Open XML Docx Viewer

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 27, 2009
Updated • May 28, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Open XML Viewer is a free extension for Mozilla Firefox that adds support for the new Microsoft Office 2007 XML formats in Firefox.

The introduction of the new Microsoft Office XML formats (docx, pptx, xlsx) have caused some confusion by users of previous Microsoft Office releases as their versions were not able to open the new document formats by default.

If someone created a docx document for instance, they could not load it in an earlier version of Microsoft Office as that version does not support those formats.

Users who were not using Microsoft Office at all but third-party alternatives face a similar problem as support does not exist as well.

Open XML Viewer

Several ways to open docx files have emerged pretty soon after the initial release; one of them is the Open XML Viewer which is basically offered as a plugin for the web browser Firefox.

The document viewer only supports the new docx file format at this point, but as this is the most commonly encountered format it should suffice for the moment. The web browser add-on is available for both the Windows and Linux operating system and supplied as a xpi file which can be loaded and installed easily. Another version for the command line of both operating systems is provided as well.

The web browser plugin works by simply dragging and dropping docx documents into a Firefox tab or window. The add-on will automatically process the document and display it in the web browser. There is currently no direct way to open docx files that are linked from websites, but it is possible to associate the Firefox web browser with the docx format in the operating system to either open the documents automatically or on right-click and selection with it.

The next installment of the Open XML Document Viewer is slated for a April 2009 release which will add support for the Opera and Internet Explorer web browser, server side support, document themes and drawing shapes.

Update: Note that the extension has last been updated in 2009 and that it is no longer compatible with recent versions of the Firefox web browser. We have removed the link from the article as it makes no sense to keep it up.

We suggest you use different means of opening Office XML documents. You can use online document services such as Zoho, Google Drive or OneDrive to open these types of files for example.

There are also add-ons available for older versions of Office, while third-party Office software support the new formats by now. If you want full support, check out a free Office suite like LibreOffice for instance.

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Software Name
Open XML Viewer
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  1. Akceptor said on September 18, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Can’t download due to broken links :(

  2. suresh said on April 20, 2009 at 11:30 am


  3. yogi said on March 27, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Damn M$.

    This was a purely monetary move and it is so annoying.

    Most people I work with don’t know or care what version of office they are working with but most places (in Israel, especially universities) automatically upgraded and I have to deal with docx formats all the time.

    It’s very annoying so I’ll enjoy that plugin.

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