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Google Docs adding more Word features as Gmail gets streamlined Office attachment editing

Google is rolling out new features across Docs and other Workspace apps to increase interoperability with Word and the Microsoft Office suite. It comes as some teams might choose to use both sets of tools, while others still work with partners that don’t use cloud offerings.

And while billions of users choose our apps, we recognize that they also need to effectively collaborate with partners, customers, and even teammates that might use other tools. In particular, we know that many people work with a mix of Google Workspace and Microsoft applications—for example, while migrating to Google Workspace or collaborating with external vendors or clients.

The first capability, which is rolling out now, lets you directly open and edit Office files from Gmail attachments. This end-to-end experience lets users avoid having to manually download and upload documents.

For example, when you receive a Word document as an email attachment, you can open it and start editing in Docs with a single click while still preserving the Word file format. Then you can respond to the original email thread and include the updated file, right from Docs

Besides cross-service integration, Google’s big pitch over Office is that its tools offer various ML-backed features like Smart Compose in Docs and Smart Fill for Sheets.

Speaking of Docs, Google is adding Words’ mixed page orientation support so that a document can alternate between portrait and landscape pages. Next year, the app will support watermarks and inserting images behind text. These added formatting options aim to further boost interoperability.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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