In a post on the official Drive Google+ account, Google today announced that Gmail web users can now easily open and edit Microsoft Office attachments. Google previously introduced the ability to edit Office files in Drive, but today’s update makes the process considerably easier for Gmail users. Now when a user receives a Microsoft Office file in an attachment, they can simply click the “edit with Google Docs” pencil icon to instantly open and edit the file.
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Google says that it has added this functionality for several Microsoft Office file formats, including PowerPoint files and Excel files. When these documents are attached to an email, they will open in Google Sheets or Google Slides.
Google touts that being able to open these files from directly within Gmail streamlines the editing process by maintaining revision history, offering offline access, and giving users only one file to track.
In addition to the Gmail improvements, Google also today added support for 15 new Office formats to Google Drive, further improving the compatibility between the two platforms.
With just one click on the new edit icon in Gmail attachments, you can automatically convert Office documents — giving you the additional benefits of a single document to keep track of, access from anywhere (even offline!), and revision history.
And while we’re on the topic of conversion, you can now import 15 new Office formats — including presentation show files (pps, ppsx), macro-enabled files, and template files — all with improved charts, images, and tables support!