The Word document format is popular, but it's not the only word processing document format available. Word 2010 accepts these formats and allows you to save your documents in those formats, if you want. Word can magically open and display a host of weird, non-Word documents:


In Word, give the Open command.

For example, you can use the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut. However you do it, the Open dialog box appears.


Click the Files of Type button and select a file format from the drop-down list that appears.

By choosing a specific file format, you direct Word to narrow the number of files displayed in the Open dialog box. Only files matching the specific file format are shown.

If you don’t know the format, select All Files from the drop-down list. Word then makes its best guess.


Select the file from the list.

Alternatively, you can work the controls in the dialog box to find another storage media or folder that contains the file.


Click the Open button.

For some document types, Word displays a special file conversion dialog box that lets you preview the document.


If the file conversion dialog box appears, click its OK button.

The alien file appears onscreen, ready for editing, just like any other Word document.

Don’t blame yourself when Word can't open a document. Many, many file formats are unknown to Word. When someone is sending you this type of document, ask them to resend it using a common file format, such as HTML or RTF.