We have previously written about saving a single Excel 2010 file so that it can be opened in Excel 2003 in this article, but that solution might not ideal for people that constantly need to save in that file format. For these individuals, a better solution would be to save to the xls file format by default in Excel 2010, ensuring that you do not accidentally create a file that cannot be opened by people using Excel 2003 or earlier. Fortunately this solution can be implemented with a few short steps.
Save to the Excel 2003 File Type by Default in Excel 2010
If this is something that you are doing to accommodate one specific person that is using an older version of Excel, then a better option might be to suggest that they download the Office compatibility pack. While you may be willing to take steps on your end to improve compatibility, people in other organizations or strangers may not be willing or able to make this change. But you can continue with the steps below to start saving to .xls by default in Excel 2010.
Step 1: Launch Excel 2010.
Step 2: Click the File tab at the top-left corner of the window.
Step 3: Click Options at the bottom of the column on the left side of the window.
Step 4: Click the Save option in the column at the left side of the Excel Options window.
Step 5: Click the drop-down menu to the right of Save files in this format, then click the Excel 97-2003 Workbook option.
Step 6: Click the OK button at the bottom-right corner of the window to apply the change.
You can follow a similar process if you want to save in the csv file format by default instead.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.