You have several ways to open and edit a Word document without Word and without paying for an Office 365 subscription. You just downloaded or received a Microsoft Word document on your desktop or mobile device, but Word is not installed? Don’t let the DOC or DOCX extension drive you crazy.
Opening a Word document without Word is really possible
For example, did you know that Office Online lets you work with any Word document for free? Or that you can use open source software like OpenOffice and LibreOffice for a Word-like offline experience? Probably not. Here is an overview of the best ways to open and edit Word documents on any device without Microsoft Word installed.
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1.WordPad & TextEdit
You can open any Word document with nothing more than WordPad or TextEdit on a PC or Mac. Unfortunately, both programs have limited compatibility with DOC and DOCX formats, which almost always results in incorrectly rendering of files. But they’re great for quickly scrolling through documents, and you don’t have to install anything.
Just double click on a Word file and it should automatically open in WordPad or TextEdit. You can also make edits to documents, but it’s best to avoid doing so unless you don’t mind facing serious formatting issues.
On Mac, an even faster way to open a Word document without Word installed is to select the document and press Space. You can then read everything in the document via Quick Look.
Word Mobile lets you open and view the contents of any Word document for free. It is designed for Windows touch devices, but you can install and use it on any PC without any issues.
The app also lets you edit files as long as you pay for an Office 365 subscription. However, if all you want to do is read a DOCX file without formatting errors, installing Word Mobile is a great choice. .
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OpenOffice and LibreOffice are two free open source alternatives to Microsoft Office. To improve matters, the OpenOffice Writer and LibreOffice Writer programs in each suite support DOC and DOCX formats, so you can easily open and edit any Word document.
LibreOffice has the advantage over OpenOffice with better features and a faster update cycle. But if you want a long-term (free) solution to opening and editing Word documents on a desktop device, any word processor should remove it.
4. Online office
Microsoft offers a stripped-down version of the Office suite as a web application and includes Word. Best of all, you don’t have to pay anything to use it!
Just create a free Microsoft account (if you don’t already have one), upload the DOCX file to OneDrive, and double-click to open it in Word Online. You can then edit the document, collaborate with other Word users, and upload an edited copy to your local repository.
Using Word Online ensures that you will not encounter any issues while viewing and editing DOCX files. Don’t expect to use the advanced formatting options found in the paid desktop version.
Google Docs is a browser-based word processor similar to Word Online and offers full support for DOC and DOCX formats. All you need is a Google Account to get started. You can then upload any Word file to Google Drive (which provides 15GB of free storage), open it in Google Docs, and start reading and editing it.
You can also convert the file to the native GDOC format of Google Docs for maximum compatibility and save it in several popular formats (including DOCX). Compared to Word Online, Google Docs has a lot to offer with superior performance and functionality.
Mac’s native word processor, Apple Pages, not only offers extensive word processing capabilities, but is completely free. It is also compatible with DOC and DOCX formats. Just grab it from the Mac App Store and all your Word documents should open automatically.
Additionally, you can use the online version of Apple Pages through iCloud.com to view and edit Word documents without having Word installed, even from a Windows PC. You need an Apple ID, but you don’t need to own an Apple product to create one.
Have you ever thought about converting a Word document to a universally readable format like PDF? This helps minimize formatting errors and is a great way to avoid compatibility issues when sharing files with other people.
Simply upload the file to an online converter such as Smallpdf or ZamZar, specify that you want to convert Word to PDF, and wait for the conversion process to complete before uploading it again.
If you’re using an Android smartphone or iOS device, you can use the native Google Docs (Android) or Apple Pages (iOS) apps to open and edit Word documents.
You can also download Google Docs on iPhone, and we recommend doing this because it tends to have fewer formatting issues than Pages. You can also preview Word documents using the Files app on iOS.
Unlike the desktop, Word for Android and iOS lets you open and edit Word documents for free. You can download the app from the Play Store or the App Store and you don’t even need a Microsoft account to start using it.
However, the Word mobile app is basic in terms of functionality and some features require an Office 365 subscription. But it is sufficient for minor changes and you will not experience any formatting issues.
It’s easy to open Word document without Word installed
As you just saw, you have a lot of free options to open and edit Word documents. However, if you find them missing, consider subscribing to a free trial version of Office 365. You can then use the full version of Word on any platform (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS). up to 30 days. . This should give you plenty of time to decide if it’s worth buying.