I will gladly Move your post to the very helpful and active After Effects Forum, where you will get help.
[Moved to After Effects]
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“This project must be converted from version 8.0x247 (Windows)…” – or some similar message; more often it says MAC OS.
This simply means that the project was designed in a versin of AE older than your version. So long as the file opens, it's nothing to worry about. Save your working copy of the project and you won't see the message again.
“The following dependencies are missing: “ and lists several fonts…
The fonts used by the project designer are not installed on your system. If they weren't supplied with the project, track them down online and download and install them. Or change any text layers in the project to new fonts.
“After Effects Warning: X# files are missing since you last saved the project” (although I’ve NEVER saved it – yet; I just downloaded and opened it…).
This means that AE can't find the source files that the designer used. These could be image files, like PSDs, JPGs or Illustrator files. Or they could be video files, like Quicktimes. If the downloaded project came with additional files, you can just double click on a missing file in the project window, then direct AE to the file's correct location. If you don't have any such files you're outta luck.
“After Effects Warning: File (NAME OF PROJECT) is locked. You can’t save any changes to this file.”
This sounds like a permissions issue. Save a copy of your project with a new name.
I strongly advise you to use some of the resources available here to learn the basics of AE before you jump in deeper than you can swim.
Sorry I haven't responded here. I had thought I would get an e-mail when anyone posted but I guess my settings are wonky. Will review your comments (thanks to Bill for moving my post) and see what's what. Thanks again. Tom