A friend of yours sent you a document in DOCX format , but you can’t open it? Really strange. DOCX files are Microsoft Word’s default documents and are compatible with a wide range of third-party software, including free ones. If you are unable to view them, it means that you are using a very old version of Office, for example Office 2003, or any other word processing software that – strangely – does not support them. In any case, don’t worry, today I’m here to help you.
Let’s start by saying that DOCX files are Office documents in Open XML format: a file type introduced by Microsoft in Office 2007 and which is very similar to the OpenDocument format of OpenOffice and LibreOffice (known free and open source productivity suites alternatives to Microsoft Office), but with some bits of proprietary code. They differ from classic DOC format files for their support for advanced functions and features and for their greater compatibility with third-party software. In short, they are more “modern” and respectful of standards and therefore should be preferred to the now obsolete DOC files.
Having made this necessary premise, let’s ban the chatter and immediately discover how to open DOCX using Microsoft Word and other solutions that allow you to view, edit and create documents in the aforementioned format without spending a cent. We will also deal with some online services and some apps for mobile devices, so you can go and act, respectively, from the browser window and on the go. Now, however, let’s not waste any more time chatting and let’s take action!
- How to open DOCX with PC and Mac
- Microsoft Word (Windows / macOS)
- LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)
- WordPad (Windows)
- Pages (macOS)
- How to open DOCX online
- Word Online
- Other solutions to open DOCX online
- How to open DOCX on Android and iOS / iPadOS
- Word (Android / iOS / iPadOS)
- Pages (iOS / iPadOS)
- Other solutions to open DOCX on Android and iOS / iPadOS
How to open DOCX with PC and Mac
To begin with, let’s find out how to open DOCX with PC and Mac . Below, therefore, you will find indicated how to proceed on Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems, both using the famous Word and other programs.
Microsoft Word (Windows / macOS)
As I told you, DOCX files are documents in Office Open XML format and are natively supported by all versions of Microsoft Word starting from 2007. So, to open DOCX , view and edit them, all you have to do is get a non-standard version. too old Office (Microsoft’s productivity suite that also includes Word) and install it on your computer, be it Windows or macOS .
Unfortunately, however, it is not free: the software must be used by subscribing to the Microsoft 365 service , which costs 7 euros / month (valid for 1 computer) or 10 euros / month (valid for 6 computers) with a 30-day free trial. ; or by purchasing a single license , valid for the entire office suite or for Word only, which can be obtained by purchasing the Office Home & Student version which provides a one-off payment of 149 euros and supports updates only for the current version. Alternatively, on Windows 10 and later you can buy the stand-alone version of the applicationat the price of 135 euros. It should be noted that the single application is also available for macOS, the download of which is completely free, but to work it requires a subscription. If you want to save money, you can buy a single license for Office from Mr Key Shop , a site managed by a company with offices in Italy and England that sells 100% original licenses for Microsoft Office and Windows not used by business users at very affordable prices. .
That said, if you have not yet downloaded and installed Word on your computer, you can do so by following the instructions for the various versions of the program that I gave you in my guide specifically dedicated to how to download Word .
Next, to open a DOCX file simply double-click its icon and it should automatically appear in Word. If not, restore the association between DOCX and Microsoft Word files by following the instructions I gave you in my guide on how to change the default program .
Alternatively, to open the DOCX files of your interest, start Word, selecting the relative link added to the Windows Start menu or the appropriate icon that you find in the macOS Launchpad , then click on the Open item in the left sidebar and indicate the location and file of your interest. Alternatively, you can select the file by clicking on the File menu located at the top and then on the Open item present in it or, again, by right-clicking on the DOCX file and selecting Word from the Open with menu that appears.
LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)
If you do not intend to spend money to buy Office or in any case you are looking for an alternative and totally free solution to Microsoft’s proposal, you can look elsewhere and switch to LibreOffice , which is a productivity suite born on the basis of OpenOffice . It is open source in nature, in Italian and at no cost and includes the Writer application for word processing, which is what you need. It is compatible with Windows and macOS. Furthermore, it is considered the best solution to open DOCX on Ubuntu as it is often available “standard” on Linux.
