If someone sends you a text document, chances are very good it was created in Word. What if you don’t have Word installed on your computer? Can you still read that document?
Yes, and you have several options.
Microsoft offers the Word viewer – download here. That’s fine if you just want to read a Word file that someone has sent you.
If you want to actually create a Word file without having Microsoft Word installed, you can use the Open Office suite of programs (information here). This is a free set of applications that will allow you to create and edit files that are compatible with not only Word, but also Excel and Powerpoint.
You can even do all this without installing any new software on your computer – thanks to Google Docs. Completely web-based and free, Google Docs allows you to create and edit files that are viewable in Word or Excel. Since it’s all online, you can go to any computer that has an internet connection, log in to your Google account, and start working.