Docx Vs Doc

When it comes to creating and saving documents on your computer, you have likely encountered the file extensions DOCX and DOC. On the surface, they may seem like interchangeable file formats, but they actually have their differences that are important to consider when working with them. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the differences between DOCX and DOC file extensions to help you obtain a better understanding of what sets them apart.

What is a DOCX file format?

DOCX is a file format that was introduced by Microsoft Word in 2007. It is an XML-based format that enables advanced formatting options, including support for multimedia devices and text styling. As such, DOCX can handle a broad range of document types, including text documents, reports, and whitepapers. DOCX files are created using Microsoft Word 2007 or newer and can be opened using Word or other Office applications.

One of the key advantages of DOCX is its compact file size. This file format is specifically designed to use less storage space while retaining quality. This is particularly helpful when sharing files via email or when working with a large number of documents.

What is a DOC file format?

DOC is an older file format used by Microsoft Word that dates back to the early 1990s. It is a binary file format, which means it uses specific bit patterns to encode data. DOC files support various complex formatting options, including images, tables, charts, and customizable headers and footers. DOC files were used with older versions of Microsoft Word, including versions 2003 and earlier.

One of the significant differences between DOC and DOCX files is file size. As a binary file format, DOC files are considerably larger than its DOCX counterparts. While this might not seem like a significant issue with individual files, it can add up when working with a large number of documents, resulting in considerable storage issues.

Difference between DOC and DOCX file formats

Now that we have a brief understanding of both file formats, let’s explore the significant differences between DOC and DOCX file formats:

1. File format

DOC files are binary file formats, while DOCX files are XML-based file formats. This is the primary difference between these two file formats, as it affects how the files are organized and stored.

2. File Size

The DOCX file format is significantly smaller than the DOC file format. This is due to the XML-based compression that Microsoft Word uses to create DOCX files. This compression results in a smaller file size with no loss of quality.

3. Compatibility

DOC files have been around for many years, making them an older format that may not be fully supported by newer applications or software. In contrast, DOCX files are a newer standard and have excellent compatibility with modern programs like Microsoft Word and others.

4. Security

DOCX files are known for their superior security features. Microsoft Word encrypts these files, making them more difficult to access for unauthorized users. Additionally, you can set a password on DOCX files to protect them from unwanted access.

5. Features

DOCX files come with additional features that DOC files do not offer. For example, DOCX files can contain multimedia files such as videos or sounds, images, and even links to web pages.

When to use DOC and DOCX File Formats

So, which file format should you use for your documents? The answer depends primarily on your use case regarding the document. DOC files excel when you prefer to maintain compatibility with older versions of Microsoft Office, while DOCX is perfect when working with modern applications.

If you are sharing documents via email or cloud storage, DOCX may be the better option due to its smaller file size. Finally, if you require advanced formatting options such as multimedia elements or custom fonts, DOCX will provide superior support.


In conclusion, both DOC and DOCX file formats have their advantages and disadvantages. DOC files are older, larger, but are better supported by older versions of Microsoft Word, while DOCX files are more versatile, secure, and have a smaller file size, but require newer software to open. Understanding these differences can go a long way in deciding which file format you should use.