Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Editing Word Files — Without Word

It’s easy to work with Microsoft Word files on your Mac, even if you don’t have Microsoft Word installed on your computer.

TextEdit, your Mac’s built-in word processing program, can open MS Word files (which are often distinguished by a “.doc” or “.docx” suffix). Simply double-click the document icon. It will automatically open in TextEdit if that’s the only word-processing program on your computer. If you have several, you can specify which program to use by Control-clicking on the file icon (or right-clicking if you have a two-button mouse) and selecting your desired program.

Screen 1

Now you can edit the file just like any other document. However, if you want to share your file with MS Word users, be sure to save your work in Word format. Here’s how.

From the File menu, choose Save As… or type Command-Shift-s. Click-hold on the File Format tab and choose one of the Word formats. Press Save.

Screen 2

If you own iWork ’08, you can use similar techniques in Pages, Apple’s advanced word processor. But instead of using the Save As… command, select Export from the File menu. Choose the Word option and press Next.

Screen 3

Finally, navigate to the destination where you’d like to save the document, and press Export.

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