What Is a Docx File and How to Open It

What is a DOCX File?

Any file with a .docx file extension is a Microsoft Word document file. It has an Open XML Format. Microsoft uses DOCX files for nearly everything, including cover letters, resumes, reports, documentation, flyers, invitations, newsletters, and much more.

DOCX files usually contain text. But they can also include styles, objects, images, and rich formatting.

Microsoft has been using the DOCX format since Word 2007. Earlier versions of MS Word used the .doc file extension. It is easier to support the DOCX files, as they are XML-based, and their content is available as separate files. It might not seem obvious, but the final DOCX package is actually a ZIP-compressed compact file containing all the XML files of the document.

How to Open a DOCX File?

The primary software for opening DOCX files is Microsoft Word (version 2007 and above). Earlier versions of Word can also open DOCX files, provided you have used the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to convert the file to the older version (DOC file).

There are several other ways of opening a DOCX file. For instance, you can use:

  • Microsoft Word Viewer program
  • Microsoft Word Online
  • WPS Office
  • OpenOffice Writer
  • LibreOffice Writer
  • OnlyOffice Writer
  • Google Docs
  • Google Chrome Extension
  • Corel Word Perfect Office


We have explained what DOCX files are, and how you can open them for reading and/or editing. They may have originated with Microsoft, but many other applications can open these files too.

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