Receiving a file with the extension docx means that a document typed in MS Word 2007 has been sent to you, and it is essentially the same as a doc file. the differences lie in the way the file is created, and not in the content, so a business report, sales letter, child’s birthday party invitation, or any document that can be prepared in Word, can be saved in either file format.
Docx came about because the older doc format faced a lot of compatibility problems with other word processing applications such as WordPerfect or StarOffice. Microsoft finally agreed to create a file extension that could be used by everyone without limitation in the early 2000s, with the first implementation of their docx format being integrated into the 2007 version of MS Office.
Millions of people around the world literally can’t view docx files because in popularity terms MS Office 2007 is still quite new, and a lot of computer users will never buy a license for it if they rarely have a need for word processing. Docx viewers have as a consequence become quite popular.
Viewing a docx file doesn’t require installing applications you’d never use again, it is possible to read a docx file by sending it to your gmail account as an attachment, and using Google’s online viewer to read the contents, although embedded images aren’t displayed which can limit the usefulness of their viewer.
An extension for the Firefox browser is being developed for viewing docx formats, known as the OpenXMLViewer, the plugin will install as easily as other Firefox plugins and either allow users to view an online docx file, or open one from a hard drive or zip drive that will be rendered by Firefox as if the file was a webpage.
Docx viewers can also be downloaded from either the Microsoft website, or many shareware sites, and then installed on the users computer. These tend to work in the same way as other viewers such as Adobe’s Acrobat pdf viewer. The file is opened and displayed correctly, but cannot be edited or saved. If editing and saving a docx file is important, the OpenOffice free office suite can be downloaded and installed, and is as capable as the Microsoft equivalent.
Additional Reading on Docx Files
- What is a docx file?
- How to convert docx to doc.
- How to open docx files.
- What is a docx viewer?
- What is a docx converter?