A friend of yours sent you a document in DOCX but can't you open it? Really strange. DOCX files are the default documents of Microsoft Word and are compatible with a wide range of third party software, even free. If you can't open them, it means that you are using a very old version of Office, for example Office 2003, or that your PC's operating system has a configuration problem for which it no longer associates DOCX files with Microsoft Word, thus preventing it from being opening by double click. In any case, don't worry, today I'm here to help you.
Let's start by saying that DOCX files are documents in Office Open XML, a file format introduced by Microsoft in Office 2007 that is very similar to the OpenDocument format of OpenOffice and LibreOffice (known free and open source alternative productivity suites to Microsoft Office) but with some pieces 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, such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice. 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 see immediately how to open DOCX using Microsoft Word, LibreOffice and other applications, including free ones, which allow you to view, edit and create documents in this format. We will also take care of some mobile apps and some online services (to create and view DOCX files directly from the browser), but now let's go in order and take care of the solutions for Windows PCs, Macs and computers equipped with Linux.
▶ ︎ How to open DOCX files on PC and Mac | How to open DOCX files on smartphones and tablets | How to open DOCX files online
How to Open DOCX Files on PC and Mac
If you are looking for a program to open DOCX files on your computer, be it a Windows PC, a Mac or a computer equipped with Linux, here is the one for you!
Microsoft Word (Windows / Mac)
As already mentioned above, DOCX files are Office Open XML documents and are natively supported by all versions of Microsoft Word starting from 2007. To open, view and modify them, therefore, all you have to do is get a not too old version of Microsoft Office (Microsoft's productivity suite that also includes Word) and install it on your PC.
Currently, Office is available in two versions: a subscription which for 10 euros / month (after 30 days of free trial) allows you to use all the applications of the suite on a maximum number of 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets and 5 smartphones, includes 1TB of space on OneDrive and offers 1 hour of free Skype conversations and a classic, one-time payment, which costs 149 euros and does not include free trial versions. To download the free trial, you need to connect to the Microsoft website and click the button first try free and then Try free for 1 month.
Next, sign in with your Microsoft account and add a payment method to the latter by choosing between credit / debit card, PayPal e SEPA direct debit. You will not be charged and, if you deactivate the automatic renewal of your Office 365 subscription (by connecting to this web page), you will be able to try all Microsoft Office applications absolutely free for 30 days.
Finally, check the correctness of the data entered and click on the button first Save and then forward, Buy e Continue. So press the button Install for two consecutive times and the Microsoft Office installation package for Windows or macOS will be downloaded to your PC (depending on the operating system installed on your computer).
When the download is complete, open the Microsoft Office installation package (in the case of Windows Setup.X86.it-IT_O365HomePremRetail_xx_TX_DB_.exe and in the case of macOS Microsoft_Office_2016_1xx_Installer.pkg) and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. On Windows it will take a little longer because before the actual installation, all the suite files will be downloaded from the Internet.
Mission accomplished! Now all you have to do is select the DOCX file to open by double clicking on its icon, and it should automatically open in Microsoft Word. If not, restore the association between DOCX and Microsoft Word files by doing this.
- Right-click on any file in DOCX and select the item Property give the menu to compare;
- Nella finestra che si apre, fai clic sul pulsado Change;
- Select Word from the list of available programs.
If Word does not appear in the list of available programs, click on Other apps, Then Look for another app on this PC and select "manually" the Word executable, that is "C: Program Files Microsoft Office Officexx WINWORD.EXE".
If you use a Poppy, the procedure to follow is slightly different (but equally simple to complete): you have to right-click on any file in DOCX I will select the voice Get information give the menu to compare.
In the window that opens, expand the field Open with, select the voice Microsoft Word from the drop-down menu below and click on the button first Edit everything and then Continue to associate DOCX files with Word.
You want to find out how to open DOCX documents but you still use Office 2003? In this case you can install the Compatibility Pack for Office 2003 which makes Office 2003 compatible with DOCX files and, more generally, all Office Open XML file formats introduced in Office 2007.
To install the Compatibility Pack for Office 2003, all you have to do is connect to its page on the Microsoft website and download the program on your PC by first clicking on the button Download and then No thanks. Keep it going. When the download is complete, double-click on it to open the file you just downloaded (FileFormatConverters.exe) and, in the window that opens, put the check mark next to the item Click here to accept the Microsoft Software License Terms click her cousin Continue and then OK to finish installing the Compatibility Pack for Office 2003.
LibreOffice (Windows / Mac / Linux)
If you don't plan on spending money on Office and / or are tired of your old Office, you can look elsewhere and upgrade to a free Microsoft Office alternative that also allows you to open DOCX documents (and edit them) along with the OpenDocument format files and other Microsoft Office files. The alternative in question is called LibreOffice and is a productivity suite based on the same source code as OpenOffice with more features and more active development than the latter (therefore to be preferred).
To download LibreOffice on your PC, connect to the suite's website and click on the button Download version xx. If you are using a Mac, also click on the button Translated user interface to download the language pack needed to translate LibreOffice into Italian (not necessary for the Windows version of the program, as it is included "as standard").
When the download is complete open, by double clicking on it, the file you just downloaded (LibO_xx_Win_x86.msi) and, in the window that opens, first click on forward twice in a row and then on Install, Yes e end to complete the installation process of LibreOffice.
