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Project 2003 maintains backward compatibility with Project 2000 and 2002 by using the same file format. This means that you can save a Project 2003 file, and then open it, revise it, and save it in Project 2000/2002, and then reopen it again in Project 2003. In general, most Project 2003 data will be retained when the file is opened in Project 2000/2002; however, any new data fields that Project 2000 cannot understand simply remain hidden while the file is open in Project 2000.
Project 2003 uses a unique method of handling new and unknown data fields that may be included in upcoming releases of Microsoft Project. Instead of hiding the unknown data fields for backward compatibility, Project 2003 will display field names as Unavailable and field data as NA for data that comes from any future version.
To maintain backward compatibility between Project 2003 and Project 98, it is possible to use Project 2003 to both open and save project files in the native Project 98 format. When you attempt to save a project file in Project 98 format, the resulting file is stripped of any Project 2003 features that are not compatible with Project 98. You also see a dialog box that warns you of the potential for lost data.
To save a file in Microsoft Project 98 format, choose File, Save As. Select a save directory in the Look In text box, and then select Microsoft Project 98 in the Files of Type list box. Give your file a name and click the Save button.
Because the file extension for a Project 98 file is the same as for a Project 2003 file ( .mpp ), you should use a unique naming system for Project 98 files. For example, New Product-98.mpp can be easily distinguished as a Project 98 project from its Project 2003 version, New Product.mpp .
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