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Google Drive Makes It Easy To Edit Office File Attachments Directly From Within Gmail

December 2, 2014 - Written By David Steele

Microsoft Office is Microsoft’s strongest product. Office is a near-universal language across all sorts of different computers and operating systems. The Office formats, such as .xlsx, .docx, .pptx, may be handled by all manner of applications and services. Microsoft Office is also evolving; Office 365 is a cloud-based way of working with Office documents and offers a lot of functionality for not very much cost. Office’s importance to the industry has escaped Redwood and thankfully, Android has not been ignored. We understand that Microsoft are working on a full office suite for Android, meanwhile the current application has gradually been improved. Recently, Dropbox support has been baked into the application but we are not likely to be seeing Google Drive support any time soon! Together with Office document compatibility, cloud storage and access is also a fundamental part of the industry: Office 365 and OneDrive offer an excellent integrated service much in the same way that Gmail and Drive.

Today, Google raised the game by enabling integrated Office format document editing straight from the Gmail website, leveraging their investment into Quickoffice, which includes the file format conversion code. When you receive an attachment including a supported format (and there are fifteen new file types) you’ll now see a little “edit” symbol over the icon. Tap here to be taken into the appropriate web application, which simplifies the process. Before, we had to save the file into our Google Drive account, then edit it from here. The new file types include PowerPoint Show files (.pps, ppsx), templates and macro-embedded documents. Google have also improved support for charts, images and tables, but we do not know the detail here. I’ll be investigating these improvements in due course!

Day to day, I use the Google Docs format for most of my writing but I cannot escape needing to use Microsoft Office format for certain kinds of work. I greatly appreciate how I can seamlessly convert document formats on the fly using Google Drive but the improvements will make working with some file types and contacts much easier. How about our readers? Do you use Microsoft Office as a universal document format between different computers and cloud storage? Or do you only use Google Doc format these days? Let us know in the comments below.

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