>have to download my current version (premiere 3)
Downloading is what you do from the Internet to your computer... do you mean install?
Based on other discussions of old projects in new versions... yes, you need to complete version 3 projects in version 3
Not only that, there is no guarantee that version 3 will even work with Win7
There is no guarantee that a Premiere Elements 3.0/3.0.2 project file will open in Premiere Elements 12 on any operating system. It is highly recommended that you complete a project in the program in which it was created.
Also, do not move or delete the source media that goes into your projects after you have saved closed the project. I see no help in
.....download my current version (premiere 3) before upgrading to version 12 to make sure all my projects upgrade to the newer version.
What do you mean ...download my current version (premiere 3)...did you purchase it online...do you have an installation disc or installation files...if installation files, do you have access to them from Adobe?
I did not see John T. Smith's post until after I had posted mine.
The odds are more in your favor of getting Premiere Elements 3.0/3.0.2 to function on Windows 7 64 bit than they are for opening a Premiere Elements 3.0/3.0.2 project in Premiere Elements 12 on Windows 7 64 bit.
That does not prohibit you from trying. But make a copy of the Premiere Elements 3.0/3.0.2 project before you begin any of these attempts.
Projects opened and edited in a later version often cannot be re-edited in the version in which it was created.
Please let us know if you need clarification on anything written.