How to Change the Default File Format in Microsoft Word

The .DOCX format is a proprietary document format used by default in the latest versions of Microsoft Word. The problem is that not every computer has the newest version of Word and the Microsoft Office productivity suite installed on it. Friends, co-workers and family members with older versions of Word will be unable to open documents in the .DOCX format, which is something that can make collaborating on documents and sharing information difficult. You can change the default file format in Microsoft Word to another, more universal format in just one short process. After that you’ll never have to think about the .DOCX format again if you don’t want to.

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Step 1

Open a new blank Microsoft Word document on your computer using the program’s icon in the “Microsoft Office” folder of your computer’s “Start” menu.

Step 2

Click the button labeled “File” at the top of the screen. Select the “Options” button near the bottom of the “File” menu to continue. The “Options” button is the second option from the bottom and is located directly about the “Exit” button.

Step 3

Click the option labeled “Save” on the left side of the screen. The right side of the screen will fill with options relating to the way Microsoft Office saves files as you complete them.

Step 4

Use the drop down menu on screen labeled “Save Files” to specify a new default file format for all of your Microsoft Word files. You can choose from over a dozen file formats including .DOCM, .DOC, .HTML and more.

Step 5

Click the button at the bottom of the screen labeled “OK.” Microsoft Word will automatically save files in your specified file format from now on. You can change the default file format again to a different format by repeating these steps.

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