DOT files are used by Microsoft Word word processor versions 97 to 2003.
Files with DOT extension store document templates. Templates define text formatting and other document elements, including footers or formal headers. DOT templates can be freely edited and customized or created from scratch.
MS Word documents are saved as binary files. DOT files are also saved in binary format. Changing DOC extension to DOT will make Word recognize the file as a template document.
DOT template files were used by the following versions of Microsoft Word:
- Word 97,
- Word 2000,
- Word 2002,
- Word 2003.
Since Word 2006, documents are saved in Open XML format, while template files use DOTX extension. Word 2007 and later have no problem opening DOT files.
The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with DOT files, divided into 4 categories based on operating system on which they are available. DOT files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.
There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening DOT files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with DOT extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.
The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports DOT files installed on the system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Microsoft Word or different compatible program, such as Apache OpenOffice, Microsoft Works, IBM Lotus Symphony. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading Microsoft Word installed is by going to developer’s website (Microsoft Corporation) and downloading the software using provided links.
If you already have Microsoft Word installed on your systems and DOT files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. If you have an older version of Microsoft Word installed, it may not support DOT format. The latest version of Microsoft Word should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.
After installing Microsoft Word (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open DOT files. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.
Change the default application in Windows
Change the default application in Mac OS
You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper DOT file. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.
If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the DOT file hinders attempts to open it. Scan the DOT file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the DOT file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.
If the DOT file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. If the DOT file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.
There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Word Document Template file again.
If the systems has insufficient resources to open DOT files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.
Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Word Document Template file. It may be the case that the DOT files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.
If you have additional information about the DOT file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on DOT file.