Word Viewer - Word 2010

It’s all very well preparing your Word documents for public consumption, but what if some of your readers don’t have Word installed on their computers? Most viewers will probably have Word, however, a small proportion won’t. If you yourself don’t have Word and you need to read a Word document, all is not lost. You can still view it using the Word viewer. This is actually a replacement for Word Viewer 2003, but it works for Word 2010, too.

Word Viewer allows you to view, print and copy documents of the following format:

  • Word Document (.docx)
  • Word Macro-Enabled Document (.docm)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Text (.txt)
  • Web Page formats (.htm, .html, .mht, .mhtml)
  • WordPerfect 5.x (.wpd)
  • WordPerfect 6.x (.doc, .wpd)
  • Works 6.0 (.wps)
  • Works 7.0 (.wps)
  • XML (.xml)

It’s a simple task to visit the link above and install the Word viewer. Of course, the download comes with the usual trickery associated with large companies offering free downloads, When you click download, a screen pops up “suggesting” additional downloads you might want to take advantage of. And, as is commonplace with such additional extras, it’s not clear how to decline and just move on with the download. The way to do it, though, is to ignore the additional selections and just click Next.

May We Also SuggestSave the file to your computer (it’s a surprisingly large 24.5MB in size) and run it. When you want to use it, click Start > Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003. If you can’t find the program in the initial list, type in Word Viewer and Windows will find it. Once the viewer is running, you’ll then need to navigate to the Word document you want to open and double click on it. The document will open in a very rough and ready application that has few features, but at least you can read it. Strangely, Word Viewer offers the Open for Editing option on the File menu, and selecting this will open your document in Word. But if you already have Word, why would you be using the Word Viewer…?

Note that no actions even closely linked to updating a document are available in Word Viewer. This means that you can’t update or save an existing document, and you can’t create a new one. All you can do is view. The clue is in the name.

There is an alternative to using the Word Viewer to view a Word document if you don’t have Word installed: you can use Word Web App. Microsoft provide limited functionality in the Word Web App – it’s basically a stripped down version of Word. Although you would need to mess around with uploading the document you want to view to SkyDrive,you can actually update the document. You can even create new ones.