If you receive a Microsoft Word document from someone who seems to think that everyone has Word, it can be frustrating. But you have several options to view and even edit the Word document on your Mac without buying anything. You can use Quick Look or Preview to view the file. TextEdit can be used to get access to simple text documents. Pages can open Word documents and most formatting is retained. You can also edit and export back out in Word format. The ultimate solution is to spend the money to get Word from the App Store, though it requires a paid subscription.
It is also possible to purchase Office 2019 for Mac by going to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/d/office-home-student-2019/cfq7ttc0k7c8.
Another option is the free Open Office suite which will even open legacy MS Office docs that are not backward compatible with newer versions of MS Office. Open Office will allow you to then save the doc in a newer format for MS Office or many other formats.
My preferred option is LibreOffice, specifically LibreOffice Vanilla which is free from the Mac App Store. I was also pleased to learn that LibreOffice can open my old ClarisWorks .cwk documents.
The reason I use Word is to keep the headers and footers in documents made in Word.
One more thought: We can use (or create) a free Microsoft account and open the MS-Word document in Word Online.
Lucas: Don't know how far the free account account will get you. You can't edit, I think. Can you export? And is there a time limit?
This topic has encouraged me to update my Mac. Each update takes us further away from Microsoft and, since I’m in several groups that pass Microsoft documents around via email, I’ve been concerened about compatibility issues. Gary, you have reassured me with several options to open Microsoft. Thank you