What Is a DOCM File?

How to open, edit, and convert DOCM files

A file with the DOCM file extension is a Microsoft Word Macro-Enabled Document file.

Introduced in Office 2007, they are like DOCX files in that they can also store formatted text, images, shapes, charts, etc., but they're different because they can execute macros to automate tasks in Word.

This format uses XML and ZIP to compress data down to a smaller size, similar to Microsoft's other XML formats like DOCX and XLSX.

DOCM files that open with Microsoft Word

How to Open a DOCM File

Macros have the potential to store malicious code. Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See our list of executable file extensions for a full list of these types of file extensions.

Microsoft Word (version 2007 and above) is the primary software program used to open DOCM files, as well as edit them. If you have an earlier version of Word, you can download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to open, edit, and save the file in your older version of Word.

You can open a DOCM file without Word with Microsoft's free Word Viewer, but it just lets you view and print the file, not make any changes. Another way to do that, but online, is with the free DOCM viewer at GroupDocs.

The free Google Docs, WPS Office Writer, OpenOffice Writer, LibreOffice Writer, and other free word processors, will also open and edit DOCM files.

If you find that an application on your computer tries to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, learn how to change the default program for a specific file extension in Windows.

How to Convert a DOCM File

The best way to convert a DOCM file is to open it in one of the editors listed above and then save to a different format like DOCX, DOC, or DOTM.

The viewer at GroupDocs, for example, makes it easy to create a PDF from the document. If the file is open in Google Docs, use the File > Download menu to pick from DOCX, ODT, RTF, PDF, TXT, and others.

Google Docs download format options

You can also use a dedicated free file converter like FileZigZag to convert the DOCM file online or with a desktop program. FileZigZag is a website, so you have to upload the file before you can convert it.

Still Can't Open It?

If none of those programs are letting you open the file, the most likely reason is that you're misreading the file extension. It's common for files to use similar extensions, but that doesn't mean that the formats are at all related.

For example, DOCM looks a lot like DCO and DMO. However, those extensions belong to formats that aren't related to Word at all. Safetica Free Encrypted Virtual Disk Archive (DCO) and Cube 2: Sauerbraten Demo (DMO) files require completely different programs to be installed before you can use them. DICOM is another example.

Take a second look at the file extension at the end of the file you have, and then do some research online or here on Lifewire to see if you can dig up the program that's capable of opening, editing, or converting it.

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