In a small but a super useful tweak, Google has fixed one of the most annoying issues on Google Drive. Google Drive has long supported Word, PowerPoint, Excel documents and all these documents always launch automatically in preview mode and users cannot make any changes to them.
Now, if you double click on a Microsoft Office document, be it .docx, .doc, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx or .xlsm, that’s stored on the Drive, it will open in editing mode in default. To open a file in preview mode, you will have to select the preview option with a right-click from the dropdown menu. Or you can press the ‘P’ key with you double click on the file.
Google explained in its blog post that the only exception to this new rule applies to Office files that are password protected. These will continue to open in preview mode.
In the bigger scheme of things, a change like these seems rather insignificant but it ties in with the wider streamlining of Google’s productivity offering which has recently been renamed to Google Workspace.
This new tweak also improves the interoperability between Google Workspace and Microsoft Office. And this is also evidence of the fact that Google does not look at the two suites – Google Workspace and Microsoft Office as an “either-or proposition”.
Google explained that this makes it easier for users to open and start editing documents and users can edit, comment and collaborate on Office files using the same interface they use for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. The changes will automatically also get saved to the file in its existing Office format and not be changed to a Google alternative.
Thankfully, this feature is going to be available to both business and personal users.