TextEdit will open them, but often doesn't display them correctly.

I really like QuickLook, but it won't stay open and doesn't allow for copying text.

OpenOffice seems to read the files adequately, but is slow to launch.

The ideal would be something like Preview that can open Word docs.

  • 2
    What version of Mac OS X are you using? Both Leopard and Snow Leopard's version of TextEdit opens .docx files fine for me. – Chealion Aug 20 '10 at 15:54

Try Bean.

The last time I tried it, it was pretty quick (quicker than OpenOffice) and according to the website, can open .docx files.

  • +agreed. Bean is very quick + not bloated like openOffice. – Robert S Ciaccio Aug 20 '10 at 14:36
  • 1
    It is quick! I was just looking for something like Preview, but this is great. – g . Aug 22 '10 at 21:43

Here's an interesting solution I've never seen before. Apparently a .docx is just an .xml file (which I've heard, but never actually investigated lol).

  • Change the .docx extension to .zip
  • Unzip the file. You'll get an .xml
  • Open and read the resulting .xml
  • 6
    "XML" doesn't really need "human-readable file". – zneak Aug 20 '10 at 14:38
  • true, but it's still a pretty cool tip... maybe better suited as a comment though :) – Robert S Ciaccio Aug 20 '10 at 23:08

Preview.app and TextEdit.app can both open .doc(x) files. While they may not handle intricate formatting, I have found they will do a decent job with 99% of the Word files that I receive.

For more advanced documents, Pages remains the best answer, and it's now free for effectively everyone.


Pages by Apple can be used to view Word document files. Pages is available as macOS and iOS native app as well as for Web.

Pages used to be a paid app, but is now available free of cost. Pages Web app can be used on compatible Web browsers even on a Windows PC.


You can open them up in chrome with the extension "office editing for docs sheets and slides" by google. Works pretty fast on my computer. And I use chrome anyway so it's nice for me. Downsides are that it doesn't seem to work for double clicking on macOS (you might have to drag the file into chrome or type the path) and the save feature wont save to .doc files. But it will display them quickly just like a preview.

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