are added.

  • Office XP Web Components option is removed.

  • Office 2000 Web Components option is removed.

  • Microsoft Office Download Control is added.

  • Office SOAP Toolkit is added.

Microsoft Office Tools

  • Document Update Utility is added.

  • Hosted Webs is added.

  • Microsoft Draw Converter is removed.

  • Microsoft Forms 2.0 .NET programmability support is added.

  • Microsoft Graph .NET programmability support is added.

  • Microsoft Office Document Imaging has new options, including:

    • Help

    • Microsoft Office Document Image Writer

    • Scanning, OCR, and Indexing Service Filter

  • Microsoft Photo Editor is replaced by Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

  • Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar is removed.

  • Microsoft Photo Editor is removed.

  • Organization Chart Converter is removed.

  • Research Explorer Bar is added.

  • Smart Tag .NET programmability support is added.

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server support is removed.

  • Windows SharePoint Services support is added, plus Microsoft Office List Datasheet Component and Web Capture client.

Microsoft Office Visio

Office Visio is not included in Microsoft Office 2000 Professional or Microsoft Office 2003 Professional. Office Visio is available as a Standard or Professional stand-alone release only.

  • Data Flow Model Diagram Model Explorer is removed from the Data Flow Model Diagram template.

  • The Forms template is removed.

  • Import Project Data Wizard can no longer import Office Excel data, .txt, or .mpx files into a timeline or convert data between a timeline and a Gantt chart by using the Import Project Data Wizard. You can still import Microsoft Office Project data by using the new Import Timeline Data Wizard. You can also use the Import Project Data Wizard to create Gantt charts. The Import Data Wizard is available on the Gantt Chart menu.

  • The Import Flowchart Data wizard and Organization Chart 5.0 conversion utility are removed. To import data into a flowchart in Microsoft Office Visio 2003, open the file in any previous version of Visio that supports the feature. Save the file in the native format for that version. You can then open the file from within Office Visio 2003.

  • The Auto-discovery Feature is no longer available. The feature was removed in a previous version.

Microsoft Office Word

Additional templates and wizards are available. Only one known wizard is removed.

  • .NET Programmability support is added.

  • Some converters are removed, but many are still available as downloads from the Office Resource Kit Web site. See the Office Converter Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93535) for more information.

  • The Web Pages wizard is removed due to low usage.

Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar (msoffice.exe)

The Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar is no longer an installable feature. It is replaced by the New and Open Office Documents Shortcuts feature. This feature conflicts with the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar due to differences in the installed applications that are available for each version of Office after Office 97. A potential problem arises when Office 2003 is installed on a computer where a previous version of Office is installed.

New and Open Office Documents shortcuts

The New and Open Office Documents shortcuts are now optional. These shortcuts will probably not be available in future releases of Office. The shortcuts replace the previous Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar.

To avoid potential problems, remove previous versions of Office before you install Office 2003. If the New and Open Office Documents shortcuts feature is not installed, the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar remains on the computer if previous versions of Office are not removed. The symptom of this issue is an empty template list in the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar tab windows for the respective application, if the application was removed.

The problem does not occur if the New and Open Office Documents Shortcuts feature option is installed with Office 2003. The New and Open Office Documents Shortcuts feature replaces the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar program. Users will no longer see an empty templates list.


Due to differences in language settings, we recommend that you use the Normal.dot file that was created by Office Word 2003. Change the previous Normal.dot into a global template to retain macros that were created in Normal.dot in previous versions of Office Word.

You can use the same Normal.dot file if you are upgrading from Office Word 2000 to Office Word 2003. The settings are upgraded in the template file. However, you might experience problems if you copy an Office Word XP Normal.dot file from one computer to another computer that is running Office Word 2003.

Office Assistant

The Office Assistant (Clippy and friends) are being deprecated. The Office Assistant is still available with Office 2003, but users must choose to activate it. Users can continue to ask natural language questions in Help, but the Office Assistant is no longer required.

Outlook 2003 Object Model Guard

Office Outlook 2003 inherits the Office Outlook 2002 Object Model Guard behavior, to enhance a user's ability to determine if the Body or HTMLBody of an e-mail is trustworthy before the user opens the e-mail. This change forces a display of security warnings in existing COM add-ins that attempt to access the Body or HTMLBody properties of items. You can avoid displaying a security warning from a COM add-in by deriving all objects, properties, and methods from the Application object that are passed to the OnConnection procedure of the add-in.

The following properties are blocked by Office Outlook 2003:

  • ContactItem.IMAddress

  • MailItem.HTMLBody

  • ContactItem.Body

  • MailItem.Body

  • PostItem.Body

  • AppointmentItem.Body

  • TaskItem.Body

  • TaskRequestItem.Body

  • TaskRequestAcceptItem.Body

  • TaskRequestDeclineItem.Body

  • TaskRequestUpdateItem.Body

  • DistListItem.Body

  • JournalItem.Body

  • MeetingItem.Body

  • ReportItem.Body

  • RemoteItem.Body

  • NoteItem.Body

  • DocumentItem.body

Shortcut placement

Office shortcuts appear on the Start | Programs menu on computers that are running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows 2000, and versions of Office that are prior to Office 2003. The shortcuts appear on the Start | All Programs menu on computers that are running Windows XP and versions of Office that are prior to Office 2003.

Shortcuts appear in the Microsoft Office folder for Office 2003. The folder installs by default to the Start | Programs menu on Windows 2000 and the Start | All Programs menu on Windows XP.

Shortcuts that were placed in non-default locations might not be removed during an upgrade.

Straight quotes and smart quotes

Office XP and Office 2003 contain the smart quotes feature. Users may experience similar issues with both versions. Plain text editing programs might not convert smart quotes to straight quotes if the programs do not include the necessary conditional code. In such cases, we recommend that you either modify all custom solutions that may encounter smart quotes, or disable smart quotes in the Office application if the text will be processed by a program that expects standard quotes.

Styles and Formatting pane

The Styles and Formatting task pane is new in Office Word 2003.

Task pane

Office 2003 uses task panes instead of dialog boxes to display options or procedural steps for some menu options. For example, Word 2003 provides task panes when the user selects File | New…, File | Search…, Edit | Office Clipboard…, Format | Styles and Formatting…, Format | Reveal Formatting…, and others.

Tools menu folder

Office 2003 contains tools that are new to Office XP users, including:

  • Digital Certificate for VBA Projects

  • Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard

  • Microsoft Clip Organizer

  • Microsoft Office Application Recovery

  • Microsoft Office Document Imaging

  • Microsoft Office Document Scanning

  • Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Track Changes

Office Word 2003 can emulate the change tracking methods that are used in previous versions of Office Word. We recommend use of the new default settings. If necessary, you can demote the configuration to be the same as Office Word 97, Office Word 2000, or Office Word 2002.

When a user views a document in Print Layout in Word 2003, the document displays in the Final Showing Markup view. Comments and change tracking information displays in the right margin in this view. To hide the balloons and see the document margins, change the Display for Review setting to Final before you print a document.

The Comment pane no longer includes a button to close the pane. Instead, users must click the Reviewing Pane toolbar button on the Reviewing toolbar to close and open the Reviewing pane. Because there is no longer a Comments option on the View menu, users must use the Reviewing pane or Print Layout to see changes and comments.

UNC-based file links can break

A UNC-based link can become problematic if the linked file moves from one server to another. There are no tools that currently support the redirection of UNC-based links.

We recommend that you do not move files after you create a link. If a file is moved due to a server replacement, use the same server name for the new server and include the same folder structure and share name. A mirror image of the original server eliminates broken links.