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    Open Word Document Without Word, 9 Methods

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    Pau Monfort
    @paumonfort

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    You have many ways to open and edit a Word document without Word and without paying for an Office 365 subscription. Just downloaded or received a Microsoft Word document on your desktop or mobile device but don't have Word installed? Don't let the DOC or DOCX extension drive you crazy.


    Opening 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 an offline Word-like experience? Probably not. Here's a rundown of the best ways to open and edit Word documents on any device without Microsoft Word installed.



    Download Microsoft Office 2022 for free

    1.WordPad & TextEdit

    You can open any Word document with nothing more than WordPad or TextEdit on your PC or Mac. Unfortunately, both programs have limited compatibility with DOC and DOCX formats, which almost always causes files to render incorrectly. But they're perfect for quickly scrolling through documents, and you don't need to install anything.

    Just double-click on a Word file and it should automatically open in WordPad or TextEdit. You can also make changes to documents, but it's best to avoid doing this 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 Spazio. You can then read everything inside the document via Quick Look.

    2. Word Mobile (solo Windows)

    Word Mobile allows you to open and view the content of any Word document for free. It is geared towards touch-based Windows devices, but you can install and use it on any PC without a problem.



    The app also allows you to edit files as long as you pay for an Office 365 subscription. However, if all you want to do is read a DOCX file with no formatting errors, installing Word Mobile is an excellent choice.


    How to use Microsoft Office Online

    3. OpenOffice or LibreOffice

    Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are two free open source alternatives to Microsoft Office. To make things better, 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 functionality and a faster update cycle. But if you want a long-term (free) solution for opening and editing Word documents on a desktop device, any word processor should cut it out.

    4. Office online

    Microsoft offers a stripped-down version of the Office suite as a web app 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 download an edited copy to your local repository.

    Using Word Online ensures that you will not run into problems when viewing and editing DOCX files. Don't expect to use the advanced formatting options found in the paid desktop version.


    5. Google Docs

    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 Google Docs native GDOC format 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.

    6. Pages Apple

    Mac's native word processor, Apple Pages, not only offers extensive word processing capabilities, it is totally 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 via iCloud.com to view and edit Word documents without 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.

    7. Smallpdf e ZamZar

    Have you ever thought about converting a Word document into 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.

    Just 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 procedure to complete before downloading it again.


    8. Documents (Android) and Pages (iOS)

    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 the iPhone and we recommend that you do this as it tends to have fewer formatting problems than Pages. Also, you can preview Word documents using the Files app on iOS.

    9. Word per Android e iOS

    Unlike the desktop, Word for Android and iOS allows you to 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's good enough for minor edits and you won't encounter any issues with formatting.

    It's easy to open a Word document without Word installed

    As you just saw, you have a lot of free options for opening and editing Word documents. However, if you found them lacking, 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) for up to 30 days. . This should give you enough time to decide if it's worth buying.

    Further Reading:

    • Recover unsaved Word documents, 6 solutions
    • How to sign Word document
    • How to Put a Picture Behind Text - Microsoft Word
    • How to convert PDF to Word or ODT online and without installing anything
    • 4 ways to convert PDF to Word
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