Alongside several other G Suite announcements today, Google has announced some upgrades for Drive. Starting today, G Suite customers will have better support for Microsoft Office file editing on Docs, Slides, and Sheets along with new betas for Visitor Sharing, Connected Sheets, and more.
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Starting today, Google is making Microsoft Office editing available to all G Suite customers on Google Drive. This feature works in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides and makes the process of working with Office files much easier. After uploading, these files don’t need to be converted to enable features like real-time collaboration.
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 (Bonus: this also makes it possible to tap into G Suite intelligence, like using AI-powered grammar suggestions.). Office editing is generally available today.
Office editing in Google Drive for G Suite is rolling for all customers today but may take a couple of weeks to hit everyone.
Further, Google is opening up beta programs for a few other new features. The first of those is Visitor Sharing. This feature makes it easy for external users to collaborate on documents stored in G Suite even if they don’t have an account. Visitor Sharing uses pincodes to enable viewing, commenting, and even suggesting and implementing edits on Docs, Sheets, and Slides files in Drive. This feature is currently only available in beta.
Visitor sharing in Drive is a simple way for you to invite others to collaborate on files in G Suite using pincodes. Visitors who have the pincode can view, comment, suggest edits, and directly edit Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as other file types like PDFs and Microsoft Office files.
Google is also bringing Connected Sheets to G Suite customers in an upcoming beta release. Available “in the next few months,” this feature enables customers to collaborate on “up to 10 billion rows of BigQuery data” without needing SQL, all from the Sheets interface.
Finally, Google is making it easier to find files stored in Drive with Metadata. Available in beta starting today, this feature allows both G Suite admins and their delegates to create metadata categories and taxonomies to make it easier for G Suite users to find files in search. The company says that this will allow “your organization maintain more granular governance” and minimize the time needed to track down a particular file.
More on G Suite:
- Google revamps Hangouts Chat side panel, mobile homepage w/ People, Rooms, and Bots
- Google adding prominent support button to Gmail, Calendar, and Drive on the web
- Google 2-Step Verification now relies on browsers to guide users with security keys