File Extension In Word 2010

Microsoft Word 2010 uses the .docx file extension to save documents. However, a document that has the .docx file extension isn’t necessarily a Word 2010 document; it may also be a Word 2007 document as that is the extension used by that release of Word. If you open a Word 2007 document in Word 2010, you will automatically be switched to compatibility mode and the new functions available to Word 2010 will be disabled.

Below are the other Word 2010 file extensions and what they mean.

Extension Use
.docx A standard Word 2007 or 2010 document with no macros or code
.dotx A Word template with no macros or code
.docm A Word document that could contain macros or code
.dotm A Word template that could contain macros or code

The ‘x’ in the above file extensions stands for XML.

If you are sharing documents with people who only have earlier versions of Word, it may be wise to continue working in compatibility mode so that they see your document exactly as you intend it to be seen. If you know that everyone who will see your document is using Word 2010, you can safely convert it to Word 2010 format by clicking the Office Button > Convert. Doing this often reduces file sizes and offers increased functionality.

Hovering over a command that is available only to Word 2010 will display a tooltip that explains why the command is disabled.

Newsflash: there are ways that you can open a .docx file without Word 2010! This method is completely free and involves the use of the Office Web Apps.