How to Edit Office Documents Directly in GMail

Google is making it even easier to work with Microsoft Office files, with the company now allowing you to directly edit attached Office files in Gmail as well as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. It’s available to all Gmail users, free and paid accounts. No more document conversion hassles, at long last!

Google is making it even easier to work with Microsoft Office files, with the company now allowing you to directly edit attached Office files in Gmail as well as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. It’s available to all Gmail users, free and paid accounts. No more document conversion hassles, at long last!

This is for devices using Google Gmail

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Google Editing Explained

Previously, documents had to be imported into Google Drive in order to edit or modify them; while emailed attachments were only able to be viewed.

The new workflow, however, streamlines that process considerably. Now, you can directly open and edit an Office file using the Google Docs editor just by clicking on it; just like you would a native Google Docs. But the new editing function does not convert Office files into Google Docs, instead preserving the original file format.

Gmail will allow you to respond to the original email and include the now-updated file (still in an Office file format) without first requiring you to download and re-attach the updated file.

This means you can now edit your Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without ever leaving Gmail.

For example, when you receive a Word document as an email attachment, you can open it and start editing in Docs with a single click while still preserving the Word file format.

With the new change, Microsoft Office attachments will have a new “edit” option and when edits are complete, there will be a new option to share the document via email.

Remove a Chrome Extension

First, you must remove an Extension (if installed) from Google Chrome.

  1. Sign into your managed Google Account.
  2. In a Chrome browser, click More.
  3. Scroll down to More tools.
  4. Click Extensions.
  5. Find the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets. & Slides extension and click Remove.

Once you have removed the Extension you can use the Office editing feature.

Directly Edit Office Attachments

Any incoming email with a Microsoft Office document appears in the Inbox list with icons, preview pane, and the name of the document attachment. Refer to below image:

Gmail 1
Accessing the email with attached Office files

Clicking one of those panes opens a pop-up windows with various options. At top right there is a download button; use that to save a copy for opening in Word, Excel or PowerPoint on your computer. Now, click on the Edit icon to edit your file. See below image where we are selecting the Word file to edit:

Gmail 2
Selecting the Edit for a Word file

Hover your mouse over each attachment to see some options:

  • Download – save to your computer
  • Save to Google Drive
  • Edit with Google Docs – opens a new browser window ready to edit.

After Google Editing

Once you have edited the attachment, there are various options for sharing the revised document. Look under the File menu. See following image for the Email option:

Gmail 4
Your Email option

Now, checkout your various options to save the document. Refer to below image for the Download options:

Gmail 5
Your Download options

Google Editing of Office Files

Word docx files can be edited directly with Google Docs, look for the .DOCX icon at top left. See below image:

Gmail 6
Edit a Word document

Excel xlsx files can be edited directly with Google Sheets look for the .XLSX icon at top left. See following image:

Gmail 7
Edit an Excel file

PowerPoint .pptx files can be edited directly with Google Slides, look for the .PPTX icon at top left. Refer to below image:

Gmail 8
Edit a PowerPoint file

Note! There may be compatibility problems between Excel and Sheets or PowerPoint and Slides.

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