Working with Microsoft Office (opens in new tab) files in Google Docs (opens in new tab) is about to get a whole lot easier as Google has announced that it will soon add native support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint to its online word processor.
Up until now, you could view files from Microsoft in Google Docs but had to convert them to Google's format before you would be able to edit, comment or collaborate on them inside its web app.
The new feature is rolling out to G Suite users in the next couple of weeks though the company has revealed that regular users will also be receiving the feature as well.
In terms of supported file types, Google Docs will support .doc,.docx, and .dot files in Word, .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm and .xlt files in Excel and .ppt, .pptx, .pps and .pot files in PowerPoint.
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Microsoft Office support
Vice President of Product Management for G Suite, David Thacker explained how the new functionality will work in a blog post (opens in new tab), saying:
“People work with all sorts of tools to get work done, which is why we’re making it possible to collaborate in real-time in Microsoft Office, just like you do in G Suite. With Office editing in Docs, Sheets and Slides, you can work on Office files straight from G Suite without having to worry about converting file types—helpful if you interact with external clients, or even internal teams, who use Office.”
Thacker also pointed out how users will be able to leverage G Suite's intelligence, for example using AI-powered grammar suggestions, when editing Microsoft Office files in Docs.
The news that Google will allow users to work with Microsoft Office files in Docs as well as its recent announcement that Dropbox Business users will be able to edit Docs, Sheets and Slides shows that the company is ready to make its online office suite more open.
Via The Verge (opens in new tab)