How to Open Word Documents Without Word

Microsoft Word is quite expensive, costing more than 100 USD on its own. While you can get the 365 bundle, you still have to fork over a pretty penny. But what if you really need to open a Word document and read it?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to open Word documents without using Microsoft Word. They range from completely free products to paid programs. In this article, we’ll teach you how to open these DOCX files.

How to Open Word Documents Without Word

There are many free services out there that allow you to read and even edit Word documents. You should have an email address, preferably Gmail. In addition, you can also download the free software available.

Use Microsoft Word Online

Microsoft Office Online includes Word Online. Unlike the software version of Word, it’s completely free and has enough features for the average user. While you might prefer the fully-fledged version, the online version is still popular enough.

You only need to register for a Microsoft account to get access to Word. You must also use Microsoft OneDrive to upload the document and read it. On Word Online, uploading any document automatically saves it to your OneDrive cloud.

After you’re done, you can delete it as necessary.

Here’s how to open a Word document using Microsoft Word Online:

  1. Open OneDrive.
  2. Upload your Word document to OneDrive.
  3. Click the document to open it.
  4. Word Online will open in a new tab and display the document.
  5. Read or edit the document.
  6. Save the document to your PC.
  7. Delete the file from OneDrive if you wish.

Alternatively, you can just open Word Online and then find the option to upload and open. It takes mere seconds so you can instantly get to work. You still have to delete the document from OneDrive if you wish to free up some storage space in the cloud.

Install LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an open-source and completely free office suite, hailed as one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office. Naturally, it can open Word documents without a hassle. The particular software in LibreOffice we’ll be using is LibreOffice Writer.

Other than Windows, you can use LibreOffice on macOS and Linux. It’s is even supported on mobile devices both Android and iOS. You can open, view, or even edit on the go.

To open a Word document with LibreOffice, follow these steps:

  1. Download LibreOffice from the official website.
  2. Install LibreOffice.
  3. Go to your Word document.
  4. Right-click it.
  5. Select “Open With.”
  6. From the list of programs, choose LibreOffice.
  7. Choose the option to always open with LibreOffice if you wish.
  8. Now you can view and edit the Word document.
  9. When done, save it and close LibreOffice Writer.

As a completely free program, anyone with a computer or mobile device can open a Word document even if they don’t have Microsoft Word. As such, LibreOffice remains appealing to those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on Microsoft Office.

Use Google Docs

Just like Microsoft Word Online, Google Docs can open all your Word documents for free. All you need to do is to upload a Word document to Google Drive and you can immediately open it. That’s why we mentioned having a Google account would be a great idea since it already comes with both services without a charge.

Google Docs isn’t as fully-fledged as Microsoft Word Online, but it’s still a very good way of accessing your Word documents. You don’t have to keep the file in your Google Drive either, as you always have to option of deleting it once you save it to your PC. In the end, it’s up to personal preference.

To open a Word document using Google Docs, take a look at the steps below:

  1. Register for a Google account if you don’t have one.
  2. Open Google Drive.
  3. Drag and drop your Word document into your Google Drive.
  4. After it uploads, you can open it.
  5. Google Docs will open in a new tab.
  6. You’re now free to view and edit the file as you wish.
  7. Save the file to your PC or device if needed.
  8. When you’re done, you may go back to Google Drive and delete it.
  9. Close all tabs.

This option, like Word Online, is perfect if you’re not keen on installing software on your device. For those using low-capacity Chromebooks or mobile devices, it’s a great way to save space for more important software or files.

Open a Document With Zoho Writer

Another free web-based service is Zoho Writer. You can either use your Google, Yahoo!, or Facebook account to log in immediately or register right there. Zoho Writer is a very standard word processor service, and you’ll feel right at home using it.

To learn how to use Zoho Writer for opening Word documents, follow these steps:

  1. Register for a Zoho account or use one of the three mentioned accounts above to log in.
  2. Go to Zoho Writer.
  3. Select “File.”
  4. Select “Upload Document.”
  5. Finally, select “Browse” and locate the document you want to open.
  6. Once imported, you can open the document.
  7. View or edit the document.
  8. When done, you can save the document if desired.

Zoho Writer is even available on mobile devices, and both Android and iOS phones are supported. You’ll be able to open Word documents wherever you are, as long as you have the file and app on your phone.

Download the Free Word App

If you prefer to open Word on your mobile devices, there’s a free Word app you can download from the app stores. The Word app is completely free and you don’t need to buy Microsoft Office to use it. In addition, it has just about everything you need.

To download the official free Word app, follow these steps:

  1. Search for the Word app on your device’s app store.
  2. Download and install the Word app.
  3. Open the Word app.
  4. Search for the Word document you want to open.
  5. Select the document and open it.
  6. Start viewing or editing.
  7. When done, you can save the document and close the app.

While the free Word app is quite useful, it still doesn’t beat the original paid version of Microsoft Word for PC. Nevertheless, you’ll find the mobile version of the app helpful when your computer isn’t around.

No More Expensive Software

Opening Word documents without having Word installed is rather easy, as our article shows. Now that you know how to do it, you can always access your DOCX files wherever you are. No need to pay a lot of money for a single program or the whole suite.

What’s your favorite Word alternative? Do you think Word is too expensive? Let us know in the comments section below.

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