TextMaker Viewer 2009 contains no editing functionality, but does allow you to open, search, and copy text from a variety of common document formats, including .doc, .docx (Microsoft Office 2007), .rtf, and .odt (Open Document format, used by OpenOffice.org).
"It does what it says on the tin," as the saying goes. We were able to easily open a variety of documents. TextMaker Viewer 2009 has a few useful tools to aid in this, such as auto-stacking windows, view scaling (zoom in on a document, show it in two-page mode, and so on), and a reasonable search feature (no regular expressions, but few business users know about them or are likely to miss them).
In addition, TextMaker Viewer 2009 has a Properties window that gives you word counts and other data for the whole document or a selected section. You'll also find a print feature and an emailer.
Why use TextMaker Viewer 2009? Sometimes, you are sent documents in formats you can't read - Office 2007 when you have 2003 installed, for instance. Some new computers might not have Office installed. Or you might not like Office. (Imagine that!)
Or you might not want to bloat memory firing up Office just to read a memo or manual.
If you've ever received a document file in a format you can't read, Textmaker Viewer 2009 might be for you – just be sure to check the supported formats (most common modern ones, but not a lot of truly ancient formats like Wordstar or Wordperfect) to be sure it will work. It's free, it doesn't take up a lot of disk space, and if it's useful even once, it's worth the download.