How to Open .docx File Without Microsoft Office

The previously used .doc format is no longer available in Microsoft Office 2007. Though there is an option in Office 2007 to save a document in the older .doc format, you can not read a .docx file without installing the newer version of Office. While the old format runs fine in the new version, the reverse is not true. This means you can not run the .docx files in Office 2003 or earlier. If you are not looking to upgrade to the new Microsoft Office suite, here are some ways that you can use to open the .docx files without installing the newer Office in your computer.

Note: Following are some workarounds to read the content of your documents that are of docx file format. You can also use the same method to read other Office files like xlsx, pptx etc

1. View .docx file in older Office version

Microsoft has released a compatibility package to run the newer documents file in older version of Office. Just download the Microsoft compatibility pack. After installing the compatibility pack you will be able to read the .docx files in your current installation of Microsoft Office.

2. Install OpenOffice

For those who are not using Windows as their main operating system Microsoft Office as their main office suite, they can install OpenOffice and get it to open .docx file.

If all you need is a lightweight solution, you can also install the OpenOffice.org Portable app onto your USB drive.

3. Using Google Docs

If you don’t want to install any software in your computer, then you can upload the .docx file to Google Docs. You can then use Google Docs to read, edit or print your documents. All the content of the document will be saved in your Google account.

4. Using ThinkFree

Other than Google Docs, ThinkFree is another online based word editor that allows you to view your .docx file. Open the the website and upload any office file. It will show you the document content. Generally Thinkfree does not require registration to view a document file, but if you want to edit that document or share in the internet, you will have to sign up for an account. One thing though, you can avoid the sign up process by logging into your Gmail account.

The first time you login with your Google account, you have to grant the permission to ThinkFree to access your Google account.

5. Convert the docx file to your preferred format

There is another hassle free method to view a .docx formatted document. You can use a converter to convert the .docx file. There are several online tools that you can use to convert a .docx file.

  • Zamzar – It is a fast online tool and easy to use. Just sign in to Zamzar and start to convert your docx file in your preferred file format.
  • Docx converter – With Docx converter, you can convert the docx file to many file formats such as doc, pdf etc. Docx converter also comes with a desktop widget to allow you to convert the files directly from your desktop. Download Desktop widget.

What other methods do you to use to view your .docx file?