Posted by: h4ck@lyst | January 8, 2008


Well this post has got nothing technical in here about the docx format (MS office 2007 word format). Its rather about the problem I have each time I receive a docx attachement in my gmail and then since I work in linux environment, everytime I ll rush to one of the free online docx converters. Got another docx attachement this morning and so again went to the online converters. Unfortunately it didnt work for me this time. After a couple of futile useless attempts, I tried looking up for alternative way of converting or opening the docx files on linux and stumbled upon this beautiful piece..

The .docx files, are essentially a bunch of zipped XML documents. OpenXML uses the ZIP file container to ensure that files are up to 75% smaller than the same documents saved with previous Microsoft Office file formats. Let’s say you don’t care about formatting- just the text. You don’t have to go through all the trouble of uploading your file, or downloading add-ons or plug-ins.

All you have to do is to change the file extension from .docx to .zip (e.g. homework.docx becomes Then extract the contents of the zip file. Inside the folder containg the extracted files, find the file named content.xml or document.xml. Open your web browser. Drag this file to the browser window. The contents of the file is displayed. A word of warning: The XML file may not be recognized by the web browser. Thus, although the content is displayed, the mark up tags are displayed as well. Based in my experience, this occurs using Firefox on Mac or Linux as well as using Internet Explorer on Windows. However, mark up tags do not appear on Safari on a Mac and on the Konqueror file viewer on a Linux environment.


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