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Gmail simplifies editing and collaborating on Office files sent as email attachment

By Nadeem Sarwar December 10, 2020, 1:37 pm

Google has allowed users to edit Office files for a while now, and even enabled it for Android and iOS (the latter happened just last month) platforms. But so far, users had to import the Office documents into Docs, Sheets or Slides via Google Drive for editing them. Google is trying to make the process slightly easier as part of an update to Google Workspace. Now, when you receive Office documents as an email attachment on Gmail, you can open and edit them with a single click. And depending on the file type of the Office attachment, it will directly open in Docs, Sheets, or Slides. 

url: public://2020/12/image-31.png alt: Office Gmail Google Workspace

What this means is you can now directly open and edit an Office attachment with a single click, just like you would do with a Docs or Sheets file in Gmail. And despite the Office attachments opening in Docs, Sheets or Slides, they will retain their original file format once you are done editing. This feature will be enabled by default for users. 

Additionally, Google is also making it possible to reply directly from within the file itself, rather than sending back the edited Office file by attaching it with a separate email. “Once the file is opened, you’ll have new options to respond to the email thread from the File menu in Docs, Sheets, or Slides,” says Google. The new changes make it way easier to view, edit, and collaborate on Office files sent as email attachments directly in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Office Gmail Google Workspace
The new options to respond to emails from the File menu in Docs, Sheets, or Slides. (Image Credit: Google)

Google has already started the rollout of these new editing features in Gmail and they will appear for eligible users within the next couple of weeks. However, these new capabilities are only available to Google Workspace Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers. In case you’re wondering, Google Workspace is the new name for Google’s suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools earlier known as G Suite. 

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