GraphPad Prism 8 User Guide

File compatibility between Prism versions

File compatibility between Prism versions

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File compatibility between Prism versions

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Cross platform (win/mac) compatibility

The Windows and Mac versions of Prism use the same file format, and you can go back and forth between Prism 8 Win and Mac without any special conversion.


With older versions, there is one problem. If you pasted a WMF or EMF image (from another program) onto a Prism graph or layout using Prism Windows version 6 or earlier, that object will be replaced by a red object when you open the file with Prism Mac.

If you use any of these nonstandard fonts (and perhaps others) with Prism 8 Mac, the symbol will appear as a box when you open the file in Prism 8 Windows: Cuneiform, Linear, Aegean, Miao, and Inscriptional.

Upward compatibility

Prism 8  can open all PZF and PXFX files created by Prism versions 4-7, and can even open .PZM files created by Prism versions 1 to 3.

Downward compatibility


We have done extensive testing to make sure that Prism 7 can open Prism 8 files. When Prism 7 lacks a Prism 8 feature, the result is sensible. We have not extensively tested opening Prism 8 files in Prism 6 and earlier. It will probably work ok for many files, but this is not something we have tested.  

But note there are likely to be changes when you open a file with an earlier version. Going back and forth between two versions is likely to be annoying.

The location of analysis results on analysis tables may change between versions

When you open a Prism file on a version different than the version it was created on, results also may appear on different rows of the results tables. This means that results tables embedded on graphs may no longer show the results you care about, and scripts may export the wrong values. You may have to do a bit of clean up to make the files work as intended.


Compatibility of Prism objects saved within other documents

On Windows (but not Mac), when you paste a Prism graph or layout within Word or PowerPoint (or some other programs), you can paste just a picture, paste a link, or embed a Prism object. If you paste a link or embed an object, you can then double click on that image to edit within Prism. This works only if the correct version of Prism (or the GraphPad Prism Viewer) is installed or a newer one is installed on your computer.

Special characters may change to question marks

Prism 8 introduces use of Unicode to encode all characters. This is how almost all programs work now.

When you open a file created with Prism 8 in an earlier version of Prism some characters will still appear fine (Greek..). But others will show as a question mark in the earlier version. Three notes to help ensure that most characters appear fine:

To properly open p8 file with Unicode symbols in Prism 7, make sure you chose the appropriate locale for Prism 7. Other words, if user enters Japanese and saves file in Prism 8, then to properly open this file in Prism 7, user needs to make sure that Japanese locate is set in the system.

Make sure that you have updated Prism 7 to the last release, which does a better job with character conversion than did earlier releases. Use Help..Check for updates.

In Prism 7 and older, symbols that don't have an ANSII equivalent will show as "?" no matter which locale is set.