DOC files, which are widely used in the world, are never new to people who are familiar with Microsoft Word in their daily life. But, what can we know more about them? Such as, what is a DOC file?

What Is DOC and A DOC File

DOC, the abbreviation of document, is a file format used for word processing documents. Being proprietary to Microsoft, DOC file format can contain texts, images, print settings and other text formatting information.

A DOC file is generated by Microsoft Word or converted by other word processors. It can be used in different production stages. For example, you can create a document to start writing or edit your document to its final version.

However, due to its limited compatibility, it will be discordant when dealing with the existing different formats and could cause loss of formatting and content .


Being native to Microsoft Word, the DOC file format was created in 1983.

In 1997, an updated version of it was released and DOC served as the default format of documents from Microsoft Word 97 to Microsoft Word 2003.

Since the launch of Microsoft Word 2007, it was replaced by DOCX (Microsoft Office Open XML), a new file format combined with XML and binary files. But DOC files are still can be created and read through many applications or platforms.

For DOC vs DOCX, the main difference is that DOC file is saved in a binary file with relevant formatting and data, while in DOCX format, files are saved in a zip file that XML files are linking with documents.

Try and Save A Document as A DOC File

If you have a computer that installs the Word application introduced before Word 2003 (the version 2003 included), then a DOC format file is needed in order to open it.

Though by default, now created documents are saved as the new file format of DOCX, it is possible to change the format into .doc. Taking Word as an example, steps are as follows if you would like to try.

Step 1. Open the File tab.

Step 2. Select Save as.

Step 3. Chose Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc).

Step 4. Click Save.

Then a DOC file format document will be shown in your folder.

Another way to is to change your file extension into .DOC through renaming. Here is the instructions.

Step 1. Check your file extension. If you cannot see it, click your Windows Start button and choose File Explorer.

Step 2. Click View in the ribbon and select File name extensions.

Step 3. Right-click the file that you want to change and choose Rename.

Step 4. Change the file extension into “.doc” and press Enter.

Step 5. Click Yes when the pop-up window shows to ask you whether you are sure to change it.

In the case that one wonders how to make a copy of a Word document, you may do as follows.

Step 1. Right clicking on the file and select Copy (Ctrl+C).

Step 2. Move the mouse pointer to a blank space of your screen and right click it to choose Paste (Ctrl+V).

Your word document is now saved and marked as a copy!

Final Words

Putting in a nutshell, you may have a brief understanding of DOC files through the introduction of DOC files. In addition, you can give a try to save a document as DOC file format following the above steps.



Lydia is now an English columnist working in SwifDoo PDF. She is willing to share her ideas and professional articles to help PDF users for problem-solving.