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Google Drive now directly opens Office files in editing mode on the web

Google’s editing applications can open and edit Microsoft files, with that capability recently coming to Android. When opening Office files from the Drive web client, Google will now directly open them in editing mode. 

Previously, double-clicking would open a preview of the document, from which users could choose whether to open in Office editing mode or download the file.

This new behavior sees Google directly open Office files — .docx, .doc, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm — in the editing mode. Users can still preview by selecting that option in the right-click menu, or “pressing ‘P’ on the keyboard while double-clicking the file.”

This change makes it quicker to open and start editing documents. Users can directly edit, comment, and collaborate on Office files using the familiar interface of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, with changes automatically saved to the file in its existing Office format. 

There are also two exceptions to this default that’s otherwise applied to all users:

  • Password-protected Office files will not open directly in Office editing mode. These files will continue to open in Preview mode. 
  • If the “Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides” Chrome extension is installed, we will redirect to the extension and not to Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This is the same as if you select “Open with” today. 

The sped up Google Drive Office editing is rolling out now, and will take a few weeks to be fully implemented. It’s available for:

Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers and users with personal Google Accounts

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: