5.69 FAQ-981 How do I share projects with users of older versions?

Last Update: 10/21/2021

When sharing Origin projects with colleagues who have an older version, there are several aspects you may need to consider.

OPJU vs OPJ File Format

The new OPJU file format for Origin projects was introduced in version 2018. If you intend to share a project with older version users, you may use the File: Save Project As... menu item and then select *.OPJ in the Save as type dropdown. (*1)

Note that down-saving to older OPJ format will not result in any loss of data or graphs.(*2) See sections below for comments on new features not available in older versions.

You can change the default file format to be OPJ by using the @OPJ system variable.

Note 1: Origin Viewer (version 9.5.5 or later) can also convert OPJU file to OPJ.

Note 2: OPJU is encoded in Unicode. It contains significantly expanded special symbols as well as the characters of other languages like Asian letters. So, these Unicode characters which are out of the traditional encoding (i.e., not within the current "code page") would not be shown correctly (shown as "?").

Spreadsheet Cell Notation (SCN)

Starting with version 2017, new worksheets by default have the Spreadsheet Cell Notation (SCN) turned ON by default. This forces column short names to be A, B, C etc as in Excel. It then allows for simpler column formula in F(x) row and Set Column Values such as typing A*10 instead of col(A)*10.

If you share your projects with SCN ON and you have used simpler notation for column calculations, the calculated data will still be visible and available in older versions, but old version users will not be able to recalculate the values by changing input columns. They will need to edit/change the formula to be compatible with their version.

You can turn off the SCN notation For your workboooks if you prefer.

Cell Formula

Cell formula similar to Excel, was introduced in Origin version 2018. This allows for typing formula into individual cells, such as =total(A1:B10).

Even if you save a project using the older OPJ file format, old version users will only see the cell formula expressions. They will not see the calculated values, and of course they will not be able to update or change calculations involving cell formula.

New Graph Types

Each new version of Origin typically includes a few new graph types. If you create a project using new graph types, old version users will not be able to view or modify such graphs.

New Analysis Tools and Apps

Each new version of Origin typically includes new analysis tools and/or new Apps. If such tools and Apps are used in a project, then analysis reports and other numeric output will be visible to old version users. But they will not be able to perform any recalculation of the results by changing input data.