Open Word Document

Open An Existing Word Document

A big part of your document management work will involve creating new Microsoft Word documents. However, not every document you work on will be new; you will undoubtedly need to open existing Word documents, whether they have been created by you or someone else. Opening an existing Word document is easy, and there are several different ways of doing it.

The first method we'll look at is driven by the ribbon: with Word open, click the File tab > Open, and the usual File Open dialogue box that you are probably already familiar with opens.

Opeb an existing Word document

Navigate to where the document is and either double click it or select it with a single click and then click Open. The document will then open in Word for you to edit. Be sure to save any changes you make by clicking ctrl-s. Alternatively, if you want to keep a copy of the original document as it looked before you made any changes, click the File tab > Save As, and then give the document a new name. The newly named document is the one you are now editing and the original document still exists with its original name. This is only one way (albeit a clumsy one!) of keeping track of changes made to a document, and is useful if you think there is a big risk of messing it up.

Another method of opening an existing Word document is to use the keyboard shortcut ctrl-o. You'll find that many keyboard shortcuts work universally across all Microsoft Office products and ctrl-o is one of them. After pressing ctrl-o, the File Open dialogue box that we met above opens. Simply follow the same steps to find and open your document.

The final method that we're going to look at for opening an existing Word document is one that you would use if you were navigating your documents using Windows Explorer. When you find the document you want to work on in Windows Explorer, right click on it > Open With > Microsoft Word. The document will open in Word, as described earlier.