Google Drive can store non-Google file types like MS Office files, let you preview them, and let you convert them to an editable Google Doc format. But did you know that now you can edit MS Office files (without converting them to a Google Doc) using the Google Office Editor extension in Google Chrome? Read on…
Google Office Editor
- Download and install the Google Chrome browser (if you don’t already have it).
- Launch the Google Chrome browser. (Make sure you’re not in incognito mode.) Click on this link to access the Google Office Editor Chrome extension in the Chrome store. Click the button to add the extension to your Chrome browser.
- With the extension installed, log into your Google Drive account. (Click to access your Google Drive or Google@UH Drive account.)
- If you’re not already in the “new” Google Drive interface, go to your settings and switch to the new Drive.
- Now that you’re in the new Drive interface, double-click your MS Office file to open it. (If you need to upload a MS Office file, first, click on the “New” button in the left menu to upload your file.)
- The MS Office file should open in Google Docs using the Google Office Editor extension, but now you’ll see a formatting toolbar which indicates you can edit the document.
- Make necessary edits. Google Docs automatically saves your changes as you’ll see at the top of the formatting toolbar. It will say “Saving…” and then say “All changes saved in Drive”.
- Since your MS Office file is in your Google Drive, you can share the file with others (to preview and download) by clicking the blue “Share” button in the top-right area of the doc. However, others shared on it with edit access won’t be able to edit the MS Office file in Google Docs unless they use Google Chrome and have the extension installed too. (Or they can convert the file to a Google version to edit in Google Docs.)
If you right-click on your file listed in Drive, there are a bunch of other things you can do with it such as: share, move to a folder, preview, make a copy, download, etc. (Note: There are icons that indicate the file type. “W” is for a Word doc vs. the blue square icon is for a Google Document. “X” is an Excel file vs. the green square icon is for a Google Sheet, etc.)
- If you wish to download the MS Office file from Drive, go to your Drive, right-click on the file and click on “Download”. Save it to your desired location.
- If you want to just preview the MS Office file and not open it to edit, right-click on the file listed in Drive and click on “Preview”.
- If you want to share and have others edit/collaborate on a MS Office file, it is recommended to convert it to an editable Google version. (You can always download it as a MS Office file type later (see above) if you need it in that format or want to do additional things in MS Office.) To create a Google Doc copy/version of the MS Office file, right-click on the file listed in Drive and click on “Open with” and click on the appropriate Google file type. For instance, if it’s a Word file, open with Google Docs. If it’s a PowerPoint file, open with Google Slides, etc. Doing so will keep your original MS Office file and create a Google-version copy of the file which you can then edit, share, and collaborate on with others.