Every computer, whether personal or commercial, has at least one text editor installed on it. Microsoft Word is undoubtedly the most popular word processor, but it is not freeware and not everyone can afford the Office suite. This is exactly the point where Microsoft Word Viewer comes in.
If a particular PC does not have Microsoft Office installed and you still need to open Word files, Word Viewer is a simple and intuitive solution that allows you to do just that. This freeware also allows the user to print Word documents. Anyone can download the program from the Microsoft website – without incurring any costs.
An important aspect to keep in mind is that this small application is not a replacement for the Office suite. The freeware only allows for text to be viewed and nothing more, as there are no editing tools whatsoever. It does offer a few options to view Word documents, but that is about it. Word Viewer supports text files, binary Word documents, rich text format, Word XML format, HTML, Microsoft Works documents and WordPerfect. Generally speaking, the software works with almost all text file formats that are normally present in a personal computer.
This application is easy to install and it uses the minimum amount of memory. The installation process is very fast and there is no hassle at all. Word Viewer is ready for use in less than a minute and all it takes to use it are a couple of clicks. Use the built-in ‘Open’ tool to view a document in one of the supported formats or simply double-click one of the files to view it. When it comes to ‘Options’, there are only a few available and all concern the application’s view and print tools. Word Viewer allows the user to opt for web and print layout settings, different printing configurations and formatting marks.
The main competitors of Word Viewer are also made available by Microsoft. The first one is Word Web App – a web-based, freeware version of Microsoft Word. Surprisingly enough, the second application is WordPad – a small text editor that supports a variety of file extensions in a similar way to Word Viewer.
In conclusion, Word Viewer is a little, but quite useful tool that enables the user to view Word documents. It is not necessary to have Microsoft Word installed on the computer in order to use Word Viewer. In addition, the freeware supports a variety of formats and file extensions – which makes it quite a versatile application. Anyone who knows how to use Word will be able to use Word Viewer; it is a lot easier.
Word Viewer was first released in the spring of 1999. Microsoft launched it as an addition to the existing Word program. The application proved to be a success, with many Windows users across the globe downloading it with the purpose of viewing Word documents without having to pay for the Office suite. Microsoft released a newer version of Word Viewer in the autumn of 2003. It is also the point where all further development for this application has stopped.
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