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Google Workspace on iOS can now edit Microsoft Office files

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Google Workspace has been snapping at the heels of Microsoft Office tools for quite some time now. In their latest update, the company announced that they have made available a feature where users can directly edit MS Office files directly on iOS. The feature was launched for Android users in September. 

So, users of Workspace tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides can directly edit, comment and collaborate on MS Office files on MacBooks, iPads and the iPhones. This would help users streamline the workflow as they would no more be required to convert file types. This was announced by Google on its blog

In the blogpost, Google says that by bringing Office editing on iOS, users would be able to use the collaborative and assistive features of Google Workspace on user's  Microsoft Office files while on an iOS device. The feature was made available on the web last year and to Android devices two months ago.

Now iPhone and iPad users would be able to edit, comment and collaborate on MS Office files using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. In addition, it would allow users to enhance sharing options and controls while reducing the need to download and email file attachments. As mentioned earlier, the need to convert file types would be a thing of the past, with this update. 

The new Office editing capability would replace QuickOffice that had a more limited functionality and collaboration capabilities. However, not everyone has found these changes to Google Workspace to be to their taste. Google improved interoperability of its various productivity services, blurring the lines between each product for a more fluid feel. However, this didn't go well with all customers. 

The feature has been made available to users with personal Google Accounts as well as those using Workspace Essentials, the various Business and Enterprise categories of users and those with the basic G-Suite. Users need to make sure that they have updated their Google Drive version to be able to use these new features. 

How it works?

The Office file types supported by the new feature on Google Workplace on iOS include .doc, .docx, .dot, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlsm, and .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .pot files.

Here is how you can open, add, edit and convert MS Office files on Google Workspace while using it on iOS:

  • Open an Office file in Google Docs, Sheets or Slides by tapping the MS Office file within the Google Productivity app
  • To open and edit a file, simply click Open a file on your iOS device. Thereafter, double tap the word you want to edit or directly click on Edit link on Google Docs. You could use the blue markers to select the text to be edited.
  • Adding an Office file to Google Drive can be doing by opening the Google Drive app, clicking on the plus sign and click on Upload. Find the file to be uploaded and tap on it.
  •  You can convert Office files to Google files by opening the app and clicking on the options menu next to the file that requires to be converted. Click on Save as and then choose Google Docs/ Google Sheets or Google Slides. 

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A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.