That said, to download LibreOffice on your computer, connect to its website and click on the Download version xxx button . When the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the .msi file obtained and, in the window that appears on the desktop, click on the Run button , click on the Next button , select the Typical option and complete the setup by clicking on the buttons Next , Install , Yes and Finish .
If you are using macOS , on the other hand, open the .dmg package obtained, move the LibreOffice icon to the Mac Applications folder , right-click on it, select the Open item from the context menu and press the Open button in the window that appears on the screen, in order to start the program going to circumvent Apple’s limitations towards applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be performed only at the first start). At this point, close the software completely, using the key combination cmd + q .
Also on Mac, after having performed the above steps, visit the LibreOffice website again and click on the Translated User Interface button , to download the Italian translation of the program (on Windows it is already integrated). When the download is complete, open the new .dmg package obtained, right-click on the LibreOffice Language Pack executable inside it, select the Open item from the menu that appears and click on the Open and Install buttons . Then, select the entry /Applications/LibreOffice.app from the window that appears and click on the Install button .
If in carrying out the above steps you see a warning appear indicating that you do not have high enough privileges to continue, press the Yes button , identify me , enter the password of your user account on macOS in the window that opens and click on the OK button two consecutive times, to complete the installation of the LibreOffice Language Pack.
At this point, regardless of the operating system used, to open files in DOCX format, start LibreOffice, by selecting the relative link that you find in the Windows Start menu or by clicking on its icon that has been added to the MacOS Launchpad and, a once the main program window is displayed, click on the Open file button located in the left sidebar, then choose the document of your interest and you’re done. If you are already using Writer, you can also open other DOCX files directly from there, by clicking on the File menu at the top left and then choosing the Open item attached to it.
Not everyone knows this, but you can also open DOCX with the good old WordPad , the simple program for writing and taking notes that comes pre-installed on Windows . Do not you believe it? No problem, let’s fix it right away!
All you have to do is start WordPad on your PC, by clicking on the Start button (the one with the Microsoft logo ) that you find on the taskbar and selecting the relevant link from the menu that appears.
Now that you see the program window on the desktop, click on the File menu at the top left, select the Open item from the latter and then open the DOCX file of your interest.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a specific solution to open DOCX with Mac , you can resort to the use of Pages , the word processing application developed directly by Apple for its users, an integral part of a productivity software package on macOS . It is free and can be found pre-installed on the most recent Macs (otherwise, or if removed, it can be downloaded from the relevant section of the Mac App Store ). Also, it supports document synchronization via iCloud .
To use Pages for your purpose, all you have to do is access the Launchpad , selecting its icon (the one with the colored squares ) that you find on the Dock bar and click on the application icon in the screen shown below.
Then use the pop-up window automatically to select the DOCX file you want to open, press the Open button and it’s done. As an alternative to what I have just indicated or if you have already opened other documents in Pages, you can open your DOCX files by clicking on the File menu at the top left and selecting the Open item attached to it.
How to open DOCX online
You do not want or cannot download and install new programs on your computer or you do not have your PC at hand and, therefore, would you like to understand if it is possible to open DOCX online ? Yes, of course! There are Web services that allow you to open, edit and create documents in the format in question directly from the browser. Below you will find some of the most interesting ones.
There is also Word Online , a version of the famous word processing program that I told you about in the step at the beginning of the tutorial that can be used for free from any browser, without signing up for a subscription to Microsoft 365. Just log in to the service using your Microsoft account and it’s You can create, view and edit DOCX files without installing any software on your computer.
To be able to use it, connected to the home page of the service , log in to your Microsoft account and upload the DOCX file on your computer that you want to view by clicking on the Upload and Open item at the top right. If your file is on OneDrive , you can also take it directly from there, by selecting it from the list below or by clicking on the Other item in OneDrive .
After completing the above steps, you will find yourself in front of the text editor and can then view your DOCX file in all its glory. It was easy, wasn’t it?
