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Yesterday my father rang me wanting some help with opening a Microsoft Word document. He didn't have Microsoft Office installed, there was no way he was going to pay up to $229 to buy it and to cap it all, he'd never even used a word processor before. I shuddered at the challenge that lay ahead of me but to my pleasant surprise, within 10 minutes I'd taught him how to open, edit, save and even send the document by e-mail - and all without having to have Microsoft Office or Word installed on his computer. If my dad can do it, anyone can and so here's 3 ways that you can do the same:

1. Google Docs

If you've received the document by e-mail, download it, go to Google Docs and upload it. Note that you'll need to sign-up for a Google Account first.

google-docs-upload.png

Simply browse to the file you want to upload and it will open automatically in Google Docs.

google-docs-upload-2.png

From there you can edit it in much the same way as you can in Word and send it by e-mail directly from your Gmail account.

google-docs-3.png

2. Open Office

Download the free Open Office suite and you can open documents in Writer.

This method offers you far more editing power than Google Docs although because it requires downloading and setting-up the suite, is marginally more lengthy and complicated. However, when Open Office is installed, you've got yourself a fully functional Office suite that's comparable to MS Office absolutely free!

open-office.png

3. Microsoft Word Viewer 2007

This is a purely viewing only software offered for free by Microsoft which enables you to open Word documents but not edit them. This is fine if all you want to do is read a document but don't need to fill in any details, change it or basically edit it in any way.

microsoft-word-viewer-2003.png

Commented

  • Google all set to conquer the web « Random Thoughts on Computing |
    07/11/08
    Google all set to conquer the web « Random Thoughts on Computing

    [...] 3 free ways to open Word documents without Office [...]

  • newtronbom |
    08/11/08
    newtronbom

    Nice post. Clear and easy to follow. Thanks. I had forgotten about "Open Office" and am going to download it now. Cheers.

  • marzug |
    09/11/08
    marzug

    can u get the word viewer 2003 without installing windows? thanks

  • Nicholas Mead |
    09/11/08
    Nicholas Mead

    Thanks for the comments Newtronbom :)

    Marzug, I'm afraid Word Viewer 2003 won't work without Windows - Microsoft have to get you in somehow ;)

  • Vic |
    10/11/08
    Vic

    Just to let you know for mac there is also Neo Office great program as weel, like open office

  • Stephen Tredick |
    10/11/08
    Stephen Tredick

    I've been using open office for about a year, and I think its great. I use it for the reason you stated in your article, to open MSoffice and other older formats. Best of all, Open Office is free.

  • Nicholas Mead |
    11/11/08
    Nicholas Mead

    Thanks for the tip Vic - I'll be taking a closer look at Neo Office later.

  • dixon |
    13/11/08
    dixon

    thanx

  • Tres formas de abrir documentos (Doc) Word sin Office (gratis) | Blog Informátic |
    15/11/08
    Tres formas de abrir documentos (Doc) Word sin Office (gratis) | Blog Informátic

    [...] Visto en ON Software [...]

  • Tres formas de abrir documentos de word sin el office « Cosas Muy Poco Imp |
    18/11/08
    Tres formas de abrir documentos de word sin el office « Cosas Muy Poco Imp

    [...] Cosas Muy Poco Importantes Just another WordPress.com weblog « Hackea redes Wi-Fi protegidas Tres formas de abrir documentos de word sin el office Noviembre 18, 2008 Una mayoría (para no parecer exagerado doy datos aproximados) de los documentos que se propagan en todo Internet están en formato PDF, pero, si se desea tener documentos modificables, por lo general se usa el formato de MS Word, con extensión Doc o Docx. Fuente: http://onsoftware.en.softonic.com/3-free-ways-to-open-word-documents-without-office/ [...]

  • carmine |
    14/01/09
    carmine

    I just wanted to thank the author for posting this information. You have no idea how much of a help this has been! I am a on deadline with a magazine to get something done tonight and my pc laptop crashed, I didn't have word on my mac and I had to open my document...it's been a nightmare. I used Google Docs and I didn't have to Download anything! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  • Nicholas Mead |
    14/01/09
    Nicholas Mead

    Glad it helped Carmine!

  • pj |
    02/12/09
    pj

    U saved my life! i had a paper due in today and it word would not open it! thanks to your tips now i've managed to finish it :)

  • Nicholas Mead |
    02/12/09
    Nicholas Mead

    Glad it helped PJ. Good luck with the paper :)

  • Abrir documentos de Word Gratis |
    09/03/10
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    [...] Via   [...]

  • jwordspear |
    16/08/10
    jwordspear

    nice post very educational. More power and God bless.:-)

  • Cody |
    22/09/10
    Cody

    the link for word viewer does not work!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!

  • rent textbooks |
    03/11/10
    rent textbooks

    Thank you for this post. My word has just expired and I needed to open some files. Now I am using open office.

  • Prakash |
    16/11/10
    Prakash

    Hi, Above post is really good and helped a lot to understand.

    Is there any other option to JUST to open Office files for reading (without installing viewer or office) on client machine? I am wondering as we can make Powerpoint application that can open without viewer/office.

    Most welcome for any suggestion or help in ADVANCE....

  • Dawn |
    26/01/11
    Dawn

    Thank you for this! Google Docs was the way to go for me.

  • Ridwan |
    17/09/11
    Ridwan

    Nice Tips, thanks Bro...

  • Christy |
    01/02/12
    Christy

    How do you open a pdf file with microsoft 2003?

  • aijaz |
    17/02/12
    aijaz

    hi i need this pakage

  • kiryi potom |
    02/03/12
    kiryi potom

    i want

  • omar dorar |
    11/03/12
    omar dorar

    I want download word documents without office

  • naila |
    13/04/12
    naila

    i also need this page,,,,plzzzz can you help mee?

  • karim lakhal |
    15/04/12
    karim lakhal

    sala sava labsa cgajtih

  • Shiv Chhabra |
    24/07/12
    Shiv Chhabra

    such great ways thanx 2 share such important information

  • Amie |
    27/12/12
    Amie

    Great advice. I didn't know I could do this in Open Office. I was anticipating having to go to the library to work on some very personal papers. Now I can do it in the privacy of my own home.

  • Sky Drive |
    15/01/13
    Sky Drive

    Its a nice and a valuable content to have give us new information.Thanks.

  • rajshri |
    16/01/13
    rajshri

    hey nice information but i want to develop some application that can be use to read pdf,ppt,word file in one reader. Do u have any idea about that?

  • martin |
    04/02/13
    martin

    We just bought new computer with windows 8 and are completely lost. However when we couldn't open the documents we transferred over from old computer unless we bought Office, your blog was a lifesaver. Open Office not only opened those files but some of the attachments on our email.THANK YOU!!

  • Nick Mead |
    04/02/13
    Nick Mead

    @martin: Glad it helped!

  • Alex |
    15/05/13
    Alex

    Thank you sooo much !

  • Hangar |
    17/05/13
    Hangar

    freeoffice.com

    Best compatibility to Microsoft Office, very fast, very slim

  • Cody |
    28/06/13
    Cody

    Saved my day, Thank you very much!

18/09/14
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