As Mac users know, not all legal forms are Mac-friendly (especially older forms). For example, what if a colleague sends you a document created in Microsoft Word 97/Windows?
If you have Microsoft Office for Mac, you can search the Download Center for a file converter, but the only one I could spot was the Microsoft Word 97, 98, and 2000 Converter for the Macintosh. Office for Mac 2011 users report there is no converter for newer versions of office and old files created on the Windows platform do not open. If you’re an Office user, what should you do?
- Open the old form in Pages first, then resave it.
- Try the Insert > File or Insert > Object > Text from File… command. Launch Word, select Insert > File or Insert > Object > Text from File… browse and find the old form, click Insert. Inserting a text file into a blank document in Word strips out formatting. It often works better than using File > Open to access a document created in a non-compatible word processing program.
- Ask the colleague who provided the form if he or she can resave it for you. Options include: a newer version of Word for Windows, Word for the Mac, Rich text format (.rtf file), or PDF. If a PDF is created electronically or scanned then OCRd, you should be able to copy and paste text from the body of the PDF into Word 2011 for the Mac or Pages. You can also save a PDF as a Word document in Acrobat.
- Try an online file converter, such as Zamzar, Online-Convert, Cloud Convert, or Convert Files.
Final Words of Wisdom
Old forms may be “old” and not converted to a newer platform or software version for a reason – they are old and shouldn’t be used. Before going to all this effort, be certain this is a form worth converting, meaning it is valid and still legally viable.
All Rights Reserved  Beverly Michaelis