Folks. I finally convinced my sister to drop Windows at her small business and go Ubuntu. She complained, though, that she does not want to use Libre Office and is willing to use Microsoft Office instead. I was like, ok, but then...

Then, she asked:
- Libre office is the default, right?
- Right.
- So, if someone gives me a document, by default it will open on Libre Office. Can you make it open on Microsoft Office by default instead?

So, even if I get it working via Wine, can I do what she requested or is it an impossible task?

  • I hope the transition goes well for her! Apr 5, 2012 at 18:21
  • Certain versions of MS Office don't run under WINE, by the way.
    – Thomas Ward
    Jul 24, 2012 at 13:34

5 Answers 5


This should be possible. In the WINE FAQ they address passing argument lists to windows programs via the command-line. Essentially you use the same command-line syntax as Windows but you prefix it with wine

# In Windows
C:\>winword filename

# In Ubuntu
$ wine winword filename

In Ubuntu, there are two files that control the default programs. (source)

  • ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list
  • /usr/share/applications/defaults.list

each of those has the format mime-type=shortcut.desktop so you can just plug in the mime type of a word document and then create a launcher that opens office. The mime types of all the office documents are here


If you install Microsoft Office in wine (and get it working), you can most definately set .doc/.docx files (Office files) in Office. When you have Office installed, you will want to right click on any .doc/.docx file, go to Properties->Open With->Show Other Applications. Select Office, click Set as Default, and you should be good to go. :)


Yes, it is possible. What you have to do is:

  1. Locate any word file.
  2. Right-click on the word file.
  3. Click on properties.
  4. Choose the Open With tab.
  5. Locate Microsoft Word 2010 (depends on the application, if it is .pptx or .ppt open with PowerPoint, if .docx or .doc open with Word so on and so forth)
  6. After locating, click on Set as Default.

Now MS Word will be the Default Application instead of LibreOffice Writer.


The wine emulator does not always work. What I do is I use LibreOffice write or calc the, as I have an outlook account you can use the online version of office in outlook online version to make touch ups.


For installing microsoft word in linux you will have to first install wine by :

sudo apt-get install wine1.4

It is a software that will convert windows binary to linux's binary. In short you will be able to install windows applications in linux.

To open any file with it, type :

wine winword filename

But if you are new to command - line and want to do it the GUI way, then open microsoft office and then open up the file that you want.

To enter commands you will have to open up terminal window.

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