Google announces MS Office file format support for G Suite

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Google’s G Suite includes Sheets, Docs, Slides, Gmail, Google Drive and other web apps. Those apps did not support Microsoft Office file formats.

However, Google has now announced that it will add Microsoft Office file format support (for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) to its G Suite range of web apps.

Google announced G Suite’s new file format support for MS Office at Cloud Next ‘19 developer conference at San Francisco. The G Suite Updates blog has repeated that announcement in a post. That post states:

With Office editing, you can now edit, comment, and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This feature brings the collaboration benefits of G Suite to Office files while streamlining workflows by eliminating the need to convert file types… Office editing will make it easy for G Suite users to open and edit Microsoft Office files that have been shared by partners, vendors or other teams.

The rollout start on April 17

Google has confirmed that the extended rollout of G Suite MS Office compatibility for rapid release domains will begin from April 17, 2019. The rollout for scheduled release domains will start from May 6, 2016.

MS Office file compatibility will extend across all G Suite editions and be enabled by default.

Thus, G Suite will support the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document formats from May. That will enable G Suite users to edit those document formats in Docs, Sheets, and Slides without needing to convert them back to their original MS Office file formats.

G Suite’s newly supported MS Office file formats are:

  • Word: doc, dot, and docx
  • Excel: xlsx, xls, xlt, and xlsm
  • PowerPoint: pptx, pps, pot, and ppt

G Suite apps currently convert the above MS Office documents to editable Google formats when users select to open them with Docs, Slides, or Sheets from Google Drive.

Or users can select a Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor option via Google Drive’s settings to automatically convert uploaded Office documents to editable formats.

After editing the files with Google apps, users need to select Download as and an MS Office file format to convert the edited files back to their original format.

However, users will not need to do that when G Suite supports Microsoft’s file formats.

Thus, the extended Office file support will enhance collaboration between G Suite and Office users.

With G Suite apps compatible with Office files, Google’s cloud computing platform will become a more appealing alternative to the MS Office suite applications.

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