How to open a word document without Microsoft word? Making edits to a document is an important part of life for everyone from professionals, to students, and everyone in between. This could be making changes to the grammar, cleaning up sentence structure, or adding images.

You may even be tasked with adding annotations to improve the readability of the document (Click here for more info on annotations and how they are best used). While this is often done by simply opening up the document in the right program, some issues can arise if you don’t have this program installed.

For example, if you are sent a Word document to view, edit, or add annotations to, but don’t have Microsoft Word on your computer, you may not know what to do next. Well, thankfully, you have several options, and won’t be forced to go out and purchase Microsoft Word.

With that in mind, this guide is going to go through some of the different ways you will be able to open a Word document without having the Microsoft Word program.

How to open a word document without Microsoft word?

Choose an Open-Source Alternative

One of the most popular options is to simply choose an alternative to Microsoft Word and use that to open the document. There are many different open-source alternatives that won’t cost you a penny to download or use. This includes LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and plenty of others worth considering.

While each is similar, they do indeed have different interfaces and features. Do some research on each one and the features they include, and choose the one that makes the most sense for your needs.

Then, simply install the program and begin using it as you want. Once you attempt to open the Word document and are provided a list of programs to open it with, simply choose the one you just installed, and that’s it. You will now easily be able to open, view, edit, and save your Word document.

There is a chance there could be some slight issues with formatting with some of these alternatives, but the issues are likely to be minor and can be easily fixed. Once done with the edits, you can save it in the format of this new word processor, or even save it in the same .doc or .docx that Microsoft Word uses.

Use Word Online

If you don’t have or don’t want to pay for the full version of Microsoft Word, you can use Word Online. It is a free option, and doesn’t require you to download a program, as it can simply be used in your browser. This can also be accessed and used from any device, which is a nice touch and a good option for anyone, whether they have a Windows, Apple, or Linux device.

While it is missing some features that the full Microsoft Word version has, it is often enough for some people who just want to view or lightly edit a document. You do need a Microsoft account to use Word online, but that is completely free and the sign-up process is very easy and quick.

The document will also need to be uploaded to OneDrive in order to be opened in this manner. So while there are a few things to do, this still remains a simple way to open a Word document. Similar to this browser-based option, there is also an app version of Word that is free to use and can be useful for opening and viewing documents on the go.

Open it in Google Docs

open office word

Another option you have is to open the Word document in Google Docs. Despite being a browser-based word processor, Google Docs offers great performance and is very easy to use and understand. If you are one of the nearly 2 billion people with a Gmail account, it is incredibly simple to get started with Google Docs.

As for how you can actually open Word documents in Google Docs, the process is very easy. Simply drag the file into Google Drive, and once it has successfully uploaded you will be able to open the document to view it or edit it. There may be some slight changes to the formatting and page width, but the results are generally quite good.

Use WordPad or TextEdit

Using the built-in and basic word processor that comes with your computer is another option. On Windows computers this is WordPad, and Apple computers use TextEdit. If you simply attempt to open the Word document, it should often default to using one of these programs to open it, or you can simply choose WordPad or TextEdit from the list of options it provides.

Be aware, however, that these normally have limited compatibility with Word documents, which can lead to issues. Things may not appear as they were intended, and there may be problems with how the document renders.

But if all you need to do is quickly view a document and don’t feel like putting time into installing a program or signing up for an account, it can be an adequate solution. It is likely the fastest option on this list if speed matters, but others may produce better and more legible results.

Convert it to a PDF

Another popular choice is to simply convert your Word document into a PDF. This technically won’t be opening the Word document, but turning it into something that is easier to open, no matter what sort of device you are on.

PDFs are universally readable, and as such, there won’t be any issues with formatting or compatibility when sending or sharing documents. There are plenty of online resources that can easily change your Word document into the PDF format, which can then be opened, viewed, edited, and saved easily.

Final verdict

In conclusion, these are the answers of how to open a word document without Microsoft Word. we hope that this guide has been able to help you learn more about opening Word documents without having Microsoft Word. While having the fully-fledge program may make it easier and is certainly preferred by some, it isn’t the only option you have.

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