Open .docx files on your Mac

Whenever people who are trying to collaborate on projects use operating systems made by different companies, there are always going to be some problems; you're often forced to use different applications and that means that the files that you create on one operating system may be in a format that can't be easily opened on the other. The most common example is the .docx format, which is widely used, but not easy to manage on a Mac without MS Office installed.

So, if you don't have Microsoft Office and most importantly Microsoft Word installed on your Mac, there are a couple of easy ways for you to open a .docx file. In case all you want to do is to read the content and you're not too worried about the text formatting, the simplest solution is to use TextEdit - an application that's installed by default on Macs. So, what you want to do is to open your Application folder, then run TextEdit and open the .docx file from the application. Alternatively, you can drag the .docx document into TextEdit's window in case that seems quicker for you. On my Mac, .docx files were set to automatically open using TextEdit, but I've seen devices where that wasn't the case. TextEdit will also allow you to edit the document, but it will completely mess up the formatting, so if you want to do that, I recommend using the next option.

Another simple solution that you can use to view and edit .docx files without actually installing any additional software is the Pages application. Unlike the previously mentioned tool, this one does a lot better at keeping the document's original formatting, even when you're dealing with more complicated stuff. To open a .docx file in Pages, you can either drag it into the application's window or right-click the file, go to the Open With menu and select Pages. When you're finished editing the document, all you have to do is go to File, then hover your mouse over the Export To section and select Word. From the menu that opens up you can even select to save the file in the .doc format, in case one of your collaborators uses an older version of Word, that can't deal with .docx files.

However, if you're often forced into situations where you have to collaborate with Windows users, the least painful solution would be to install Microsoft Office. In case you're not willing to spend money on the suite, there are quite a few third-party text editors that work across multiple platforms such as Google Docs or Open Office and that won't cost you anything.

Now that you've learned how to open .docx files on your Mac, you may also want to check out some of our other interesting articles such as: "Best tools to keep your Mac organized", "10 +1 Useful Mac keyboard shortcuts that you should know", "Free Alternatives to Acrobat Reader for Mac".

Referenced applications

Microsoft Office

Windows

rating

Edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, notes, and upload files to cloud.

Microsoft Office 2011

Mac

rating

A commercial office suite, consisting of interrelated applications and services.

OpenOffice
FREE

Windows

rating

It is designed for word processing, presentations, graphics and databases.

OpenOffice.org
FREE

Mac

rating

OpenOffice.org is a free and open-source productivity suite.

Author's other posts

How to make your Mac kid-friendly?
Article
How to make your Mac kid-friendly?
A few tips on how to ensure your kids' safety while they're using Macs as well as on how to keep the machine safe from your children.
Samsung's next Galaxy phone is already up for reservations
News
Samsung's next Galaxy phone is already up for reservations
Even though Samsung hasn't announced the price of the upcoming Galaxy phone or its technical specifications, we can already make reservations and be among the first to receive it.
Find out which Android phones will be able to run Fortnite
News
Find out which Android phones will be able to run Fortnite
Curious to see if you'll be able to play the Android version of Fortnite on your phone? Here's the complete list of supported devices.
Mac security tricks
Article
Mac security tricks
If you don't have a lot of experience in using your Mac, here are a few tips that could keep your machine safe from various threats.