Microsoft has a new viewer for Word—Word Viewer 2003. This viewer lets you view, print, and copy Word documents, even if you don’t have Word installed. Inner-office, this probably isn’t a problem. When sharing information with someone outside your organization, a viewer can be helpful. Believe or not, everyone doesn’t have Word!


This latest viewer replaces Word 97 Viewer and lets you open documents created with any version of Word for Windows and Word for Macintosh. In addition, you can open the following formatted files:

  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Text (.txt)
  • Web Page formats (.htm, .html, .mht, .mhtml)
  • WordPerfect 5.x (.wpd) and 6.x (.doc, .wpd)
  • Works 6.0 and 7.0 (.wps)
  • XML (.xml)

The viewer is limited of course as it’s for sharing and not creating. The viewer won’t let you edit an open document or create a new one. The good news is, you can distribute the viewer with your documents, which makes it just that much easier for the recipient.


You’ll need Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP to use Word Viewer 2003. To install this new viewer, visit