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Google allows editing Office files directly in mail attachments

December 11, 2020

Google is working to facilitate work with Microsoft Office files, as it now allows users to modify attached Office files directly in Gmail, just as it is the case with Google Docs files and Google Sheets spreadsheets.

The Workspace service - previously called G Suite, which includes the Docs service, the Sheets service, the Slides service, the video conferencing service, Meet, and the Calendar service - supports compatibility with Office files from the document service (Word), and spreadsheets The data (Excel), and PowerPoint presentations (PowerPoint), but the documents had to be imported into the cloud storage service (Google Drive) in order to modify them.

Now the new workflow simplifies this process greatly. An office file can now be opened and edited directly with Google Docs by clicking on it, just as it would happen with the original Google Docs. But the new editing functionality does not convert Office files into Docs files, but rather preserves the file's original format.

Gmail will allow users to respond to the original email and include the updated file, while preserving the Office file format, without requiring them to download the file first and then re-attach it.

Google is also working to help ensure that Office files run more smoothly in Google Docs, as the company launched a new addition to the Macro Converter for Google Workspace, designed to help users and organizations import their macros from Excel into Sheets more easily.

Likewise, Google is working to add better document orientation and support for images in Google Docs, allowing documents with pages oriented horizontally and vertically, as well as images placed behind text and watermarks, however the new image features will not be available until next year.