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Get to Know .doc File Extension: What It Is? How to open a doc File?

Chances are you’ve seen the .doc file extension many times, whether you were creating a document, downloading a file or just browsing your computer. But what is the .doc file extension and How do you open a doc File? In this article, I’m going to answer these questions and show you some of the power behind this seemingly insignificant three-letter suffix.

So, what is the .doc file extension? First off, it stands for “document,” which is a type of file format used by word processors (such as Microsoft Word) to save formatted documents. Unlike other popular formats like .pdf or .txt, it contains more than just plain text – when you create a .doc file, it stores information like fonts, margins, line spacing and other related formatting data.

Saving documents in the .doc format gives you unprecedented control over how a document looks and functions. You can easily add headers and footers or insert tables without having to manually type in all of your text. Plus, since most computers have Microsoft Word installed by default, chances are there’s no extra software needed in order to open up your files.

What Is a .Doc File Extension?

You’re probably no stranger to file types like .doc, .docx, and .pdf. And that’s a good thing, because you’ll be needing them to open, edit, and save various documents on your computer.

The “.doc” file extension is the identifier for a Microsoft Word document. It indicates that the document has been created using MS Word, the word processor made by Microsoft. When you create or download an item using MS Word, the file is automatically saved as a doc (or DOCX) file type – so you know it can be opened and edited with this program.

In short, “.doc” files are documents that are saved in Word’s proprietary format, which operates as an enabler for editing and exchanging digital documents – whether it’s for school papers, job applications or legal forms!

What File Types Are Associated With the .Doc Extension?

If you’re familiar with the .doc file extension, you may have noticed that other file types are often associated with it. To add to the confusion, though, these types may vary depending on the software you use.

Generally speaking, files associated with the .doc file extension are:

  • Word documents (.doc and .docx)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF) documents
  • Plain Text documents (.txt)
  • HTML documents (.html and .htm)
  • Webpages (.mht and .mhtml)

So, whatever type of document you’re working with, chances are you can save it as a .doc file. And if you’re ever unsure which type of document is associated with a particular file, the easiest way to check is to look at its extension in whatever program or software you’re using—it will be listed there.

Where Does the .Doc File Extension Come From?

The .doc file extension was born from Microsoft Word, which captured the ever-critical market share for word processors in the 1990s and 2000s. The original .doc file format was released in 1992 with Word 6, and it’s been going strong ever since!

In 2003, Microsoft released the “XML-based” .docx file format. Early versions of Word 2003 could open both formats (.doc and .docx). However, if you have an older version of Word (or one of its clones, like OpenOffice or LibreOffice), you may not be able to open a newer document that uses the new XML-based format.

Even so, Microsoft hasn’t given up on the classic .doc format! They still produce updates to the software that can open and save files with a .doc extension. It’s not as high-tech as the XML-based variety, but it’s still been a reliable standard for decades—so it’s hard to argue with numbers like those!

How Do I View and Edit a .Doc File?

Ok, now that you know a bit about the .doc file extension, let’s talk about how you can use it for your own work.

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Viewing and Editing

There are two ways to view and edit a .doc file—you can either do so online or with a dedicated word processing application.

If you want to open the file online, you can do so with Microsoft Word Online. You’ll need an active Office 365 subscription to access this service, or else you can click “Try now.” Another popular online word processor is Google Docs which offers all the basic functions of Microsoft Word and has space for 1 GB of free storage per user.

On the other hand, if you’d like to install a word processing program on your computer instead, then Microsoft Word is available as part of the Office suite (Windows only) or the web-based version of Office 365 (available on Mac). Of course, Word isn’t your only option—there are plenty of free alternatives out there such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice if you prefer them over Word as they both offer basic features of Microsoft’s program without any additional cost associated with it.

So whether you want to take advantage of an online service or download an app on your computer for quick access, the choice is yours when it comes to viewing and editing .doc files!

Can I Convert a .Doc File to Another Format?

You bet. Converting a .doc file to PDF, text, HTML, and even some image formats such as JPG or PNG is easy. All you need to do is open the Word document in the Microsoft Word program then click on the File tab and select ‘Save As’ from the drop-down menu. You’ll be presented with a number of file formats to choose from and all you need to do is pick one that meets your requirements – it couldn’t be simpler.

That said, it pays to choose wisely as some file formats are more widely accepted than others. For instance, if you want something that will be easy to share with anyone (like a customer or colleague), then go for a file format that everyone can view without having to download any additional software – like the PDF format.

Alternatively, text files like .txt or HTML may serve your purpose if you simply want to store plain text information without any formatting options at all (e.g., bold font or italics). The choice is yours!

What Are Some Common Uses of the .Doc Extension?

The .doc file extension is especially useful for creating documents that are meant to be shared with many people. Here are some common uses of the .doc extension:

Letters, Memos, Resumes

The .doc file format is perfect for creating all sorts of letters, memos, and resumes. Often we need to write documents like these that have text formattings, like changing the font size or typeface. Since most word processors can handle the .doc file format, it’s easy to create and share documents with text formatting without worrying about compatibility issues.


More and more people are using the .doc file extension to create eBooks. It’s an incredibly powerful format for creating detailed manuscripts with images and links. Plus, it’s easy to convert a .doc file into various other eBook formats such as .epub or .mobi for distribution on eBook platforms like Kindle or Apple Books.

Reports and Proposals

If you need to create a report or proposal, then you might want to consider using a .doc file. There are plenty of features available in most word processors that make it easy to add tables and charts that can give your document a professional look and feel. Plus, since everyone has access to Microsoft Word or its equivalent they won’t have any trouble opening up your documents!


With the .doc file extension, it’s easy to create and modify documents. Whether you need to write an essay for school or collaborate with a team on a project, .doc makes it simple. Whether you’re new to .doc or you’ve been using it for years, you’ll be able to get the most out of this file extension.

Whether you’re writing a document for school, work, or just for fun this file extension is a perfect choice. With its many features, you’ll be able to create documents that are both detailed and easy to modify. So the next time you’re looking to create and edit documents, remember the .doc file extension and the powerful capabilities it can provide.

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