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This week Google has rolled out a plethora of new Google Docs features. Check them all out here.

First up, Google has made it even easier to create Google documents by creating an individual home page for each app.

You can now start a document, spreadsheet, or presentation by visiting one of the following links:

Edit Microsoft Word, Excel. and Powerpoint files in Chrome and ChromeOS

Until now you could upload Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files to Google Drive, but you could only edit them if you converted them to Google Docs format. Now Google has built in full support for editing Microsoft Office files within Google Documents.

Windows and Mac users just need to install the Office Editing Docs, Sheets, and Slides Chrome extension to enable the feature. The extension is already installed by default for Chromebook users.

File formats supported are:

  • .doc
  • .docx
  • .xls
  • .xlsx
  • .ppt
  • .pptx

Once the extension has been installed, you can edit Office files opened in Gmail and Google Drive in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Files can be saved in their original Office format, or converted to Google’s equivalent file format.

Office editing has also been included in Google’s mobile apps. Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android — iOS support is coming soon — also support full editing of Microsoft documents.

QuickOffice is being retired

Word, Excel, and Powerpoint editing in Google’s mobile apps leaves QuickOffice — the recently acquired Office editing app — redundant. As a result Google will be removing QuickOffice from the Google Play and App Store in the coming weeks.

The ability to natively edit Office files makes Google Docs a true contentder for Microsoft’s productivity suite crown. Could this move see more schools considering Google Apps as a genuine alternative to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint?

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About Author

Profile photo of Karl Rivers

Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

2 Comments

  1. When I open an MS Word document (with a .doc, not .docx extension) in Google Docs, a line of text is often displayed between the bottom edge of one page and the top edge of the next page. The text is from the document but it is misaligned or mis-displayed. Any idea what this distracting weirdness is and how to prevent it?

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