Microsoft Word is one of the most powerful, comprehensive and effective word processors on the market. Microsoft Word contains formatting, text, images, etc. used in the process of drafting documents for business, personal, seasonal, and other multitudinous uses. DOCX - Microsoft Word Open XML, in contrast to a regular DOC file, which retains the entire document file in one binary file location, uses an XML (LNK - Windows File Shortcut) format to store the content of the document in separate folders. Open XML stores the document as a collection of distinct files and folders in a compressed package. This is done by using three primary folders, docProps, Word, and _rels, which contain the documents properties, content, and relationships respectively. This way the written content in the document is stored as plain text, while document images are retained as individual image folders.
The LNK - Windows File Shortcut - Open XML format is designed to make the document more accessible and more manageable. It allows you access the file as a collective whole or you can assess each retained folder individually. Open XML is compatible with Word 2007 or later on Windows based PC’s and Word 2008 on Mac OS X. Open XML files can also opened with earlier releases of Microsoft Word releases by using Open XML support.
Note: You can manually access the contents of a DOCX file by renaming the “docx” file to “zip” and then decompressing the file using the unzip software of your choice.