Keep in mind that the changes applied to the documents are saved directly on OneDrive, but you can download the files offline by simply clicking on the File item located at the top left, choosing the Save As option from the menu that appears on the side and pressing the Download a Copy button .
Other solutions to open DOCX online
There are also other solutions through which you can open DOCX online, such as those that are reported in the list below. They are all very valid and easy to use services.
- Google Documents– this is the free “big G” text editor, accessible from any browser and operating system, after logging in to your Google account , through which you can write text documents and open various text files, including those in DOCX format. Note that all documents are automatically saved to Google Drive and synchronized between the devices on which they have been signed in.
- Pages Online– is the online version of the Pages application for macOS that I told you about in the initial part of the guide . It can be used for free and from any browser, but an iCloud account is required.
- DocsPal– it is a free Word file viewer, usable without registration, easy to use and with a nice user interface. Note that it also supports other types of Office files and also allows you to open images.
How to open DOCX on Android and iOS / iPadOS
At the moment you don’t have your computer at hand and therefore are you looking for apps through which you can open DOCX files on Android and iOS / iPadOS ? I’ll settle you immediately. Here are some applications that you can download and use for free to work with documents in Word format from smartphones and tablets.
Word (Android / iOS / iPadOS)
What if I told you that you can open, edit and create DOCX files with Word even from your smartphone or tablet? Maybe not everyone knows this, but Microsoft has released a version of its famous word processor in the form of an app for Android and iOS / iPadOS. Unlike its counterpart for computers, the one I described to you in the step at the beginning of the tutorial , it is completely free, as long as the device used has dimensions equal to or less than 10.1 “ (otherwise, even from mobile you need to subscribe to Microsoft 365 It also requires you to sign in with your Microsoft account to work.
To download and install Word on your device, proceed as follows: if you are using Android , visit the relevant section of the Play Store and press the Install button (if you are using a device on which the Play Store is not available, you can download the app via an alternative store ); if you are using iOS / iPadOS , access the relevant section of the App Store , press the Get button , then the Install button and authorize the download via Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password . Then start the app by selecting the icon which has been added to the home screen.
Now that you see the Word screen, click on the Start button , follow the short introductory tutorial that is proposed to you to configure the operation of the app and log in with your Microsoft account.
Then, tap on the icon with the folder located at the bottom right, indicate the location from which you intend to take the DOCX file you want to open, select the document of your interest and you can finally view it on the next screen.
Pages (iOS / iPadOS)
In addition to Mac, as I indicated in the passage in the initial part of the guide , Pages is also available in the form of a free app for iOS / iPadOS and presents all the main features and functions of the computer counterpart, but clearly yes it is an optimized solution to be used via touch controls and in any case on smaller screens.
To use it, download and install the app from the relevant section of the App Store , then open it, selecting the icon that has been added to the home screen and / or to the iOS / iPadOS App Library and, through the new screen displayed, choose the DOCX document you want to view from the Recent section or from the Browse section .
Next, wait for the Pages editor screen with your file to be visible. If you also want to make changes to the file, you must exit the view-only mode by pressing the Edit button at the top right.
Other solutions to open DOCX on Android and iOS / iPadOS
If you are looking for additional apps through which you can open DOCX files from mobile, I invite you to consider the other solutions of this type that I have proceeded to include in the list below.
- Google Documents( Android / iOS / iPadOS ) – is the app for Android, iPhone and iPad of the word processing service made available by Google that I told you about in the previous lines . It allows you to view, edit and create files in DOCX format, even offline.
- WPS Office( Android / iOS / iPadOS ) – this is a free productivity suite (in its basic ad-supported version) that allows you to work with documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It supports all major cloud storage services . It can be used for free, but in-app purchases are offered (at a basic cost of 4.49 euros / month) to unlock access to all available functions.
- Polaris Office( Android / iOS / iPadOS ) – is another popular Microsoft Office alternative productivity suite. It supports all major Office file formats, so you can also use it to open DOCX on Android and iOS / iPadOS. It also allows you to upload files directly from various cloud storage services. It is free of charge, but offers in-app purchases (starting from 3.99 euros) to unlock extra functions.