At first glance, the only difference between DOC and DOCX formats seems to be the letter ‘X’. Both of them have been developed to enable users to create various types of electronic documents. Nevertheless, the second one has a number of advantages compared to its older version.
Microsoft Word released the new extension in 2007. The main feature of the new one is that it stores documents separately from each other in a zip folder. It solved the problem of large files which often made it impossible to send docs via email. Due to the new compression files, document sizes have been reduced by almost half.
Another issue that’s been resolved is file corruption. The new extension uses simplified XML coding language for pagination (also known as paging, is the process of dividing a document into discrete pages, either electronic pages or printed pages) which reduces the likelihood of faulty documents. The open nature of the new format makes it possible for full-featured Word processors to read it. Even online tools like Google Docs support this type of file. Making .docx editable online involving several users simultaneously.
For operating systems other Windows, the DOCX can also be opened on Mac OS X devices (2008 and 2010). The out-of-date extension can still be used but users have to be ready for unexpected issues to arise.