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I am currently having a hard time exchanging Visio .vsd files between the versions for Office 2003 and Office 2010.

It actually works fine upwards (opening a 2003 .vsd in 2010) but after saving it in 2010 I will not be able to open the same file in 2003.

Error message is always the same, saying

Microsoft Office Visio has encountered a problem and needs to close".

I already tried to Save As Visio 2002 .vsd file, still won't work.

This is apparantly a Visio-only issue, since I am able to open any docx-file format in 2003, which will put me in compatibility mode automatically.

Are there any known issues or work arounds?

share|improve this question

Since the extension has not changed since 2003 so you can open the file between 2003, 2007 and 2010 (or at least, attempt to open the file).

The problem is compatibility. I suspect you're using some of the modern graphs or drawing tools, shapes, text fields or formatting and even Data connections etc which was not present in earlier versions.

I would suspect you're using one and the program is crashing out.

To test, create a new document in 2010, leave it empty, save it and see if you can open the file in 2003.

This document about discontinued features in Visio 2010 may help

share|improve this answer
Thank you and indeed, an empty file works fine. Then again, if I add basic timeline shapes, which appear to be the same ones that I also add in Visio 2003, the program will shut down upon opening the file again. It's hard to see why, at this point. All elements have been there before. – The-Stig Sep 18 '13 at 8:49
After some back and forth I determined that as soon as you enter at least one element (tested with a diamond-shape milestone, which is also available in 2003) with Visio 2010 the file won't be accessible anymore with Visio 2003. I can hardly believe MS did not think about this. Am I missing something else? Any hint is much appreciated. – The-Stig Sep 18 '13 at 9:40
Can the crashing VSD be posted somewhere? I wonder if it crashes Visio 2007 and if it does whether it is exploitable or not. – Yuhong Bao Dec 27 '13 at 1:58

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