Microsoft Word DOCX files and how to convert old DOC files.

Overview – Microsoft Word DOCX Files

A DOCX file is a Microsoft Word (XML) formatted document file, similarly to a Microsoft Word document. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. The formatted files contain various characters such as text, images, objects, styles and formatting, stored as different files and eventually compressed into a single, zipped DOCX file.

DOCX files were developed by Microsoft in 2007 for use in Microsoft Word documents. Prior to the introduction of DOCX files, Word documents used DOC file extension. This was in 2003 and earlier programs. Documents are saved in DOCX files when the computer has Microsoft Word versions 2007 and above.

Saving a DOCX file

The new Microsoft Word programs automatically save all documents as DOCX files. The page layout in Microsoft Office 2007 and later versions was redesigned. First-time users may encounter a degree of difficulty when attempting to save a document and may require some assistance. Below is a quick process to follow:

  • Create a new Word document.
  • After completion, click the file menu and save as.
  • In the new window go to Save As type in the Drop Down Box and select Word Document and click Save.
  • This document will now have been saved as DOCX file.

Unzipping a DOCX file

2007 and later software programs are designed to open, edit and save DOCX files. Earlier versions of Microsoft programs will fail to open these file. There are however several options available to open a file:

  • A Compatibility Pack developed by Microsoft is a free program available on the internet, designed to open, edit, and save DOCX files if your computer has the versions of MS Word.
  • The Word Viewer application, another free product from Microsoft, allows you to open a DOCX file without the need for Microsoft Office on your computer.
  • OpenOffice Writer and KingsSoft Writer among others are free word processor programs developed to open these files and are highly recommended by users.
  • Google Docs program is a word application, available on the internet with the same capabilities.

Converting older DOC files to DOCX format in Microsoft Word

People have been using word processing for years and because of this, would need to conduct an exercise of converting older DOC files to DOCX files. Opening a DOC file in MS Word and then saving it as the DOCX file format on your computer, is the most effective way of converting a file. Below is a simple procedure to follow. Your computer should have the compatible 2007 or later Microsoft word program.

  • Firstly, locate the Doc file on your computer and open in Microsoft Word.
  • With the Doc file open, click the File Menu and click on Save As.
  • In the new window go to Save As Type in the Drop Down Box and select Word Document and click Save.
  • This document will now have been converted from DOC file to a DOCX format.
  • The old file will still exist, and you may choose to delete the file to avoid confusion.

Converting older DOC files to DOCX format using our Free Converter

If you do not have the newer version of Microsoft Word (2007/2010) on your computer, you can use our DOC Converter.  Below is an example of the steps to follow:

  • Open your preferred Internet Browser and navigate to
  • Click on the “choose file” button and locate the DOC file on your computer.
  • Click on open.
  • Then select the “Output format” to DOCX in the drop-down menu, and click  “Convert”.
  • Once the file is uploaded, your Browser will then be redirected to a status page, where the latest status of your conversion will be updated automatically.
  • When the conversion is successfully completed, a “Download” button will appear next to the file name, you can then click that button to download the file to your computer.
  • The file will download and then double-click on it to open the file.
  • You will see at the top of the Microsoft Word window that the new file is now a DOCX file.


With the advancement in computer technology, DOCX file format is the preferred program to use for your word documents. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Word 2003 and prior are unable to open DOCX files. DOCX files are compacted files, availing advanced options of reading, editing, and online sharing. Additionally, Open Office XML Standard is easily accessed by most word processing software programs online, including the much preferred Google Docs application. The way to go then is to simply convert all your word documents to DOCX files.

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