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How to read a .docx document?

November 2015

You have received an electronic mail (e-mail) with an attachment in the DOCX format (OpenDocument Microsoft proprietary format) and you do not know how to open it.

The following error messages:
  • no program is associated to this file.
  • or Word does not support this format.
  • or the file may be corrupted or can not be decoded.

This error is related to the fact that the version of Microsft Office (Word) installed on your PC can't open this file.

The latest versions of Microsoft Word will by default save your document in the .docx format, which is not compatible with the older version of MS Word!

The Microsoft Compatibility Pack

To be able to open .docx files on older versions of Microsoft Word, you need to download and install the Microsoft Compatibility Pack:

The XML Translator add-in

Install the XML Translator add-in. It allows you to read .docx files.
Download Link:

Online tools

You can use free online tools to make the file conversion.

Alternative Office suites, Libre Office, ... can recover files in OpenDocument Format (docx, xlsx, pptx ..)

Word Viewer

You can also download Word Viewer, which allows you to read the .docx format.
NB: Word Viewer doesn't allow you to modify .docx documents.

MAC users

For MacOSX users, download and install Open NML File Format Converter.
Download link:

For unlimited offline reading, you can download this article for free in PDF format:

See also

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Original article published by tribun. Translated by jad05. - Latest update by jak58
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