Microsoft has released the first critical update for Office 2003, barely two weeks after the software was launched.
The fix relates to file compatibility between the 2003 versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel and earlier versions, in particular with regard to graphical content.
A spokeswoman said that Microsoft had detected problems when a customer used an earlier edition of Windows to create a document with, for instance, OfficeArt in it, saved it and then tried to open it again in Office 2003.
"Some of the data may not be there," she explained.
A Microsoft Knowledge Base article on the update explained that "empty 'complex' properties may be introduced into the file and a bit may be changed in the file record that describes these properties".
In such scenarios, users may find that the document may not open completely, may be corrupted, may open but with missing content, or may produce an error message.
Specifically in PowerPoint 2003, the user may receive an error message that the programme cannot read the file, that it cannot open it because some is missing, or that it cannot open the type of file represented by the file in question.
The update, which is numbered KB828041, can be downloaded here.
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