If you think about it, The Cloud is a curious name for something that’s supposed to make life easier. Clouds bring storms. Storms bring problems. However, those grey skies are clearing today, with news Google Docs is finally allowing for Microsoft Office files to be edited inside the web app.
Until now, Google Drive users had been able to read a Word, PowerPoint or Excel document in Google Docs, Slides or Sheets, but making changes required a download to the desktop or converting the file to one Google is friendly with.
The native support for .docx, .xls, and .ppt files will also enable multiple users to collaborate in real time, when working in Google’s Docs, Sheets and Slides.
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G Suite users will get first dibs on the game-changing feature in the next couple of weeks, but Google says regular users are in line for the update too. Google told The Verge, that could happen as soon as this month.
It’ll be great news for this Google Docs stalwarts who have to deal with Office files sent by friends or colleagues, and immediately wipes out the interoperability issues between the two platforms. Here are the file formats Google is now going to welcome:
Word files: .doc, .docx, .dot
Excel files: .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm (macro enabled Excel files), .xlt
Powerpoint files: .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .pot
In a blog post, Google explains: “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.”
The news comes in a week where it was announced Dropbox Business users can now create and collaborate on Google Docs directly from the cloud storage service.
Will the ability to edit your Office documents in Google’s cloud storage platform transform your work in the cloud? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.