How To Open Or Edit Word Documents Without Word?

Generally, the Microsoft Office subscription is expensive for one-time use. You do not have to purchase the entire Office package as there are multiple ways you can open or edit Word documents without the Microsoft Application itself. 

Although you will not have all features available as the Microsoft Word application, it should still do the job.

In this article, we will be discussing the workarounds for the Microsoft Word application. Keep reading this article to learn more about how to open or edit word documents without the Microsoft Word application.

How to Open or Edit Word Documents Without Word?

You can access your word documents from in-built applications such as WordPad/TextEdit to free browser extensions like Office Extensions. We have gathered 8 ways you can open and/or edit word documents without the application for free. 


You can use your built-in text editor to make a quick change on a Word document. Depending on if you use Windows or Mac, you can use either WordPad or TextEdit.

For Windows

  1. Open WordPad.
  2. From the top-left corner, select File.
  3. Select Open.WordPad
  4. Navigate to the location of your word file and select it.
  5. Select Open on the bottom-right corner of the window. 

For Mac

  1. Open the TextEdit application on your Mac.
  2. Select File.TextEditMac
  3. Go to Open.
  4. Browse through your device to locate your word document, then select it.
  5. Click Open.

From OneDrive

You can open any Office document, including a Word file, from OneDrive. To open your documents from OneDrive, if you haven’t already, you need to make a Microsoft account. Then, you can open and edit your document online once you upload it to OneDrive. 

Follow these steps to open a Word document on OneDrive.

  1. Open your browser.
  2. From your browser, visit Microsoft’s website for OneDrive.
  3. Log in with your Microsoft credentials.
  4. Click on Upload next to the New button on the top-right corner of the website.
  5. Select Files from the drop-down menu.
  6. Browse through your device to open your Word file.
  7. After your document has been successfully uploaded, double-click on it to open it.

When you open your word file from Outlook, you can view and enjoy many editing features like the Word application. 

Microsoft Office Online

The online version of Microsoft Office is free to use. Like Outlook, you must be signed in to your Microsoft account to open Office documents from Office Online. 

Here are the steps you can follow to open your document from the online version of Office:

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Navigate to from the search bar.
  3. Click on the Sign in button on the homepage.
  4. Enter your Microsoft account credentials.
  5. From your device, drag and drop your word file.

Once you’ve dropped your file, you will automatically be redirected to OneDrive live, where you can view and edit your documents.

Office Extension

You can download the office extension to view and edit Office documents. The Office extension is available on popular browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

You can open and edit word documents from the Office extension following these easy steps:

Google Chrome

  1. Open your Chrome browser. 
  2. From the search bar, navigate to
  3. Locate Search the store bar on the top-left corner. 
  4. Enter Office then, hit enter.
  5. Select Office.
  6. Click on Add to ChromeInstallOfficeExtensionChrome2
  7. Validate your action by clicking on Add extension on the pop-up.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open the Edge browser.
  2. Click on the horizontal three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the browser. 
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. From the pop-up, select Open Microsoft Edge Add-ons website.
  5. Click on Search all add-ons, then enter Office.
  6. Select Get next to Office.InstallOfficeExtensionEdge
  7. Confirm your action by selecting Add extension on the pop-up.InstallOfficeExtensionEdge2

Mobile Application for Word

Unlike the desktop version of Word, you can use the mobile version for free. Apart from a few missing features and a different interface, the mobile application isn’t as different as the desktop version of Word. 

You can use the mobile application if you want to view or quickly make minor changes to the Word file. You can install the application on Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS.

Google Docs

If you’re looking for more editing options, you can also use Google Docs to open and edit your Word file. After making changes, you can download the file as a Microsoft Word file again. 

Follow these steps to view or edit your Word document on Google docs:

  1. Open your browser. 
  2. From the search bar, navigate to
  3. Under Start a new document, click on Blank.
  4. From the menu bar, select File > Open.
  5. Head to the Upload tab. 
  6. Either drop your file in the window or click Select a file from your device to open your file.

Google Docs will automatically open your word file. After you’ve made the necessary changes, you can go to File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) to download your file as a Word document again.ExportAsWordFileGoogleDocs

Pages (For Mac)

You can use Pages to open and edit the contents of a Word document on a Mac. After making the required changes, you can export the document as a .docx file again. 

Here are the steps you can follow to use the Pages application on your Mac to open and edit Word documents:

  1. Open Pages.
  2. Head to File from the menu bar.
  3. From the list of options, select OpenOpenFileOnpagesMac
  4. Navigate to your Word file, then open it.

It is worth remembering that normally saving your document will not export it to a Word file. To export your document to a Word file, head to File > Export To > Word

Word Mobile (Read-Only for Windows)


If you are looking for an application to quickly view your Word documents, use the Word Mobile application. You cannot make any other changes except moving the embedded pictures in the document.

You can download the Word Mobile application on your Windows for free from the Microsoft Store. To make changes to your word file, you need to get the entire Microsoft 365 package. 

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