Is using docx will actually helping the community in long term,
Certainly not. See the good answer from
User for more.
In addition, look in your favorite Linux distribution, for
.docx files in the system (outside of e.g.
/home/ or directories used by applications, such as
/var/www/) and supplied by distribution's packages. You could use locate(1) or find(1) (perhaps with grep(1)) to find such files (you probably want them to be under
You'll discover that most Linux distributions don't have any
.docx files, except perhaps as some examples related to free software trying to process such files (e.g. testcases for such software, for example
/usr/share/texmf/doc/fonts/tex-gyre-math/test-word-texgyre_bonum_math.docx on my Debian/Sid, part of
not knowing that docx is open source
docx, as the format output by recent MicroSoft Word, is not open source (it is not exactly OOXML, but OOXML with proprietary extensions). It is still a proprietary format, not an open format. The evil is in the details (that is, the "exceptions" and "additions" mentioned in that other good answer).
And that is precisely why
.docx is practically unused in Debian (and related distributions, like Ubuntu), and probably on most other common Linux distributions.
I'm hoping (probably naively) that MicroSoft will commit patches to e.g. LibreOffice for better support of
.docx by it. Or that the default output format of Word becomes exactly ISO/IEC 29500, i.e. OOXML (without any proprietary extensions). That won't happen soon. See also this about inconsistencies in MicroSoft OOXML. By the way, that OOXML specification is extremely complex, and I guess people need years of work to understand it, and they need even more work to understand how MicroSoft is violating it, and become "bug-compatible" with MicroSoft software.
(I didn't use Word since the previous century, but I heard that MicroSoft Word cannot even be configured to emit exactly according to OOXML standard; please tell me if I am wrong)
When and if that happens, LibreOffice or OpenOffice will soon become fully interoperable with Microsoft Word products. Today, that is not the case (even if they are mostly interoperable in practice; but when you work on the same document with partners having to use Word, these differences hurt a lot).
My belief and opinion is that writing a documentation in
.docx for some new free software is practically a sure method to kill any chance of success of that free software (because that
.docx format will rightly refrain packagers to incorporate my free software in their Linux distribution, and forbid, or discourage, or slow down other free software developers wanting to contribute to "my" new free software).