How to edit Microsoft Office documents stored in Google Drive

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Someone recently asked me how they can edit Microsoft documents that are stored in Google Drive, without having to download them first. Google Drive is great for storing and sharing many different types of files - Google documents, Microsoft documents, images, video, etc. Storing and sharing are one thing, but when it comes to editing Microsoft documents that are stored in Drive, it can get tricky.

One option is to convert your Microsoft documents to Google. Problem solved, right? Not really. Sometimes you need to keep documents in their native Microsoft format. Well, if you are using the download > edit > upload method, there is an easier way. In fact, there’s more than one way to edit them directly from Drive!

Edit with Microsoft Office

Install the Google Drive App and Google Drive will appear as a storage location in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. When you open a file in your Microsoft application, navigate to your Google Drive and open your document (click Open, Browse and select Google Drive).



With the Drive App installed, Save documents directly to your Google Drive by navigating to your Google Drive when you save your document.

Also, when you open Windows Explorer on your computer, you can access your Google Drive files without having to open your browser. This makes it really easy to transfer files between your computer and Google Drive.

For basic edits, just use Chrome

With a free Chrome extension, Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can open Word, Excel and PowerPoint right within your Google Drive.

Install the Chrome extension
  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Go to Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  3. Click Add to Chrome. The Extension installs on your Chrome toolbar.

Using the Chrome extension
  1. Open Google Drive
  2. Navigate to a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document
  3. Double-click on the document
You will notice the editor does not have all the features of editing in Word, Excel or PowerPoint but it allows you to make basic changes to the document without having to download it first. The Chrome extension will appear in the address bar. As you edit, google will continue to automatically save your changes to your original (docx, xlsx, pptx) document.




Mobile Apps for Editing Microsoft Documents

I use my phone to access and edit my Google documents all the time. I can edit Microsoft documents on my phone too, using the following mobile apps (Android or IOS):
  • Google Drive to manage your folders and documents
  • Google Docs to edit Word documents
  • Google Sheets to edit Excel documents
  • Google Slides to edit PowerPoint documents
With the Google Drive App and the Google Chrome extension, it makes it much easier to store, share and edit all of your documents in Google Drive. Please leave your questions or comments below!


2 comments:

  1. Great tips as always. Thanks Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is very, very helpful. Thanks for responding to this need.

    ReplyDelete