2.33 FAQ-467 Are older-version Origin projects forward-compatible with newer versions of Origin? Are newer-version Origin projects backward-compatible with older versions of Origin?

Last Update: 7/17/2018

Working with Older Files in Newer Versions of Origin

Older Origin files including Project files, graph templates, workbook and analysis templates and other Origin file types are all compatible with newer versions of Origin.

A couple of minor things to know:

  • Prior to Origin 8, users could edit Origin's default color palette of 24 colors and add 16 user-defined colors. This created problems with shared project files as different installations could potentially use different color palettes. The default palette is no longer editable. In later versions, enhanced color support has been added, and custom colors are saved in the file itself, allowing better sharing of customized colors.
  • Prior to version 4, Origin saved projects with a .ORG extension. This file type was later replaced by the project file (OPJ). To open .ORG files in the latest versions of Origin, select File: Open and browse to your file location. The file type drop down does not have an "all files" or ".ORG" type so to see your file, type "*.*" or "*.ORG" in the File name box and press Enter. Choose your file and click Open. Once opened, we recommend re-saving the file as an .OPJ.

Working with Newer Files in Older Versions of Origin

From Origin 2018 we have a new set of Origin file types, whose file extensions append "u" at the end, such as OPJU for project files, OGGU for graph window, OTPW for graph template, etc. These new file types cannot be opened in Origin 2017 or any older version.

However, even for the old file types (OPJ, OGG, OTP, etc), using an older version of Origin to manipulate and re-save Origin files created with a later version of Origin is not recommended. You can open newer OPJ files in an older version if you simply want to view numeric data and graphs, but you may encounter the following:

Empty Windows
Following are not supported in older versions, Therefore, these may open as empty windows in the older version.
  • Report sheets with embedded tables and graphs supported after Origin 8.0.
  • 3D OpenGL graphs supported after version 9.0.
  • New graph types such as XYZ Contour and R(X) Theta(Y) Z Polar Contour supported after Origin 8.0, Heatmap supported after version 2015. To learn the the new graph types by version, please refer to this page - Graph Types section.
Error Messages
When open the OPJ or OGG file in older version such as 7.5. Error messages can be shown in the Script Window. As long as the figures look fine, you can just ignore them:
Project contains unrecognized graphic objects...
<*><*><*><*><*><*> Name storage error.
<*><*><*><*><*><*> Syntax storage error.
Calling member of unattached wrapped class
Lock is broken
If the newer-version project file includes any analysis feature which is not supported in the older version, and the Recalculation mode is set to Auto or Manual, the lock will be broken in the older version and the auto-recalculation will be lost.
Multi-sheet workbook can not be correctly seen in version 7.x
When a Workbook contains multiple sheets, only the last sheet will be visible in Origin 7.5 and earlier versions. Thus if you want to view data in all sheets, you will need to separate out the sheets into multiple books when saving in version 8.x or higher. To do this, you can simply click on the sheet name and drag it out of the book. If you have many books, you can use the Worksheet:Split Workbooks menu.
Metadata and parameter header rows will not display in version 7.x
Following features of workbook are supported after Origin 8.0, they can not be displayed when opened in version 7.x.
  • Worksheet links and embedded Objects (Graphs, Images etc.).
  • Parameter Header Rows (including User-defined).
  • Formatting features in Worksheet cells.
  • Extracted result of Extracted Worksheet Data methods instead of old default extract string, for instant, col(B)[i]>0.
Table objects in a graph will not display in version 7.x
Table objects in a graph will not display in Origin 7.5 and earlier versions, although the data in these hidden worksheets will be available provided it is static data and not links.
Numeric results in Results Log is not visible in version 7.x
The format of the Results Log has been changed after version 8.0 so any numeric results sent to results log in later versions will not be visible in older versions such as 7.5. You will need to place the numeric results in a Notes window or in a separate book as numeric values in order to view them in older versions.
Package file OPX is not recognized in version 7.x
The extended name for package is OPX after Origin 8.0, which is different from OPK in version 7.x. OPK files can still be used in Origin 8 but OPX files cannot be recognized in version7.x.
Data consists of many long strings may not be shown all in earlier version than 8.1
A feature that significantly reduces file size where data consists of many long strings has added after Origin 8.1. Such files saved after Origin 8.1 may not show all the data when opened in earlier versions. To support older versions (at the expense of increased file size) set the System Variable @LSSP = 100.

Keywords:compatible, opj, ogg, otw, opx, older, earlier, OPJU, OGGU, OTWU, OTPU, OGWU, OGMU