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File type: DOCX

What is DOCX?

The DOCX file extension represents Microsoft Word Open XML files. These are files created Microsoft's popular word processing application using the Open XML format. This format was created to make all the elements of a Word file, including images and other data, more easily accessible. This is accomplished by saving all the different elements of the document in a compressed archive.

More on DOCX from Wikipedia

How can I open DOCX files?

If you have a DOCX file that you wish to open, you will need an application that is capable of opening and playing DOCX files, such as Microsoft Word 2010. FileRatings can help you find an appropriate program.
In addition to the application listed below, there are optional methods you can use to open a DOCX file.
You can use an earlier version of Word that features the Microsoft Compatibility Pack.
You can also use a version of Open Office that has the Open XML Translator installed.

Filename extension.docx or .docm
Internet media typeapplication/vnd.
Developed byMicrosoft, Ecma, ISO/IEC
Type of formatDocument file format
Extended fromXML, DOC, WordProcessingML
Standard(s)ECMA-376, ISO/IEC 29500
WebsiteECMA-376, ISO/IEC 29500:2008

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Office Open XML (also informally known as OOXML or OpenXML) is a zipped, XML-based file format developed by Microsoft for representing spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents. The Office Open XML specification has been standardised by Ecma. A later edition was standardized by ISO and IEC as an International Standard (ISO/IEC 29500); this edition is still not implemented in any products.

Starting with Microsoft Office 2007, the Office Open XML file formats (ECMA-376) have become the default target file format of Microsoft Office, although the Strict variant of the standard is not fully supported. Microsoft Office 2010 provides read support for ECMA-376, read/write support for ISO/IEC 29500 Transitional, and read support for ISO/IEC 29500 Strict.


In 2000, Microsoft released an initial version of an XML-based format for Microsoft Excel, which was incorporated in Office XP. In 2002, a new file format for Microsoft Word followed. The Excel and Word formats—known as the Microsoft Office XML formats—were later incorporated into the 2003 release of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft announced in November 2005 that it would co-sponsor standardization of the new version of their XML-based formats through Ecma International, as "Office Open XML".

Standardization process

Microsoft submitted initial material to Ecma International Technical Committee TC45, where it was standardized to become ECMA-376, approved in December 2006.

This standard was then fast-tracked in the Joint Technical Committee 1 of ISO and IEC. After initially failing to pass, an amended version of the format received the necessary votes for approval as an ISO/IEC Standard as the result of a JTC 1 fast tracking standardization process that concluded in April 2008. The resulting four part International Standard (designated ISO/IEC 29500:2008) was published in November 2008 and can be downloaded from the ITTF. A technically equivalent set of texts is published by Ecma as ECMA-376 Office Open XML File Formats — 2nd edition (December 2008); they can be downloaded from their web site.

The ISO standardization of Office Open XML was controversial and embittered,with much discussion both about the specification and about the standardization process. According to InfoWorld:

OOXML was opposed by many on grounds it was unneeded, as software makers could use OpenDocument Format (ODF), a less complicated office software format that was already an international standard.

The same InfoWorld article reported that IBM (which supports the ODF format) threatened to leave standards bodies that it said allow dominant corporations like Microsoft to wield undue influence. The article further says that Microsoft was accused of co-opting the standardization process by leaning on countries to ensure that it got enough votes at the ISO for Office Open XML to pass; although it does not specify exactly who accused Microsoft.

Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation has stated that "Microsoft offers a gratis patent license for OOXML on terms which do not allow free implementations."


Under the Ecma International code of conduct in patent matters, participating and approving member organisations of ECMA are required to make available their patent rights on a Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (RAND) basis.

Holders of patents which concern ISO/IEC International Standards may agree to a standardized license governing the terms under which such patents may be licensed, in accord with the ISO/IEC/ITU common patent policy.

Microsoft, the main contributor to the standard, provided a Covenant Not to Sue for its patent licensing. The covenant received a mixed reception, with some like the Groklaw blog criticizing it, and others such as Lawrence Rosen, (an attorney and lecturer at Stanford Law School), endorsing it.

Microsoft has added the format to their Open Specification Promise in which Microsoft irrevocably promises not to assert any Microsoft Necessary Claims against you for making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing or distributing any implementation to the extent it conforms to a Covered Specification

This is limited to applications which do not deviate from the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 or Ecma-376 standard and to parties that do not "file, maintain or voluntarily participate in a patent infringement lawsuit against a Microsoft implementation of such Covered Specification". The Open Specification Promise was included in documents submitted to ISO/IEC in support of the ECMA-376 fast track submission. Ecma International asserted that, "The OSP enables both open source and commercial software to implement [the specification]"

File formats

The Office Open XML file formats are a set of file formats that can be used to represent electronic office documents. The format defines a set of XML markup vocabularies for word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations as well as specific XML markup vocabularies for material such as mathematical formulae, graphics, bibliographies etc. The stated goal of the Office Open XML standard is to be capable of faithfully representing the pre-existing corpus of word-processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations that had been produced by the Microsoft Office applications and to facilitate extensibility and interoperability by enabling implementations by multiple vendors and on multiple platforms.

An Office Open XML file is a ZIP-compatible OPC package containing XML documents and other resources. That is, one can see the contents of an OOXML file, for example by renaming it to a .zip file and opening it with any zip tool. The actual .xml files can then be viewed in a web browser or a plain text editor.

Application support

Starting with Microsoft Office 2007, the Office Open XML file formats (ECMA-376) have become the default file format of Microsoft Office. However, due to the changes introduced in a later version, Office 2007 is not entirely in compliance with ISO/IEC 29500:2008. Microsoft Office 2010 includes support for the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 compliant version of Office Open XML, but it can only save documents conforming to the transitional schema of the specification, not the strict schema. The intent of the ISO/IEC is to allow the removal of the transitional variant from the ISO/IEC 29500 standard.

The SoftMaker Office 2010 Suite claims to be able to reliably read and write .DOCX and .XLSX files in its word processor and spreadsheet applications.

The office suite has been able to import Office Open XML files (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.) since version 3.

The KOffice office suite has been able to import Office Open XML files since version 2.2.

Joffice is the first Java implementation of the OOXML format. .DOCX, .PPTX and .XSLX files can be viewed and edited.

Other mainstream Office products that have started to offer import support for the Office Open XML formats are Apple's TextEdit (included with Mac OS X) and iWork, IBM Lotus Notes, Corel Wordperfect, Kingsoft Office and Google Docs.