DOT file icon

DOT File Extension

Word Document Template
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    3.2 (8 votes)

What is DOT file?

DOT files are used by Microsoft Word word processor versions 97 to 2003.

What do DOT files contain?

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.

How DOT files store data?

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.

What other extensions are used for document template files?

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.

Programs which support DOT file extension

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.

Updated: 06/23/2022

How to open file with DOT extension?

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.

Step 1. Get the Microsoft Word

Install software to open DOT file 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.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Word to the latest version

Update software that support file extension DOTIf 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.

Step 3. Set the default application to open DOT files to Microsoft Word

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.

Associate software with DOT file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Clicking the DOT with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where Microsoft Word is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open DOT files and clicking OK.
Associate software with DOT file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with DOT extension, select Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with DOT extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Verify that the DOT is not faulty

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.

Check DOT file for viruses
1. The DOT may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

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.

2. Verify that the DOT file’s structure is intact

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.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

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.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Microsoft Word

If the systems has insufficient resources to open DOT files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

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.

Do you want to help?

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.

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