The cool thing about Microsoft Word is that it became so popular that other platforms have started adopting it. As you may know, the DOC format is proprietary to Microsoft and is native to the Word application.
Unfortunately, there are certain scenarios when you have to edit a Word document and you don’t have the application installed (like in the case of installing a fresh copy of your operating system).
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to edit Word documents online for free. Furthermore, they’re all easy to use, albeit some of them may have restrictions or limitations in place.
Let’s get started!
1. Microsoft Office Word for the Web
Did you know that Microsoft Office has an online version? Office on the web is a free lightweight web version of Microsoft Office and includes the suite’s three primary applications — Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Although this free service has been around since 2010, only a few people know about this. In fact, a lot of people realized this once Google Docs came into being and questioned whether or not Microsoft has a similar service.
To use Microsoft Office Word for the Web to edit Word documents for free, all you need to do is head out to its website first and sign in (if you already have a Microsoft account). You can also sign up for free if you don’t have an account yet.
Once you’re inside, all you need to do is upload the DOC file either by dragging it from the folder to the page or by clicking on the upload and open button. Either way, Word will automatically open the file after its uploaded.
As you can see below, the interface looks similar to the updated desktop version of Microsoft Word. But of course, it lacks some of the modern features like the ones found in the design and developer tabs.
2. Google Docs
By now, everybody is familiar with Google Docs as it’s labeled as the “free” online alternative to Microsoft. Officially, its suite is named Google Docs Editors and includes applications like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and more.
To use it, simply visit the Google Docs website and either log in with your Gmail account or create one (it’s free). If you’re already logged in, you will see a “Go to Google Docs” box that will take you to the application.
Once you’re inside, you can upload the DOC file by clicking the folder icon and open a file via upload. You can then drag your file from the folder to the designated box or use the “Select a file from your device” box.
Your DOC file will then open and you can freely edit it according to how you like it. Note that there may be some variation in the layout and interface, but most of the features you use in Word are present in Google Docs.
3. Aspose Editor
This last tool you can use is ideal if you’re only looking for a quick way to edit your document without the hassle of signing up. Aspose is a website that has a number of free lightweight tools including document editor, pdf converter, and many more.
To use it, simply visit the Aspose Word Editor Online. Then, drag and drop your document or upload it manually.
After that, the file will automatically open and you can then edit it accordingly. Take note that as a lightweight editor, the features are extremely limited. It only has the most basic formatting options and image inserter.
Edit your Word Documents Online
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to edit any Microsoft Word document online for free. Once you’re faced with such a scenario, know that you can always use Microsoft Office Word for the Web.
Google Docs is also a good alternative if you’re looking for something different. Meanwhile, the Aspose Editor is a bare-bones editor and will only let you do certain actions. However, it’s quite good in an edit-and-run situation.
That’s it! I hope this article will be able to help you do whatever you need to do with your Word document without using the Microsoft Word desktop application.
If you’ve got any other questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on my contact page.