Open DOC and DOCX files even if you don’t have Word installed

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Working with PDF documents is very easy because it is a standardized format that can be viewed with many different programs or applications. But for a Word file we need more specific programs that can open them even if we don’t have Word or Office installed on the computer. Fortunately there are several workarounds.

Word is the word processor of Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office) and the format of the editions of the application has extension .DOC or .DOCX. The best way to open and edit these files is through the word processor itself, but you may not have Word on your computer, or you may be using a device other than the computer you usually work with. There are several workarounds for opening Word documents.

The Microsoft Office suite itself offers us a couple of tools To view projects designed in Word without having to go to the word processor, even several cloud storage tools will allow us to view DOC and DOCX files.

Other versions of office

Microsoft Office offers us two alternatives to open, edit and create Word documents without having to have the program installed on our local hard drive. It is a way of adapting to new ways of working in mobility, nowadays any mobile device (laptops, tablets or smartphones) allows us to work from any corner of the planet without depending on the desktop computer. Just one Internet connection to be able to work with Word and open your projects from any device.

On-line

Office has its own online version so that we can access its applications from any web browser. That is why it does not matter if you work with a Windows, macOS or Linux computer. It is accessed through your account Microsoft OneDrive, the cloud storage service.

upload word file to google drive

Once we have accessed our OneDrive account we just have to click on the menu Upload or Upload to select the file we want to open. First it will be uploaded to the cloud and in a few seconds we will see it on the screen with the editing menu as in the local copy of Word.

OneDrive is compatible with the entire Microsoft 365 suite and has all editing capabilities enabled and the auto save enabled by default. You will be able to open files DOC and DOCX of Word but also XLS and XLSX of Excel, PPT and PPTX of Powerpoint, Microsoft OneNote documents or plain text files TXT (without formatting). When we finish viewing it or working with the project, we will only have to click on the name of the file that we will see in the top bar.

save word file to onedrive

If we want create a DOC or DOCX document directly from the web version we have to choose the section Records from the left side menu bar and then click + New to finish by choosing Word.

word file create new onedrive

Google Chrome extension

An operating option very similar to the one mentioned above is the google chrome extension to edit Word files. Once you have installed it in your web browser, you only have to drag the file with the DOC or DOCX extension and it will open directly in Chrome through a Google Docs window without having to search for the file in your local path or upload it to Google Drive previously.

We can also access these files if we open them directly in a GMail attachment or as a file within Google drive. Remember that the files can still be edited and saved back in their original Office extensions. As the only requirement for this option is to have Google Chrome installed, we can access Word documents from Windows, macOS and Linux.

extension google chrome open word files

Cloud tools

Cloud storage applications offer additional tools to support various types of projects. Obviously, OneDrive belongs to Microsoft and has full compatibility with the company’s applications. However, other tools like Google Drive, iCloud or Dropbox they also allow you to work with Office documents.

Google drive

Working with Word documents (DOC or DOCX) is very simple and fast. If you need to open a Microsoft application project from Google drive To view or edit it quickly, you will see that it is a matter of seconds, it all depends on the weight of the document and the speed of your Internet connection. As it is about online services, it is compatible with all platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux.

upload word file to google drive

You just have to open Google Drive and connect with your profile. Click on the Word file you want to open and, without releasing, you drag it to the Google Drive window. In a few seconds it will be uploaded to your root folder. At that moment you do double click the file and it will open in the Google Docs window. You see that it is an editor to use with its toolbar at the top.

open word file in google drive

Once it has been opened, viewed and, if necessary, edited, you can close the window whenever you want because Google Drive automatically saves changes made. In case you want to save it on your computer you have to select File in the top menu and open the drop-down Download. There we will choose the output format, it can be DOC from Word but also PDF, TXT, EPUB, etc.

save word file to google drive

iCloud (with Pages online)

If you have an Apple account, you can access the application Pages from iCloud in the web version from any web browser. Once you have connected with your username and password we will click on the Pages icon.

icloud pages

We will see the root directory with the documents that you have uploaded to iCloud Drive. To open our Word project we will have to click on the icon to upload files (a cloud with an arrow pointing up) and select it on our local hard drive. Once uploaded, it is a matter of seconds, we double click and a new Pages tab with the document open and all the editing possibilities in case you want to edit it.

word file in pages

For save the file, if we have edited it, click on the wrench icon at the top and choose Download a copy … In the pop-up window we will click on the chosen download format: Word, Pages, PDF or EPUB.

file format to save pages word

Dropbox

This is another of the cloud storage tools by excellence. Once you have registered and are connected to your profile, you only have to drag the file of Word in DOC or DOCX format and you will see it in the root directory.

file uploaded to dropbox

With a Double click it will be enough to open it and be able to view it without problems. In this case editing is not possible from the article. Dropbox is an independent service that does not have any other office automation tool associated with it.

On the contrary, it offers some options that are interesting. If we press the button Save as… In the upper left corner we can save the document in PDF, JPG or PNG format. The button Share from the top menu allows us to connect with other applications such as GMail, Slack, Trello, Adobe Sign, Zoom, WhatsApp and many more. And if we choose the option To open (next to Share) we can access the online version of Word or Google Docs.

In the right sidebar we also have another menu with some interesting actions, in addition to downloading the document itself, we can sign it, add comments, view traffic and usage statistics, version history and the possibility of removing the direct access link, among others. .

dropbox open word file

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