Microsoft Office 2003

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Microsoft Office 2003
Office Standard Edition 2003 applications (clockwise from top-right): Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint on Windows XP.
Office Standard Edition 2003 applications (clockwise from top-right): Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint on Windows XP.
Initial releaseAugust 19, 2003; 16 years ago (2003-08-19)[1]
Final release
Service Pack 3 (11.0.8173.0)[2] / September 17, 2007; 12 years ago (2007-09-17)[3]
Operating systemWindows 2000 SP3, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008,[4] Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2[5][6][7][8]
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
TypeOffice suite
LicenseTrialware and software as a service (Microsoft Software Assurance)

Microsoft Office 2003 (codenamed Office 11[9]) is an office suite developed and distributed by Microsoft for its Windows operating system. Office 2003 was released to manufacturing on August 19, 2003,[1] and was later released to retail on October 21, 2003.[10] It was the successor to Office XP and the predecessor to Office 2007.

New features in Office 2003 include information rights management; new collaboration features; improved support for SharePoint, smart tags, and XML; and extended use of Office Online services.[11] Office 2003 introduces two new programs to the Office product lineup: InfoPath, a program for designing, filling, and submitting electronic structured data forms; and OneNote, a note-taking program for creating and organizing diagrams, graphics, handwritten notes, recorded audio, and text.[12] It also introduces the Picture Manager graphics software to open, manage, and share digital images.[11]

With the release of Office 2003, Microsoft rebranded the Office productivity suite as an integrated system dedicated to information workers. As a result, Microsoft appended the "Office" branding to the names of all programs.[13] Office 2003 is also the first version with support for Windows XP colors and visual styles,[14] and introduces updated icons.[13]

Office 2003 is the last version of Office to include the menu bar and toolbars across all programs,[15] as well as the last version to include the "97 - 2003" file format as the default file format.[16] It is compatible with Windows 2000 SP3, Windows XP and later, but not with Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, or Windows Me.[4] It is also not supported on Windows 8,[6] Windows Server 2012,[7] or later versions of Windows.[5][8] It is the last version of Office compatible with Windows 2000, since Office 2007 requires Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista at the minimum.[17]

Microsoft released a total of three service packs for Office 2003 throughout its lifecycle. Service Pack 1 was released on July 27, 2004,[18] Service Pack 2 was released on September 27, 2005,[19] and Service Pack 3 was released on September 17, 2007.[3]

Mainstream support for Office 2003 ended on April 14, 2009, and extended support ended on April 8, 2014,[20] the same dates that mainstream and extended support ended for Windows XP.[21]

New features[edit]

The core applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, had only minor improvements from Office XP. Outlook 2003 received improved functionality in many areas, including better email and calendar sharing and information display, complete Unicode support, search folders, colored flags, Kerberos authentication, RPC over HTTP, and Cached Exchange mode. Another key benefit of Outlook 2003 was the improved junk mail filter. Tablet and pen support was introduced in the productivity applications. Word 2003 introduced a reading layout view, document comparison, better change-tracking and annotation/reviewing, a Research Task Pane, voice comments and an XML-based format among other features. Excel 2003 introduced list commands, some statistical functions and XML data import, analysis and transformation/document customization features. Access 2003 introduced a backup command, the ability to view object dependencies, error checking in forms and reports among other features.

Office 2003 features improvements to smart tags such as smart tag Lists, which are defined in XML, by using regular expressions and an extended type library.[22] Smart tag recognition was added to PowerPoint and Access. FrontPage 2003 introduced conditional formatting, Find and Replace for HTML elements, new tools for creating and formatting tables and cells, dynamic templates (Dreamweaver), Flash support, WebDAV and SharePoint publishing among other features. Publisher 2003 introduced a Generic Color PostScript printer driver for commercial printing.[23] Information Rights Management capabilities were introduced in document productivity applications to limit access to a set of users and/or restrict types of actions that users could perform. Support for managed code add-ins as VSTO solutions was introduced.

Office 2003 was the last version of Microsoft Office to include fully customizable toolbars and menus for all of its applications, the Office Assistant, the ability to slipstream service packs into the original setup files, Office Web Components, and the Save My Settings Wizard, which allowed users to choose whether to keep a locally cached copy of installation source files and several utility resource kit tools. It was also the last Office version to support Windows 2000. A new picture organizer with basic editing features, called Microsoft Office Picture Manager, was included.

Only basic clipart and templates were included on the disc media, with most content hosted online and downloadable from within the Office application. Microsoft advertised Office Online as a major Office 2003 feature "outside the box".[24] Office Online provides how-to articles, tips, training courses, templates, clip art, stock photos and media and downloads (including Microsoft and third-party extensibility add-ins for Microsoft Office programs).

Office 2003 features broad XML integration (designing customized XML schemas, importing and transforming XML data) throughout resulting in a far more data-centric model (instead of a document-based one). The MSXML 5 library was introduced specifically for Office's XML integration. Office 2003 also has SharePoint integration to facilitate data exchange, collaborated workflow, and publishing. InfoPath 2003 was introduced for collecting data in XML-based forms and templates based on information from databases.

