What is .DOCX File and How to Open .DOCX Format Files

By Sidharth | Ideas

Have you receive an email attachment or project with a .DOCX file extension and you cannot open this .DOCX file using MS Word?

For those who want to know more about DOCX, it is a brand new document format from Microsoft. The extension is built exclusively for Microsoft word 2007 and 2010 users, which means you cannot open or view the content of .DOCX file if you have an older version of MS Word installed on your computer.

A .DOCX file extension is automatically appended to the file when you save the document in Word 2007 and 2010 version. The difference between .doc files and .docx files is a letter “x” indicating the new .docx format supports open XML standard.

For Opening .docx Files

Docx Format Supported Word – There are plenty of options to open docx files; one way is to download a free Microsoft Compatibility Pack which will allow upgrade your MS word. You can download Microsoft Compatibility pack from here — it’s free and helps you to view the content of docx documents.

Convert Docx to Doc file – Using a free online converter that converts .docx file to .doc file, you can open and view the content inside the file using the default — older — Microsoft Word installed on your system. One such free converter is Zamzar.

Convert Using Google Docs – Upload the document to Google Docs to view, edit and export docx file into another file format easily.

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

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(19) comments

Anwar August 5, 2010

If there is a Microsoft Word window open before/while installing the converter from Microsoft, close the window before attempting to open the docx file.

William Wester January 25, 2010

People > Backwards compatible means that a new program (newer version) will open files created by an older program (older version). Forward compatible means that a file created by a program today will be able to be opened by by a newer program created tomorrow, but only if the newer program created tomorrow is backwards compatible. Programmers can make a patch which will allow an older version program to open a newer version program’s files. This will make the older program become forward compatible.

PieMan September 28, 2009

I Like Pie.

    cray May 27, 2010

    This post is a bit dated, but for anyone else coming across this there is always open office from openoffice.org. This can open just about any document there is, save it, and even export it as a pdf file.

jus4u September 19, 2009

I hate Republicans

appetite4deduction June 12, 2009

People aren’t stating the proper term for what is ticking them off. Word is backwards-compatible. It’s FORWARDS COMPATIBILITY that is causing people trouble. A document that is 100% forwards-compatible means that even if the file format changes in the future, older versions of the software can still read some or all of it.

Needless to say, it’s pretty hard to design forwards-compatible formats. Clearly, DOCX and related “X” formats are not forwards-compatible extensions of the previous OLE2 organization that dominated the early 00’s. The header is completely different, too.

blogging mom May 29, 2009

thanks for these great tips. I am so glad i was able to convert my file without paying. this is such a helpful article.

Rimmer May 17, 2009

People (liberals?) whining about Microsoft and Wal-Mart. But yet they love their Priuses, Mac, and whatever else. Grow up.

I love Windows and shop a Wal-Mart Supercenter weekly.

Data: “Are you my enemy?”
Varia: “You are a curious one, aren’t you?”
Data: “Do you object to the question?”

Len Levine May 7, 2009

Well, I have Open Office, so how do I use it to open a docx file?

Jacky Allan May 5, 2009

If you want to convert pdf to word or doc, I introduce Tweak PDF Converter. It’s very Good.

Kip V April 22, 2009

Does anyone know how to convert a docx document back to a doc document before I attach it? Thanks

Luke Levine April 21, 2009

I have no issues openning DOCX files as I use OPENOFFICE. No compatibility problems nor upgrades AT all. Thank god we have alternatives to M$. I mean Come on, why download extra upgrade files for a product of the same Office family, and just to open a simple XML format??

John T April 16, 2009

Or just convert docx to the old doc format at docx2doc

Thomas S January 28, 2009

Let me ammend my other post.

Its not ‘closed binary’. What docx is is a ‘zipped’ set of files that are an XML collection. So it is possible to do data mining and parse the contents by running the file through winzip or on a unix system via “unzip -pa myfile.docx | “… to something like grep or whatever processor will parse the resulting text stream.

Thomas S January 28, 2009

My Word 2003 version supports writing and reading docx files with whatever patches have been applied to this point to the software. While Word 2003 may not support docx out of the box, a software patch or toolkit install does allow it to read and write docx files.

If this docx format is a way to allow Word 2007 users to save thier documents so users of older versions of Word can work with the documents, great.. as it will break that crazy cycle of constantly having to upgrade all versions of office as soon as one key person in your work group upgrades theirs.

Open, the format is not. Its still a binary format and not at all an XML file, so on its face, its useless to me. I’ll stick with the binary DOC files for general use and XML files when I need the documents to be processed by 3rd party data processing tools for data mining purposes.

Bill January 15, 2009

Backwards compatibility means a seemless transition. Therefore, any Microsoft Office 2007 document should readily open with earlier versions. How can this be so if any form of conversion is required?

Patrick January 10, 2009

Why do people hate Microsoft so much? Microsoft made docx backwards compatible. That is what this article is about.

Also, Microsoft makes everything backwards compatible. Try running a dos program or a win 98 program in Vista. It works.

Apple the beloved child, has spotty backward compatibility, but nobody complains. They just target Microsoft.

It is quite lonely at the top.

truthseeker1 January 8, 2009

Why would anyone allow themselves to be subjected to Microsoft’s abuse? The only possible reason I can think of is that they are unaware of alternatives.

stratosg October 29, 2008

i hate when MS creates new stuff… they make them non backwards compatible all the time :grr: nice tools!

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