How to Open, Edit, and Convert DOCM Files

Screenshot of several DOCM files in Windows 10 that open with Microsoft Word

Tim Fisher / Lifewire

A file with the DOCM file extension is a Word Open XML Macro-Enabled Document file used in Microsoft Word. It was introduced in Microsoft Office 2007.

DOCM files are just like DOCX files except that they can execute macros, which lets you automate repetitive tasks in Word. This means just like DOCX files, DOCM files can store formatted text, images, shapes, charts, and more.

DOCM files use the XML and ZIP formats to compress the data down to a smaller size. It's similar to Microsoft Office's other XML formats like DOCX and XLSX.

How to Open a DOCM File

Macros embedded in DOCM files 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 Office 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 Microsoft Word, you can download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to open, edit, and save DOCM files in your older version of MS Word.

You can open a DOCM file without Microsoft Word using Microsoft's free Word Viewer, but it just lets you view and print the file, not make any changes.

The free Kingsoft 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 PC does try to open the DOCM file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open DOCM files, 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 DOCM editors from above and then save the open file to another format like DOCX, DOC, or DOTM.

You can also use a dedicated free file converter like FileZigZag to convert the DOCM file. FileZigZag is a website, so you have to upload the DOCM file before you can convert it. It lets you convert the DOCM to PDF, HTML, OTT, ODT, RTF, and other similar file formats.