Removed features[edit]

  • Design Time Controls are no longer supported in FrontPage 2003.[25]
  • The Access 2.0 database conversion utility is removed from the installation CD and the Client Server Visual Design Tools for Access are no longer included.[25]
  • A large number of converters and filters are no longer available on the installation CD. Several international font options are also removed.[25]
  • Genigraphics Wizard support and Presentation Broadcasting were removed in PowerPoint 2003. A download for the latter was made available by Microsoft.[25]
  • Microsoft Draw Converter and Organization Chart Converter are no longer available.[25]
  • The Web Pages wizard is no longer available in Word 2003.[25]
  • In Word 2003, the Comments option on the View menu as well as the button on the Comment pane to close the pane were removed.[25]
  • Microsoft Photo Editor was removed, including many features not available in its replacement.[26]
  • Due to the deprecation of WinHelp, context-sensitive help was removed in Office 2003.[27]
  • Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar was removed.[28]



Microsoft released five separate editions of Office 2003: Basic, Student and Teacher, Standard, Small Business, and Professional. Retail editions were available in Full or Upgrade versions. The Basic edition was only available to original equipment manufacturers. The Student and Teacher edition was intended for noncommercial use only.[29] All Office 2003 applications were available for purchase as standalone products.[30]

Microsoft Office 2003 Editions
Application Basic
Student and
Standard Small Business Professional
Word Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Excel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Outlook Yes Yes Yes Yes
with Business Contact Manager[29]
with Business Contact Manager[29]
PowerPoint No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Publisher No No No Yes Yes
Access No No No No Yes
InfoPath No No No No Volume edition only

System requirements[edit]

Office 2003 system requirements[11]
Minimum Recommended
Microsoft Windows
Operating system
Windows 2000 SP3, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008,[4] Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2[5][6][7][8]
Intel Pentium 233 MHz
Intel Pentium II 400 MHz required for speech recognition
450 MHz processor required for Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003
128 MB
256 MB is required for Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003
Free space
210 MB (Student and Teacher, Standard)
380 MB (Small Business)
400 MB (Professional)
An additional 190 MB of free space is required to install Business Contact Manager
Cached installation files require the following additional hard disk space:
250 MB (Student and Teacher)
260 MB (Standard)
280 MB (Small Business)
290 MB (Professional)
A CD-ROM drive is required to install Office 2003 from optical media
Graphics hardware
Sound hardware
An audio output device and microphone are required for speech recognition
Certain advanced collaboration features require Exchange Server 2003 or later
Internet access is required for product activation and online functionality
Input device(s)
Stylus and touchscreen for certain inking functionality

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Core Microsoft Office System Products Are Complete, Released to Manufacturers". News Center. Microsoft. August 19, 2003. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "How to check the version of Office 2003 products". Support. Microsoft. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3)". Download Center. Microsoft. September 17, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "List of system requirements for Microsoft Office 2003". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Microsoft Office Version and Windows Version Compatibility Chart". Keynote Support. Keynote Support. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Office 2003 applications are not compatible with Windows 8". Microsoft Support. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Which versions of Office are supported on Windows 8 and on Surface with Windows RT?". Microsoft TechNet. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Which versions of Office work with Windows 10?". Microsoft Office Support. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  9. ^ Thurrott, Paul (September 11, 2011). "Microsoft Office 2003 & 2007: A Look Back". IT Pro. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Steve Ballmer Speech Transcript - Microsoft Office System Launch". News Center. Microsoft. October 21, 2003. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c "Microsoft Office 2003 Editions Product Guide". Microsoft. September 2003. Archived from the original (DOC) on November 4, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Gunderloy, Mike; Harkins, Susan (July 1, 2003). "InfoPath and OneNote: New Office applications on the block". TechRepublic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Thurrott, Paul (March 21, 2003). "Microsoft Office 2003 Beta 2 Review". IT Pro. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  14. ^ Thurrott, Paul (December 6, 2002). "Microsoft Office 11 Preview". Supersite for Windows. Penton. Archived from the original on September 2, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  15. ^ "User interface differences in Office 2010 vs earlier versions". TechNet. Microsoft. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  16. ^ Spector, Lincoln (December 24, 2010). "Old vs. new Microsoft Office file formats". PCWorld. IDG. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "Getting started with the 2007 Office system". TechNet. Microsoft. System requirements for the 2007 Office release. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  18. ^ "Office 2003 Service Pack 1". Download Center. Microsoft. July 27, 2004. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  19. ^ Thurrott, Paul (September 27, 2005). "Microsoft Ships Office 2003 Service Pack 2". IT Pro. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "Microsoft Support Lifecycle - Office 2003". Microsoft. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  21. ^ "Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search: Windows XP". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  22. ^ Jurden, Dan (January 8, 2004). "Using Smart Tags in Office 2003". DevX. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  23. ^ "Install the Generic Color PS for Commercial Printing printer driver". Microsoft. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  24. ^ "The newest feature of Office isn't in the box-it's on the Web - Help and How-to - Microsoft Office Online". Microsoft. Archived from the original on May 23, 2010.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "Differences between Office XP and Office 2003". TechNet. Microsoft. August 13, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  26. ^ "List of Photo Editor features that are not available in Picture Manager". Support. Microsoft. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  27. ^ "Deprecating WinHelp". MSDN. Microsoft. May 20, 2005. Archived from the original on February 8, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  28. ^ "Office Shortcut Bar is not included in Office". Support. Microsoft. May 7, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
  29. ^ a b c "What's in the Office 2003 Editions?". Office Online. Microsoft. September 30, 2003. Archived from the original on December 5, 2003. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  30. ^ "How to Buy". Office Online. Microsoft. Archived from the original on December 5, 2003. Retrieved December 18, 2017.