.DOT File Extension

Microsoft Word Document Template (Legacy)

Developer Microsoft
3.7  |  75 Votes
NEW: Open your .DOT file online with File Helper.View Online

What is a DOT file?

A DOT file is a template created by Microsoft Word, a word processing application and may be opened by various word processors. It contains pre-formatted document settings, such as headers, footers, margins, font sizes, and other common page styles. DOT files are used to create multiple documents that have similar formatting, such as company letterheads, business memos, or envelopes.

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Screenshot of a .dot file in Microsoft Word 365
DOT file open in Microsoft Word 365

Some templates are included with Microsoft Word that allow you to create a document such as a resume, cover letter, newsletter, or business plan, with the formatting already in place. You can also create your own templates with custom page layout, fonts, and styles.

DOT files were replaced by .DOTX files with the release of Microsoft Office 2007. DOTX files are saved in the newer Open XML-based Word document format and can be opened in Microsoft Word 2007 or previous versions of Word with Open XML component support.

Common DOT Filenames

Normal.dot - Default template used for creating new documents in Microsoft Word. It is the template that is opened when users open Word.

How to open a DOT file

You can open DOT files with Microsoft Word in Windows and macOS. The word processor is also available for Android and iOS devices, but only the iOS version supports DOT files.

Other word processors can also open DOT files but they may not fully support the formatting of the original templates. Some examples include Apache OpenOffice Writer (multiplatform), Kingsoft Writer (multiplatform), and Apple Pages (Mac). If you are a Mac user simply looking to view a DOT file, you can use Apple Preview, which comes bundled with macOS.

You can also upload DOT files to Google Docs, which is a free web and mobile (Android and iOS) application that allows you to view, edit, save, and convert the document.

How to convert a DOT file

Various word processing applications, including Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer, and Apple Pages, can convert DOT files to other formats.

For example, in the Windows and Mac versions of Microsoft Word, select File → Save As to convert DOT files to one of the following formats:

  • .DOCX - Microsoft Word Document
  • .DOC - Microsoft Word Document (Legacy)
  • .DOTX - Microsoft Word Template
  • .ODT - OpenDocument Text Document
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .RTF - Rich Text Format
  • .TXT - Plain Text
  • .HTM, .HTML - HTML Webpage
  • .XML - Extensible Markup Language
  • .MHT, .MHTML - MIME HTML Archive
  • .XPS - XML Paper Specification (Windows only)

Programs that open DOT files

Graphviz Graph File

Developer AT&T
3.9  |  17 Votes

Mathematical graph created using the DOT language, which allows the specification of undirected and directed graphs; saved in a plain text format and contains the definitions of nodes and edges that make up the graph; used for visualizing relationships between entities.

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NOTE: Graphviz graphs now use the .GV extension. The ".dot" extension was deprecated so that no conflict would exist between Graphviz graph files and Microsoft Word document templates, which also use the ".dot" extension.

Programs that open DOT files


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