Reading:
What is a DOCX file?

What is a DOCX file?

Avatar photo
January 15, 2023

DOCX file types are undoubtedly familiar to you if you use Microsoft Word, a program that is part of the Microsoft Office suite. DOCX is a text file that is manageable in size, simple to use, and easy to change. Developers will continue to produce files specifically for the DOCX document file because of its popularity. In this article, we will cover all aspects of the DOCX file, including its types, differences from DOC, and benefits.

What is a DOCX file

Table of Contents

What is a DOCX file?

DOCX is the Office Open XML format for text documents containing text, objects, formatting, and styles, compressed into an archive.

In other words, DOCX files are the file format used by Microsoft Word and are archives containing labeled XML text and other document data that can be interpreted by a word processor. Although it is mainly used for editing and creating text and hyperlinks, it also contains other media, such as images. The DOCX format is an open format, like the entire family of Microsoft Office formats, which means it can be used by programs from other companies as well.

The DOCX format was introduced by Microsoft in the new millennium as an update of the previous DOC format. DOCX files are smaller and easier to maintain than DOC files because the format is based on XML and all the content is stored in separate files that are eventually compressed into one ZIP file.

Microsoft Word

The DOCX format was introduced in Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows and Microsoft Word 2008 for macOS.

History of the DOCX file

It was easy for Microsoft’s competitors to redesign the DOC file format and add the same functionality to their applications after Microsoft made the format specifications available. Microsoft was also forced to adopt more open and inclusive standards as a result of competition from Open Office and its Open Document Format. In the early 2000s, Microsoft decided to make changes to support the Office Open XML standard. The letter “X” stands for XML, and documents created under this new standard were given the extension DOCX. This new file format was added to Microsoft Office 2007 and has been supported in all subsequent iterations of Microsoft Office ever since. The new file type has the added benefits of small file sizes, fewer corruption changes, and well-formatted image representations.

Using DOCX file

DOCX is designed for collaborative work. Other users can edit documents by opening them in DOCX-enabled programs. Either on their own or in a shared mode in the cloud, like Google Docs. You can use DOCX files for reports, documents, brochures, newsletters, invitations, resumes, cover letters, and more. Objects, styles, complex formatting, and images can also be included in these files, which normally contain text.

How to open DOCX

The best program to open these documents is Microsoft Word, since DOCX was introduced there. And this software is available for both Windows and macOS systems.

Below we will show you what programs you can use to open a DOCX file:

1. Microsoft Word 2007 and newer

You can open DOCX files created in Word 2016 and 2013 using Microsoft Office Word 2007 or Word 2010.
However, some new features may not be supported or editable in previous versions. For example, equations in later versions of the files are replaced by images in earlier versions of Word that cannot be edited.

Microsoft Word

2. Google Docs

Google Docs is a cloud-based word processing program. It has many elements that make formatting easier. You can use Google Docs to create resumes, reports, letters, essays, and other documents. When you open a DOCX file in Google Drive, you get the advantage of permanently saving files in the cloud. All the files you save in it will stay in the cloud as long as you have enough storage space.
How do I open a DOCX file in Google Drive?
Add an Office document to the Google Drive folder on your computer. Locate the Google Drive folder by opening it. Click the Open button after selecting the Office file.
What is Google Drive?
As with many cloud services, Google Drive’s main goal is to reduce the load on your hard drive. To free up space on your computer, Google Drive uploads your files to its own remote servers, the so-called “cloud.” This frees up space on your device for more important tasks, such as downloading and installing large games and apps.

3. LibreOffice Writer

Millions of people worldwide use LibreOffice, the robust and cost-free office suite that replaced OpenOffice(.org). You can unleash your creativity and improve your productivity with its straightforward UI and feature-rich tools. The most adaptable free and open-source office suite on the market, LibreOffice offers a number of tools, including Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector drawings and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).
After installing the software, you may open a DOCX file by right-clicking on it, choosing “Open With,” and then choosing LibreOffice Writer.

LibreOffice Writer

4. Apple Pages

Apple Pages is a word processor developed by Apple Inc. It is part of the iWork suite and runs on macOS, iPadOS, and iOS operating systems. It is also available on iCloud on the Internet. The first version of Pages was released in February 2005.
When you see the DOCX attachment icon in the body of an Apple Mail email, there are two options for opening it in Pages:
Option #1: Double-click the attachment icon.
Option #2: Right-click once. The secondary menu that appears has an option to “Open with,” and the top option is Pages. This will launch Pages and open the DOCX file. 

What is a DOCX file

Сonclusion

A DOCX file is a Microsoft Word document that typically contains text. DOCX is a newer version of DOC, the original official Microsoft Word file format. Although they can be handled by other programs, Microsoft Word is used to open both. Because of its practical XML format, DOCX is very popular. So how does the format work?
Text in a document can be formatted in a variety of ways, including with superscript, bold, italics, and other text formatting options. Images, tables, lists, charts, and other media and elements are also supported by DOCX. Its compliance with the international Office Open XML standard makes it better than the previous Word file format, DOC. The advantage is that images are properly formatted and files are smaller and less prone to corruption.

If you want to know the difference between DOCX and PDF, check out our other blog article: PDF vs. DOCX: Which Format is Better?


Related Stories

April 18, 2022

A Brief History of the PDF Format