Google Workspace Extends Office Editing to Attachments

Posted on December 10, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google, Microsoft 365, Office, Office 365 with 3 Comments

In the wake of adding native Microsoft Office editing capabilities to its Workspace services, Google is adding this capability to attachments in Gmail.

“With Office editing, users can also easily edit Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without converting them, with the added benefit of layering on Google Workspace’s enhanced collaborative and assistive features,” Google’s Erika Trautman writes. “Starting today, you can also open Office files for editing directly from a Gmail attachment, further simplifying your workflows.”

Google added native support for Microsoft Office documents to its web-based versions of Docs, Sheets, and Slides back in April 2019. And then it added this capability to its mobile productivity apps this past September. With this change, Google Workspace users can now native edit Microsoft Office documents sent as attachments in email over Gmail as well.

“For example, when you receive a Word document as an email attachment, you can open it and start editing in Docs with a single click while still preserving the Word file format,” Trautman explains. “Then you can respond to the original email thread and include the updated file, right from Docs—saving you time by eliminating steps like downloading the file to edit, or searching for the relevant email to reattach it to.”

Additionally, Google is now adding mixed page orientation support to Docs, allowing customers to create Docs or edit Word files with a mix of landscape and portrait pages. And there’s a new Google Meet add-in for Microsoft Outlook that lets users click a meeting link in an email or calendar to more easily connect with Meet-based meetings.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Google Workspace Extends Office Editing to Attachments”

  1. Chris_Kez

    Sounds good in theory but Google still screws up something in most of my pptx files, and there are huge functionality gaps in Sheets that make it necessary to download xlsx files. Three years into our switch from Office to Google we still only use Google Docs, Slides, Sheets for really basic internal stuff. Anything client-facing is created and edited in Office.

    • RossNWirth

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      I recently joined a company that is the same way... ...which begs the question why? Seems to me would make sense to ditch Google and just use M365, rather than pay for both and have things in multiple places...

      • Chris_Kez

        In reply to RossNWirth:

        Our CTO had some vision about transforming the way we work, moving into the future, being more collaborative, etc., etc. back in 2016. Google also paid to offset our remaining O365 contract. We've kept licenses for Office 2013 apps for people who said they need it; new hires do not get those by default-- they have to request and have manager approval. So maybe there's some savings.

        We just pulled the plug on O365 too soon, because the collaborative stuff has really improved the last four years, and now Teams is way more transformative and modern than anything Google offers. Chat is a joke. The problem was they could never get people off desktop Outlook and local storage. All they had to do was kill that and force people to use Outlook on the web; that would have pushed people to use the cloud for storage and to use the web apps which offered collaboration. We'd be way ahead of where we are now.

        Rarely mentioned is the huge gap between Yammer and Google Currents (nee Google Plus). As a huge global organization we had a great use for Yammer as a bulletin board, and a place to organize larger groups of people around things that didn't fit neatly into project work or business units. Like Chat, Currents is an also-ran that is simply a warmed over version of a failed consumer product being shoe-horned into enterprise.

        BTW, that CTO left a few months into the transition and we're stuck holding the bag.

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