You can now edit Office files directly from Gmail

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What you need to know

  • Google will now let users edit Microsoft Office documents directly from Gmail.
  • The company earlier enabled Office file editing within its Google Docs suite, this feature builds on that earlier improvement.
  • It's rolling out to all Google Workspace users within the next two weeks.

Google now allows users to edit Office files directly from Gmail using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It's a feature that works due to the company's enhanced integration with Office files. As we reported, Google earlier rolled out full Office file support in its own online office suite, and now you're able to reap the fruits with Gmail.

This change shows up as two new features. First, you can now directly open an Office file sent to you as an attachment in its associated Google Workspace app. A Word doc will open in Docs, a PowerPoint in Slides, and so on. It's not like the in-line editing that Microsoft has on, but it's close enough to make the difference irrelevant. Second, you're now able to send a reply back to that email thread directly from the file you're editing.

Here's how that'll look when it rolls out:

Reply With File Gmail Office Docs Sheets Slides

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Google's Workspace team explained:

Previously, users would have to save a file to Drive before being able to use G Suite's Office editing features. With this launch, they can open files more quickly and reply to email threads featuring Office files more easily.

This is just another of Google's moves to bring leverage Gmail as a tool that pulls others into its broader productivity ecosystem. Its entire Workspace rebrand repositioned Gmail as more than just a simple email client. With Chat and Meet just a click away and Office files now being editable from your inbox, Google's probably hoping you won't need to hop into another app for work as long you have a Gmail or Google Workspace account.

This new change is rolling out to Google Workspace users on the Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus plans. It's also coming to G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers. It won't be made available to Google Workspace Essentials and Enterprise Essentials customers. Eligible customers should see it within 15 days, or by the 25th of December.

Michael Allison