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DOCX document File – The quintessential guide

by Casey Schmidt  |  October 19, 2019

2 min. read
Picture of the DOCX icon.

The DOCX is a text-based file that is highly editable, easy to use and manageable in size. The popularity of the DOCX document file ensures developers will continue to create specifically for it. Learn how to open, convert and utilize the DOCX with this guide.

What is a DOCX document file?

A DOCX file is a Microsoft Word document that typically contains text. DOCX is the newer version of DOC, the original official Microsoft Word file format. They are both opened using Microsoft Word, though alternate software programs open them as well. A DOCX is a convenient XML format, making it incredibly popular.

The DOCX was introduced by Microsoft in the new millennium as an upgrade from the previous DOC format. Though it’s mostly used to edit and create with text and hyperlinks, it also holds other media such as images. This file format remains one of the most widely used and is accessible through numerous programs.

The DOCX document file icon.
The DOCX is an upgraded format from the previous Microsoft Word format.

How to open it

The DOCX is a smaller document file format than the DOC, making it convenient to send via email and store on a hard drive. The DOCX is a compressed file, meaning it’s shrunken in size to reduce its impact on storage space. A DOCX is opened either using Microsoft Word or alternative, third-party programs.

It’s one of the most popular document file types, which is convenient when sharing with others. In fact, most users have Microsoft Word and can easily open and edit the file. In a team setting, a DOCX is ideal due to its editing capabilities. Team members can quickly share and edit the DOCX amongst one another, making it perfect for projects and campaigns.

A keyboard with the document file icon.
The DOCX has vast editing capabilities.

When to use a different document file

Articles, newsletters and advertisements are best created using DOCX.  A DOCX is used to create resumes and cover letters, though it’s not ideal because of how easy it is to edit a DOCX. In these instances, consider a different file format, especially for professional documents such as cover letters or resumes. A format such as a PDF document file is better in this instance because it’s harder to accidentally edit or change.

To convert a DOCX file:

  1. Open the file in Microsoft Word
  2. Click ‘file’
  3. Click ‘save as’
  4. From the dropdown menu, select the file type you wish to save it to (PDF, etc)
A screenshot of a user converting a DOCX file to .DOC
Convert a DOCX using Microsoft Word.

Alternatively, if you prefer to let a converter program handle the conversion process, those are widely available. Zamzar’s browser-based system has an easy-to-use interface and doesn’t require installation of a program to use. Give it a shot if you have multiple files to convert, as it might save you time.

Consider the ways in which a DOCX benefits different companies and teams. As tech progressed, Microsoft changed the way its document file type construction. Look for future similar developments to bolster potential.