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