How to Open a DOCX File in Mac OS X with Text Edit


The Text Edit application is surprisingly versatile and can easily view and edit the vast majority of docx files on a Mac. This is also the easiest way to open a docx file in OS X, which some modern versions serving as the default opener for .docx file type, but sometimes you may need to
  1. Go to the /Applications/ folder and open TextEdit
  2. Locate the .docx file you wish to open in TextEdit and drag and drop the file on the TextEdit icon in the Dock *
Opening a docx file in TextEdit on Mac
* Some versions of Mac OS X will default to associating and opening a .docx file with TextEdit

The TextEdit method works to open, view, and edit the vast majority of Docx files that a Mac may encounter. For simple text based docx files, this can often be an adequate solution to view and adjust a docx file, save it, and then return to the sender or whatever else is necessary to perform with the file in question.

There is one potential hiccup however, in that some complex docx files or those with significant formatting may render inappropriately in TextEdit, making it less than an ideal environment to edit a docx file in. If you encounter that type of display errors when loading a docx file into TextEdit, you can turn to the Pages app, which comes installed by default on most Mac computers otherwise is available from the Mac App Store.

How to Open DOCX Files with Pages in Mac OS X

Pages for Mac does a very good job of rendering complex formatting found within more complicated docx files, and thus if the document looks weird or doesn’t show up properly in TextEdit, Pages is the solution (aside from installing Microsoft Office, of course):
  1. Open the Pages app in Mac OS X (found in /Applications/ folder)
  2. Pull down the “File” menu and choose “Open” (or “Import” depending on the version of Pages)
  3. Navigate to and select the target .docx file you want to open in Pages and choose to open that from the file browser
Opening a docx file in Pages for Mac OS X

Pages should display the docx file without any formatting issues or problems, and it should look exactly as it arrived from the Windows or Microsoft Office world.

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