You are here: >


1. In general, a word is a single element of speech that is typically separated by spaces and helps form a sentence. For example, this sentence contains seven words. The English language contains several hundred thousand different words and Computer Hope lists over 14,000 computer related words in its computer dictionary.

2. In computing, a word is a single unit of measurement that is assumed to be a 16-bits in length value. However, it can be any set value, common values included: 16, 18, 24, 32, 36, 40, 48, and 64.

Microsoft Word3. Sometimes called Winword, Word, Microsoft WordPad, or MS Word, Microsoft Word is a word processor that was originally developed by Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie, first released in 1983. It is more appropriate to refer to each of these programs using their full names. However, most people automatically assume that "Word" is Microsoft Word.

Why use a word processor?

Microsoft Word is a word processor that allows you to create a professional looking document, report, letter, and résumé. Unlike a plain text editor, Microsoft Word has features such as text formatting, spell checker, grammar check, fonts, HTML support, image support, advanced page layout features, and more.

Example of Microsoft Word

Below is an overview of a Microsoft Word 2010 document.

Microsoft Word

Where do you find or start Microsoft Word?

If Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office is installed and you are running Microsoft Windows, you can find Microsoft Word in the Start Menu. Keep in mind that new computers do not include Microsoft Word and it must be purchased and installed before it can be run on your computer. If you do not have the money to buy Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office, there are also free word processing programs that can be used in place of Word.

If Microsoft Word is installed on your computer, but is not found in the Start Menu, you can manually run the Microsoft Word executable file.

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Click on or select the C: drive. If Microsoft Office is installed on a drive other than the C: drive, select that drive instead.
  3. Navigate to the Program Files (x86) folder, then the Microsoft Office folder.
  4. In the Microsoft Office folder, if there is a root, open that folder. Then open the OfficeXX folder, where XX is the version of Office (e.g. Office16 for Microsoft Office 2016). If there is no root folder, look for and open a folder having "Office" in the name.
  5. Look for a file named WINWORD.EXE and click or double-click that file to start the Microsoft Word program.

What are the Microsoft Word files?

Early versions of Microsoft Word primarily used the .doc file extension, new versions of word use the .docx file extension. Today, Microsoft Word can open .doc, .docx, .docm, .dotx, .dotm, .dot, .pdf, .xps, .mht, .mhtml, .htm, .txt, .xml, .odt, and .wps files.

Example of a Microsoft Word .doc file

You can download an example of a Microsoft Word .doc document by clicking the Microsoft Word .doc file link.

Also see: Bit, Desktop publishing, Double Word, Editor, Software terms, Synonym, Word count, Word processor, WordPad, WOTD