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How to run Microsoft Word on Linux

Need to get Microsoft Word running on your Linux laptop or desktop for use at work or school? Unsure about how to set it up? Follow along as we demonstrate how to run Microsoft Word on Linux!

Method 1 – Unofficial-webapp-office

For those looking to get going with Microsoft Word on Linux, the best way to go is with the “unofficial-webapp-office” package. It’s a simple web-wrapper that delivers the online versions of Microsoft Office to Linux users.

Currently, Word is on Linux with the help of Snap packages, which is supported by about 75% of Linux operating systems. As a result, getting Microsoft’s famous wordprocessor working is effortless.

To start the installation of Word on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window on the desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow either the Snap or Flatpak instructions outlined below.

Snap installation instructions

The Snap package installation for Word begins by enabling the Snapd runtime. To enable this runtime, use your Linux PC’s package management tool and install the “snapd” package from the software repositories, and enable snapd.socket it with the systemd init system. Alternatively, follow our in-depth guide on how to set up Snapd on your Linux PC.

When the Snapd runtime is enabled on your Linux PC, Snap packages are ready to use. From here, you’ll be able to install Word with the following snap install command below.

sudo snap install unofficial-webapp-office

With the “Unofficial-webapp-office” application installed onto your Linux PC via Snap package, move on to the next section to learn how to use Word on Linux.

Using Word

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to get access to Microsoft Word.

Step 1: Open up the app menu on your Linux desktop by pressing Win on the keyboard. Alternatively, click on the launcher menu button on the panel with the mouse.

Step 2: In the app menu, type in “Word” in the search box to run a search for the Microsoft Word shortcut. Or, find the “Office” section, and click on the “Word” icon.

Step 3: When Word launches on the Linux desktop, you will not be presented with the wordprocessor UI. Instead, you will see a Microsoft “Sign in” page.

Use the UI and log in to your Microsoft account. If you do not have an MS account, click the “Create One” button.

Step 4: Upon logging in to the app, you will see the Microsoft Word UI. From here, click the “New blank document” button to start writing.

Method 2 – Nativefier

While the Snap method for Microsoft Word is effortless, not everyone can run Snap packages. Thankfully, it is possible to create your own Linux Microsoft Word app with the Nativefier tool.

To start the installation, open up a terminal window and get the latest NodeJS working on your Linux computer.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install npm

Debian

su -
apt-get install curl
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_11.x | bash -
apt-get install -y nodejs

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S npm

Fedora

sudo dnf install npm

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install npm

With Nativefier installed, follow the step-by-step instructions to get Microsoft Word working on your Linux PC.

Step 1:  Using the npm command, set up the latest Nativefier. It is required to build Microsoft Word on Linux.

sudo npm -g install nativefier

Step 2: Use the wget tool to download the Microsoft Word icon.

wget https://i.imgur.com/6DO8H9X.png -O icon.png

Step 3: Run the nativefier command to build the Microsoft Word app.

nativefier -p linux -a x64 -i icon.png --disable-context-menu --disable-dev-tools --single-instance --internal-urls ".*" https://www.office.com/launch/word

Step 4: Rename the output folder from “Signintoyouraccount” to “microsoft-word.”

mv ~/Signintoyouraccount-linux-x64/ ~/microsoft-word/

Step 5: Rename the generated MS Word binary from “Signintoyouraccount” to “word.”

cd ~/microsoft-word

mv Signintoyouraccount word

Step 6: Place the files in the /opt directory, and update the permissions of the folder.

sudo mv ~/microsoft-word/ /opt/

sudo chmod 777 -R /opt/microsoft-word/

Step 7: Copy the icon.png file into /opt/microsoft-word/.

cp ~/icon.png /opt/microsoft-word/

Step 8: Create microsoft-word.desktop with the touch command.

touch ~/microsoft-word.desktop

Step 9: From here, you must open up the microsoft-word.desktop file in the Nano text editor. Using the command below, open up the file for editing.

nano -w ~/microsoft-word.desktop

Step 10: Paste the following code below into the Nano text editor. This code will set up a brand new Microsoft Word icon you can use to launch the app from the /opt/microsoft-word/ folder on your Linux PC.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment[en_US]= Access Microsoft Word on Linux.
Exec=/opt/microsoft-word/word
GenericName=Microsoft Word
Name=Microsoft Word
Icon=/opt/microsoft-word/icon.png
Categories=Office
Type=Application

Step 11: Update the file permissions of microsoft-word.desktop, so that it is executable. Changing permissions for this file is critical, or it will not show up in your app menu.

sudo chmod +x ~/microsoft-word.desktop

Step 12: Place the shortcut file in /usr/share/applications/ using the mv command.

sudo mv microsoft-word.desktop /usr/share/applications/

Once the Microsoft Word shortcut file is placed in the /usr/share/applications/ directory, you will be able to launch Microsoft Word from the “Office” section of your app menu on the Linux desktop.

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