Google Docs adds way to suggest edits to Office files without Office

Google Docs adds way to suggest edits to Office files without Office

Summary: The Google enterprise team posited that this is simply another idea to help businesses work on any file from virtually any device.

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The Google Apps suite is deployed at more than five million businesses, but the internet giant knows better than to ignore the masses of enterprises subscribing to Microsoft Office 365.

Like many other cloud software makers, Google has recognized the value in making its own platform compatible with others to foster productivity. Nevertheless, it looks like Google might have a few tricks in the bag, sidestepping the need for Office altogether.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company introduced a tiny but potentially powerful new feature designed to enable users to edit and share Office files — without Office.

Starting today for the web version, Google Docs users can make Suggested Edits and convert tracked changes to Suggested Edits. (Support on mobile is promised to follow soon.)

Any tracked changes in a .docx file will be automatically carried over to Docs as Suggested Edits. Users can collaborate with other team members in real time once these changes are imported to Google Docs.

Alan Warren, vice president of engineering on the Google Docs team, posited in a blog post on Friday that this is simply another idea to help businesses work on any file from virtually any device.

Technology is changing the way people work, but all that change can cause friction when employees are using different software. That’s why we made it possible to edit Office files directly in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, so you can open and edit those documents in their native format using Office Compatibility Mode. No need to buy additional software or think about how to open your file. The Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps come with Office editing built right in, and with the Chrome extension, you can edit and share files directly from Google Drive or Gmail.

The new features follow up a major upgrade to Google Drive as well as Docs, Sheets and Slides, first unveiled at Google I/O in San Francisco at the end of June.

The refresh made it possible for users to open and edit documents with native format Office Compatibility Mode directly in Android and Chrome browsers.

Image via The Google Enterprise Blog

Topics: Enterprise Software, Apps, Cloud, Google, Google Apps

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15 comments
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  • Who cares

    Who cares, - people use office. Plus they can always edit the docs via office online apps which are free.

    Again, beware of using Google accounts. Google does scan your docs, emails, files so they can serve up advertisement.
    1blogger
    • Use both Docs and Office

      Our company lets us choose whether we use Google Docs or Microsoft Office. We use the free syncdocs.com app to collaborate in real-time between the two.

      The best tool for the job is one you're most familiar with.
      GeeWoz
      • You must work for a nothing company

        No company in their right mind would allow a syncdocs anywhere near their computers and would never use Google Docs for ANYTHING (ever read the TOS of Google Docs??)
        wackoae
        • Have you ever looked at the List that do

          use Google Docs.
          Go call some of them "nothing companies".
          Boothy_p
          • FUD

            Why do you even bother to answer the ravings of a MS plant shill? For years the MS MO has been FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Why would anyone buy a product from a company like that? The makers of "Vista" the makers of Win8. Why?
            bigpicture
          • Didn't work

            The name calling didn't make Google's business model of scanning and selling your information go away.
            Buster Friendly
    • Beware of using Google accounts. Google does scan your docs, emails, etc

      Personal account - yes
      Apps for Business - No (nor education accounts)
      Boothy_p
  • Reminds me of

    Browser based applications remind me of dynamic typed programming language. They get tons of hype for some reason but barely anyone uses them for real work.
    Buster Friendly
  • Serious suggestion to people looking for a job

    DO NOT SUBMIT A RESUME CREATED IN GOOGLE DOCS and saved in MS Office format.

    It is going to come out garbage that only looks OK in Google Docs but looks like text gibberish in MS Office.

    If you don't have access to MS Office, use OpenOffice and submit the resume in PDF format.

    Do not throw away a chance to get an interview .... because most companies will just see your resume and assume you are too lazy to write a resume right. Most HR departments would automatically disqualify candidates if they can't read the resume that was submitted.
    wackoae
    • Serious suggestion to people looking for a job

      DO NOT SUBMIT A RESUME without checking it first carefully in the format it's to be submitted in!

      There you go, much easier!
      Boothy_p
      • 2nd Suggestion

        Always submit a locked PDF version.
        They can look, print, and comment but nothing else.
        rhonin
  • Office users were always the first locked out of Office.

    Yes, I recall the time when everyone got locked out.

    If a minion supplier locked you out they had to fix it but if a rich client did it we all the had to pay the upgrade!
    albionstreet
  • I'd love for google docs to be a real office option

    and I'm certainly appreciative of what they've built considering it's (essentially) a free product. but at the rate they're going I don't see them being able to really catch up to the basics of office needs for professionals for a good decade or so.
    theoilman
    • First step

      First step is they'd have to ditch the browser based thing. It's just the wrong tool for the job.
      Buster Friendly
    • If that's all you want, use Office Online!

      N/T
      Ian Easson