Microsoft maintains a list of viewer apps for some of its Microsoft Office apps that Windows users may run to read docs if they don’t have Office or another third-party Office solution installed on their Windows system.
These viewer apps were released back when the company switched the default format of the Office apps, and the change was targeted at users who lacked the latest version of Office to offer them an opportunity to view them as well.
Currently, the Internet is full of options to read Office docs, and most of them are available online, and you don’t even have to install them on your system.
Word, Excel and PowerPoint Viewers are being retired
Microsoft already retired the Word Viewer app. The company stated on the Word Viewer download page that downloads are not available anymore and Word Viewer stops receiving security updates.
Microsoft also added some new info on the pages of PowerPoint Viewer and Excel Viewer.
The note from PowerPoint Viewer tells us that the app will be retired in April 2018 and the Excel note says that the app will be retired at a later date in November 2018.
The date difference was a mistake, and it looks like both apps will only be available for download until April 2018.
Alternatives for viewing Office documents
Microsoft also suggested some alternatives to the download pages to offer users some options to continue viewing and printing Office docs:
- On Windows 10: download of Word, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps.
- On iOS and Android: download of the free viewer apps from Apple’s iTunes Store or Google Play.
- Subscription to Office 365.
- OneDrive: Upload the documents to OneDrive, and view the document online afterward using the service.
There are also some third-party solutions available for users and these options for viewing Office documents include the following:
- Online services such as Google Docs, Dropbox or Zoho Docs.
- Free Office programs such as LibreOffice, OpenOffice or FreeOffice.
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