I need to edit *.doc and *.docx files on Linux. What should I use?

  • Emulation + MS Office
  • OpenOffice
  • OpenOffice variants
  • Alternatives?
  • Define "complete". Obviously, MS Office is most similar to itself. That doesn't mean it is best. What sort of work do you need it to do? What's more important, power or speed? Compatibility or features?
    – frabjous
    Nov 20, 2010 at 21:38
  • @frabjous Using MS Office in a virtual machine isn't the same as using it on pure Windows. The most important is a good performance with maximum compatibility
    – Jader Dias
    Nov 20, 2010 at 21:50
  • I didn't say it was the same, just most similar. You don't seem to have understood the point of my question. What are you doing with these documents? What kinds of documents are they? Are they academic papers? Forms? E-books? Reports? When you say editing, are you receiving documents from someone else that you need to edit, or creating them from scratch? When you finish editing them, do you need to redistribute them as files, or just print the results? All of these things affect my answer.
    – frabjous
    Nov 21, 2010 at 1:56
  • @frabjous academic papers
    – Jader Dias
    Nov 21, 2010 at 16:02
  • Have you tried TextMaker?
    – student
    May 7, 2013 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


The most complete is by far MS Office in a virtual machine: this is what I do.

If you will again be distributing those files you edited, it's pretty much necessary to use MS Office, because anything else can have unpredictable effects on the document.

If it is for your own use, OpenOffice (or LibreOffice or Go-oo, etc) is just about as good as MS Office and is the most feature-rich.

If you are in a KDE environment and the OO.o-derived products feel awkward or clumsy, then KOffice is an excellent alternative, although I find the .doc compatibility less-suitable.

If you require a minimal install size, Abiword is quite good. The online suites (Google Docs, Office Web Apps) are pretty good as well.

  • 2
    My experience of using OpenOffice 3.1 and exchanging simple documents with MS Word users shows that it gets along with Word 97 (.doc) format, although it doesn't get the formatting completely right (so expect different page breaks). With Word 2007 (.docx), documents were often mangled beyond recognition. Nov 20, 2010 at 22:46
  • 1
    And by the way, Office Web Apps is not available everywhere. Right now I have just made a quick check and it is "Not available for your region". I remember being unable to use it on a Linux box as well.
    – phunehehe
    Nov 21, 2010 at 2:03
  • Microsoft CDF-based formats have been around for many years. Even if some features may not be supported by some third-party programs, I'd still pick CDF formats for data exchange (.doc, .xls, ...). Another alternative is indeed to run Microsoft Office in WINE. You'll have to be lucky to find a version that runs nicely, but there are databases with the versions of Microsoft Office that run nicely and that don't work at all with WINE.
    – njsg
    Feb 8, 2015 at 9:11

Office 2007 runs quite well with wine. Running a entire virtual machine just for office might be a overkill.

  • XP can run 2007 Office and you can run an XP virtual machine with 512 ram. With computers today shipping with 2+ Gbs of ram, this seems to be a fine option.
    – Chris
    Nov 22, 2010 at 16:36

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