Do you need to open and edit Word Documents but don’t have Microsoft Word?

Leaving Cert Applied Maths students (and probably others) have to submit projects in a Word Document in January, but may not have Microsoft Word on their computer. Do they now have to go out and purchase a copy of Microsoft Word and have it installed on their computer?

Fortunately the answer is no. There are a number of options. Here are a couple that are likely to be most practical for the majority of students.

Word Online

Microsoft offers a free stripped-down version of the Office suite in web app form, and it includes Word.

Just create a free Microsoft Account (if you already don’t have one), upload the DOCX file to OneDrive, and double-click to open it in Word Online. You can then edit the document, collaborate on it with other Word users, and download a modified copy to local storage.

Using Word Online guarantees that you won’t run into problems while viewing and editing DOCX files. Just don’t expect to use the advanced formatting options found in the paid desktop version.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a browser-based word processor similar to Word Online and features complete support for the DOC and DOCX formats. All you need is a Google Account to get started. You can then upload any Word file to Google Drive (which provides 15GB of free storage), open it in Google Docs, and start reading and editing it.

You can also convert the file to Google Docs’s native GDOC format for maximum compatibility and save it back in several popular formats (including DOCX).

Compared to Word Online, Google Docs has a lot going for it with superior performance and functionality.

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