In a new update, Google Drive is letting users leave feedback on uploaded Microsoft Office files, PDFs, and images without needing to convert them into a Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This change is aimed at increasing Drive’s interoperability with the multitude of file types in use.

This new functionality lives within the Drive preview pane. In addition to being able to view other document types, users can now take action on Office, PDF, or image files as if they were native Google Drive formats.

In the Drive preview pane, comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers and the people you work can reply back, even if they’re not using G Suite. Let’s say your coworker opens a file on her Windows laptop using MS Word, she will see your comment in the file and can reply right from there.

This takes away the tedious step of converting a third-party document into a Google Drive file. As part of this increased interoperability between G Suite and Office products, Drive users can now make inline (anchored) comments in PDFs, images, and Office file formats.

This new feature also supports importing and exporting comments to the underlying file for certain OOXML file formats such as MS Office file formats(.docx, .xlsx, .pptx) and PDF files. This means that existing comments available in those file formats will be imported and displayed in Drive Preview. Additionally, comments made in Drive Preview will be exported to the underlying file so that when you open up the file using the local client application, you will be able to see the comments made in Drive Preview.

These new preview capabilities are rolling out in the coming weeks.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: