Google announced today that it’s releasing a new Chrome extension called Application Launcher for Drive that allows users to open files directly from its Google Drive service in compatible apps on a Mac or PC. The extension adds an “Open With” option that will let users launch files in apps like, for example, Mac OS X’s Preview app or third-party editing apps like those from Adobe and Microsoft.

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…a new extension for Chrome that lets you open files from Google Drive directly into a compatible application installed on your computer. This includes apps like advanced image and video editing software, accounting and tax programs, or 3D animation and design tools. So, no matter what you keep in Drive, using the web to access and manage files doesn’t mean you’re limited to using applications that only work in your browser…  For example, you can choose to open a PDF file with Adobe Reader, or a .psd with Photoshop, make your edits and save back changes to Drive which will sync across all your devices and other collaborators.

Users can enable the feature by installing the new Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store and making sure files are synced using the latest version of the Drive app for Mac or PC. You’ll then be able to see compatible apps by right-clicking files and selecting “Open With” in Drive (as pictured above).

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