If you are using a Mac, open the LibreOffice dmg package you downloaded earlier and drag the program to the folder Applications of macOS. Then open LibreOffice by right clicking on its icon and selecting the item apri from the menu that appears (in order to bypass the macOS restrictions for applications without Apple certifications) and close the program again by pressing cmd + q on the keyboard.
At this point, open the dmg package of the translation package, right click on the icon LibreOffice Language Pack, select the voice apri from the menu that appears and proceed with the installation of the language pack for LibreOffice by first clicking on Install twice in a row, then on Yes, identify me and finally typing the password of your user account on macOS (the one you normally use to access the system).
From now on, you can open your documents in DOCX format simply by launching LibreOffice and going to the menu File> Open of the program.
If you want to associate LibreOffice with files in DOCX format, so that they can be opened by Writer (the "free" counterpart of Microsoft Word) with a simple double click on their icon, follow the procedure that I have shown you previously for Microsoft Word (choosing the executable "C: Program Files (x86) LibreOffice x program swriter.exe" from the menu Change in Windows o LibreOffice from the menu Open with macOS).
Not everyone knows, but the files DOCXthey can also open with the good old man WordPad? Do not you believe it? Then try to start the version of WordPad included in Windows 7 or later and open your DOCX file by selecting the item apri from the blue button Fillet which is located at the top left.
The reproduction of the file will not be as detailed and perfect as that provided by Office or LibreOffice, but the content of the document will be easily searchable as if it were any standard text document.
TextEdit on macOS it allows you to read and edit the content of DOCX files just like WordPad on Windows. This is a solution to be considered, however, as an "emergency" as it does not support all the formatting of DOCX documents and therefore does not allow the contents of these files to be displayed correctly (for example, the images included in the documents may not be displayed) .
To open a DOCX file with TextEdit, all you have to do is start the application, go to the menu File> Open located at the top left and select the document of your interest. That's all.
How to Open DOCX Files on Smartphones and Tablets
At the moment you don't have your PC at hand and therefore you are looking for app to open DOCX files from your smartphone or tablet? I'll settle you immediately. Here are some applications that you can download and use for free to work with documents in Word format.
Microsoft Word (Android/iOS/Windows Phone)
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, but Microsoft has released Word in the form of apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone and - perhaps more importantly - the app is free for all devices that are 10.1 "or smaller.
Word for smartphones and tablets supports all major cloud storage services, including dropbox, OneDrive e iCloud (on Apple devices only). This means that you can work not only with documents on the memory of your smartphone or tablet, but also with those located on your cloud accounts. All you have to do is launch the app, select the tab apri and choose the document to view and / or modify from the device memory or from the cloud service on which the latter resides (by entering the relative access data).
Google Docs (Android / IOS)
Google documents is a word processing application released for free by Google. It is available for both Android and iOS and is supported by Google Drive, Google's cloud storage service. It allows you to view, edit and create files in DOCX format, even offline.
To use the Google Docs app, all you have to do is download it to your device, start it and log in with your Google account. When the operation is completed, select the document to edit (which you must have previously uploaded to Google Drive) or press the button (+) to create a new one.
WPS Office (Android/iOS/Windows Phone)
If you're not comfortable with Word and / or Google Docs, you can turn to WPS Office: a free productivity suite (in its basic ad-supported version) that allows you to work with documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone and supports all major cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and OneDrive.
How to Open DOCX Files Online
Would you like to open a DOCX file on your computer but you don't have Office and, at least for the moment, are not planning to download new software on your PC? No problem. There are online services that allow you to open, edit and create documents in DOCX format directly from the browser: here are some of the most interesting.
I don't think Google Drive needs too many introductions. This is the Google home cloud storage service thanks to which you can store your data online. It includes a number of tools, including Sheets, Documents e Presentations, which allow you to create, view and edit Microsoft Office documents directly from the browser. All for free, just have a Google account.
If you want to open a DOCX file, or even a DOC file, an ODT file or another type of electronic document with Google Drive, linked to the home page of the service, log in to your Google account (if you have not already done so ) and drag the document of your interest into the browser window.
Once the upload is complete (it should take just a few seconds), you can view and edit the file simply by double clicking on it in the main Google Drive screen and selecting the option Google documents from the menu Open with which is displayed at the top.
Changes made to the document will be saved directly to Google Drive. To download the document offline, you need to go to the menu File> Download As Google Docs and select the option Microsoft Word (.docx) from the latter.
If you don't want to download the file in Word format, but in PDF, ODT (OpenDocument) or another file format, no problem, select the item you prefer most from the menu File> Download As Google Docs and that's it.
Perhaps not everyone knows, but there is an online version of Word that can be used for free from any browser without signing up for an Office 365 subscription. Just log in to the service using your Microsoft account and you can create, view and edit DOCX files without installing any type of software on your computer.
To learn more and test Word Online features by hand, connected to the home page of the service, log in to your Microsoft account (if required) and choose whether to create a new document (choosing one of the available themes) or whether upload a document from your PC by clicking on the appropriate item located at the top right.
The changes applied to the documents are saved directly online, on OneDrive to be precise, but you can download the files offline by simply clicking on the button Fillet which is located at the top left, by choosing the item Save with name from the menu that appears on the side and pressing the button Download a copy.
If you want, from the same menu you can also export the document to other file formats, such as the PDF el 'ODT (OpenDocument). You have maximum freedom of choice.