Q#187: For those in the software know, how can I make sure I don’t screw things up if I upgrade to Office 2021 Professional?

I’m behind on upgrades. Like REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY behind. I ask because I can FINALLY afford an upgrade (not gonna pay hundreds for a yearly activation code like with Office 365–passed that one right up).

So, I have a Windows computer and it’s amazing enough that even though I’m on Windows 10 Home (I always wait to upgrade til I’m forced to or most people are sure the kinks and bugs are worked out because heaven knows you can’t change it back), I have been using the same Microsoft Office suite I’ve had for ages: the 2003 Student & Teacher Office Suite (with downloaded Office 2007 compatibility). Yup, over 10 years and never had a problem after the capability was added.

My worry is if I finally spend this $29 and get this “lifetime” (however long that is) activation code, will it totally screw up everything I do? I mean, will it still work with files and databases I’ve started on my 2003/2007 stuff, or would it be considered “too old to read”? I’m just worried that all these stories, charts, and everything else I’ve worked on will be corrupted and unusable, and I’ll have to spend hours trying to make corrections. I have a much older computer I can use as backup if I need to, but it’s slow as hell and would barely do internet work. I could probably use it to fix a few things if needed (it’s still on Windows 7 or 8, I believe, because I only jump on there every few months for some music files or something and it might be too old or slow to update.).

Yup, the analog player is being dragged from her tech cave and needs to join the broader digital world. I’m seriously considering getting this software because I promised myself I’d stop letting my fear of being overwhelmed by ever-changing tech rule my life and if (fingers crossed) I get into online work, I’m gonna have to learn how to work with the most up to date software for word processing and editing, all that great stuff. I barely knew how to use the editor/proofreader function in the 2007 stuff, and that’s a MAJOR need to know in writing and collaborating work.

I just always printed it out, wrote all over it, and went to town. But it’s time to get with the times.

I’m just wondering if there’s anything you think I’ll have to do to make sure my computer doesn’t freak out with the transition (or me, for that matter).

Any help would be great. Floor’s yours…

10 thoughts on “Q#187: For those in the software know, how can I make sure I don’t screw things up if I upgrade to Office 2021 Professional?

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I’m just certain that in the past decade, there’s been a lot of stuff that folks who trade files back and forth use without even thinking that I haven’t even seen yet, so if I’m asked by someone to proofread and use things a certain way… well, if I don’t know what the hell it is, gonna be trouble. Got a whole laundry list of things I need to learn and dedicating this month to cleaning house and prioritizing them so I don’t do that impulsive, half-assed thing that’s gotten me in trouble in the past (hee hee).

      Oh well-gonna do the dishes, get another coffee, and do some info browsing for a bit. Maybe I’ll find out a bit more.

      Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I’m in the mood to learn, but learning a whole new OS? Not quite there yet (hee hee).
      I did find some resources that indicate why it might be tricky looking at old files. I’d just have to go in and uncheck certain things for compatibility (I love when someone does screen shots!) But paypal was being a butt so I couldn’t pay for it last night anyway. I’ll give it a few more days before the sale ends so I have plenty of time to play with it and make sure it works.


  1. SusanR says:

    All I know for sure is back up everything before you do anything. Beyond that, I’m afraid I can’t help. I’m on an ancient (2012) MacBook. It does make all kinds of upgrades a lot easier than I remember Windows being and is more goofproof. Still, so much I don’t know. Perhaps the Bestbuy Geek Squad could help you?

    Liked by 1 person

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