How to Edit Word Documents Without Word

By Ruth O'Neil

On occasion, you will find that it is necessary to edit Word documents. This is not a problem unless you do not have the Word program on your computer. Fortunately, you can download free programs that make it possible for you to do any editing you need. OpenOffice is one of those programs. After downloading the program, you can then open any Word document as an .ODT file and then make changes before saving it again in a typical Word document.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet connection

Step 1

Go to Click to download the latest version of the program.

Step 2

Follow all the instructions, as prompted by your computer, to install the program.

Step 3

Save the Word file, that you want to edit, to your documents. Open the document and right click, only one time, the file you want to open.

Step 4

Right click one more time over the file name to open up another options window. Choose "Open With," which opens another options window. Select " Writer."

Step 5

Allow the Word document to open in the OpenOffice program, which will be a read-only file. Hit "Ctrl" and "A" to select the entire document. Hit "Ctrl" and "C" to copy the entire document.

Step 6

Open a new OpenOffice document by clicking on the page icon in the upper left-hand corner of the page. Go to that page and then press "Ctrl" and "V" to place the Word document in a file that you can change.

Step 7

Make any editing changes you desire to the Word document. Click the "File" tab in the uppermost left-hand corner of the page to save the document. Type the title of the document in the file name line.

Step 8

Notice the "Save as type" line in the save box. Click the arrow to open the drop-down box. Choose any Word or .DOC selection to save the file and return it back into a Word document. Click "Save" to complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • A few other programs allow you to open Word documents. Google docs and Microsoft Word viewer are two of them. Both have free downloads.
  • Some programs allow you to open and view Word files, but they do not allow you to make any changes to the document. Make sure you download the program that allows you to do exactly what you want and need.