How to Open DOC File without office or Word

File type: Microsoft Word Document


The DOC file extension in computing terms is an abbreviation for a document file. It is normally created by a word processing application. And serves as the default format of the Microsoft Word program.
This application is a component of the Microsoft Office Productivity Suite that can incorporate print settings, page formatting, charts, graphs, tables, images, and formatted text among others.
Historically, the use of the .DOC extension only referenced plain-text file formats generated by a wide array of Operating Systems.
By the 1980s, the WordPerfect application made this the default extension of their proprietary format. At the time it was the most dominant word processing application in the computer market.
WordPerfect continued to exert its dominance over the word processing industry until Microsoft wrestled the title sometime in the 1990s.
From the start, Microsoft Word has utilized this file extension as its standard for its generated files.
Binary formats usually store more text formatting data compared to other document file standards like RTF (Rich Text Format) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) which are also less compatible with other word processing programs.

How to Open DOC Files

Category: Text Files
File format: Proprietary
Open with Windows: Microsoft Word or Word Viewer, Writer, Nuance OmniPage Professional
Open with Linux: Writer

One standard way to share documents via the internet nowadays is through DOC files. But what happens if you are not using a PC with Windows OS and an installed Microsoft Office. If you are faced with this situation, you don’t need to panic, as you can still open a DOC file even though you do not have Microsoft Word.

This article reveals different ways by which you can view and read .DOC even without installing Microsoft Office.


#1: Use Google Docs


One simple way to view, open and read DOC is through Google Docs. This online program from Google will retrieve the files saved on your hard drive. It can also be used to create as well as save DOC documents that can be shared online. To use this online program, simply click on the Upload icon after you open Google Docs on your web browser. Using the Google Docs program, you can import the file with a size of between 500 KB and 1024 MB directly from your hard drive.


#2: Use Word Viewer


You can also make use of the Microsoft Office Word Viewer app. With this program you will be able to view as well as print your DOC files. While this app does not offer users any editing option, it is still a great program to view these files. To edit them, you can first view it on the Word Viewer, copy the text document and then paste it on a different program that allows you to edit DOC files.


#3: Try out Abiword


One program that you can use to edit is Abiword. This app works very well with a variety of text document formats including DOC files. In addition, this app offers users a number of plugins which will enable them to enhance the functions of the app.


#4: Using WordPad


WordPad is a program that can be found on Windows OS. This program has become a permanent feature of Windows OS dating back to Windows 95.

You can use WordPad to open DOC files and this includes the new DOCX file. Below are four steps you will need to take it;


  • Step 1:  The “Run” function should be selected. To do this you need to highlight the task bar of your PC and click on the “Start” icon. With the “Run” function activated, type in the word – “WordPad”. Afterwards, click on the “OK” icon and WordPad would be launched thereafter.
  • Step 2: Next, choose the option to “Open” after clicking on the “File” menu.
  • Step 3: Select “Word for Windows” (.doc) which is a drop-down menu option. This option is available after you click an arrow located on the right side of the heading labelled “First of type”.
  • Step 4: Search and find the DOC file (.doc) from your PC’s hard drive. Have this .doc file highlighted, then open the file on WordPad by clicking on the “Open” icon.


The usage of thise format in the context of Microsoft Office Word varies widely as versions up to the Word 97 used a different standard while those generated up to Word 2003 also utilized a different specification.

With the introduction of the Office 2007, the Word 2007 application began adopting the DOCX file extension as its default primarily to signify its XML-based document files.