Google adds batch-export feature to Docs

People can now use Google Docs to convert multiple files into a choice of document formats in a single batch
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Google Docs now has a batch-export facility, after the software maker added a 'Convert, Zip and Download' feature to its cloud-based office productivity suite.

On Monday, Google said its Docs engineering team had created the feature working alongside the Data Liberation Front, a small team of engineers that the company set up to deal with import and export issues in Google's various online services.

Users can now bundle multiple Google Docs in a choice of formats — including those for Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org and PDFs — then download them as a .zip file, Google Data Liberation engineering manager Brian Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

The new tool lets users export a variety of different file types, such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms, into a single .zip file. For those converting large batches of files, Google Docs offers to send the user an email to let them know when the conversion and packaging is finished, with the email containing a link to the .zip file.

Fitzpatrick said the 'Convert, Zip and Download' feature was the latest stage in Google's ongoing quest to make it possible to transfer personal data into and out of Google's services.

"We've already liberated more than half of our products, and are working hard to address the remaining challenges," Fitzpatrick said.

Google has recently launched a major push, including an advertising campaign, to convince enterprises they should switch to its cloud-based office productivity suite. Recently added features include the ability to share folders, search indexing for publicly shared documents, and in-document language translation.

Microsoft's answer to Google Docs, Office Web Apps, is currently only available as a technical preview to a limited group of testers.

Google batch export

Google Docs now lets users export various file types in one batch
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