Microsoft provides a handy file conversion tool that allows users of Microsoft Office 2003 to view and edit Microsoft Office 2007 and newer files. It can be located via this link, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack
Here is a handy PDF file that teaches how to insert special characters into documents. Special Character Shortcuts ( These methods should work for most programs)
Do you need Microsoft's most current version of Office? Of course you do. Now you can go to http://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education and get a downloadable version as well as access to the web version through a contract between AVC and Microsoft. Once there click on the green "Find out if you're eligible" button. On the next screen enter your AVC email address and click sign up. It will verify some information from you then send you an email. Open the email and click on the link within it. That will bring you back to the site and allow you to download Microsoft Office and/or use the web based implementation of Microsoft Office!