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How to Use Google Workspace to Open Microsoft Office Files

Whether you’re using Google Workspace for personal or business, there may be times when inevitably, you need to work with Microsoft Office files. Your clients might send you a Microsoft Office Word document or you might have to use old files from before you started using Google Workspace. Either way, Google Workspace gives you an easy way to open, edit, and work with Microsoft Office files. We’ll be showing you how to use Google Workspace to open and edit Microsoft Office files without having to convert them.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is Google’s set of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools. Google Workspace features communication apps like Gmail and Google Chat; collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Google Keep; storage synchronization, and more.

Opening Microsoft Office files in Google Drive

Any file type or document can be stored in Google Drive, this includes Microsoft Office files like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files. 

Double-clicking the Microsoft Office file would open it, with the help of an extension called Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides. You’ll be able to edit your Microsoft Office file while retaining its original format. This means that it is possible for you to keep working on your Microsoft Office files without having to convert them to Google format.

Onsite Helper docx

Another way to open your Microsoft Office files in Google Workspace:

  • Right-click your Microsoft Office file and click ‘Preview’. On the Preview, click ‘Open with Google Docs’ or whichever is applicable.
Open with Google Docs
  • Right-click your Microsoft Office file, then hover on ‘Open With’, and select ‘Google Docs’ or whichever is applicable.
Open with Google Docs

You can make any changes you want, save them, and send them to someone else. You or the receiver of your file would be able to open and edit the document again using Microsoft Office without any compatibility problems.

Note: Compatibility issues wouldn’t arise only for simple documents. For Excel and PowerPoint, some functionalities might not work if you make changes in Google Drive.

Some features on your PowerPoint might not be displayed using Slides and some formulas that you use in Excel might not work in Sheets due to syntax differences. Despite these, Google will still give you a warning before you can make any changes to your file. At the same time, Google will also try to replace the features with ones that are compatible with them.

Google Slides can't display some features of this PowerPoint presentation

Restore previous versions on Google Workspace

Should you wish to view the full history of the Microsoft Office file or restore the file from any of the previous versions listed on Google Workspace, you can do so by checking the Version History

Open the version history

Converting Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace format

Converting Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace format is as easy as 1-2-3.

To convert your Microsoft Office files in Google Drive to Google format:

  1. Open your Microsoft Office file in Google Drive using any of the methods shown above.
  2. Go to ‘File’ and click ‘Save as Google Docs’.
Save as Google Docs

 3. Wait for the conversion to finish.

After the conversion, a version of your Microsoft Office file that has been successfully converted to the Google format will automatically open in a new tab.

Onsite Helper - Google Docs

Why Convert your Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace?

One of the biggest benefits of converting your Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace is that it makes file sharing and collaboration a lot easier. Google Workspace itself was built as a collaboration-focused solution from top to bottom.

The interface of Google Workspace is very clean and intuitive. Its seamless cloud integration makes it an ideal choice for businesses that use multiple devices with varying operating systems.

Another great benefit of opening Microsoft office files in Google Drive is it prevents you from installing Viruses or Ransomware. This is a common exploit when opening Microsoft Office files on your locally installed Microsoft office software especially if you have macros enabled. In fact, the Australian government’s Essential 8 Security Recommendations highlight the importance of Microsoft Office macro settings and patching software, both of which you can reduce by operating your document processing in the browser.

Another benefit: as mentioned above, you can reduce your security risk by not using locally installed Microsoft office software. This means you can reduce your cost as well. Microsoft 365 Apps for business has a cost of $12 per user per month.

While you’re here

Onsite Helper can help you set up or migrate to Google Workspace.

Contact us today to find out more about how Google Workspace can help you scale your business and how we can help you with the migration.

We are based in Australia but we provide these services worldwide. You can find out more about our IT services here.

Opening Microsoft Office files from Gmail

If you receive an email from your friends or colleagues and they aren’t using Google Workspace, there’s no need to worry. You can still easily open and edit the files that they sent using Google Drive. What’s more, you can easily email back an updated copy of the same file to them, giving you a very fast, efficient, and seamless workflow with your friends or colleagues.

How can you easily open and edit Microsoft Office files from your Gmail?

  • If you click on the Microsoft Office file sent to you, a preview of its content will be displayed. On top of the preview, click on ‘Open with Google Sheets’ or whichever is applicable to you.
Open with Google Sheets

If you want to immediately convert and edit the Microsoft Office file to Google format, you can:

  • Hover your mouse over the file and click the ‘Edit with Google Sheets’ or whichever is applicable to you.
Edit with Google Sheets

How to easily send the updated file back to the original sender?

  • Click ‘File, hover on ‘Email’, and then click ‘Reply with this file’.
  • You can also choose to compose a new message with the same file attached, by clicking ‘Email this file’ instead.
Google Sheets - Reply with this file

Need more help?

If you want to know more about Google Workspace and how it can help you and your business, Onsite Helper can help you.

Onsite Helper is an IT service provider based in Australia that helps businesses all over the world. 

Need IT specialists? Want to migrate to Google Workspace? Interested in knowing about our Managed IT services? Feel free to contact us.

If you want to know why you should set up Google Drive for your business, you can watch this video.

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