1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is a DOCM File?


Adult woman looking at computer monitor
Sydney Bourne/Image Source/Getty Images

Question: What is a DOCM File?

Did you find a DOCM file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a DOCM file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the DOCM file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open a DOCM file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .DOCM file extension refers to.

Answer: A file with the DOCM file extension is a Word Microsoft Office Open XML Format Document (Macros Enabled) file.

Other types of files may also use the DOCM file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .DOCM extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open a DOCM File

The easiest way to open a DOCM file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the DOCM file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit DOCM files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

Microsoft Office Word (version 2007 and above) is the primary software program used to open DOCM files and edit DOCM files. The free OpenOffice Writer and Kingsoft Writer will also open DOCM files. If you know of any additional programs that open DOCM files, please send me a quick email and let me know the name of the program so I can update this page.

Tip: 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.

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, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a DOCM File

There are two main ways to attempt to convert a DOCM file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the DOCM file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens DOCM files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the DOCM file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using a DOCM File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the DOCM file and I'll see what I can do to help.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.