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How to import Microsoft Office files in Google Docs

Web apps don’t really compare to desktop apps when it comes to features. This is because they rely on your browser and its capabilities to work. Even through browsers continue to improve with each version, they still can’t run desktop apps. That said, web apps aren’t useless and are in fact very capable. Google Docs and Google’s entire productivity suite is a good example of this. Google Doc can open most other document file formats for editing. Here’s how you can open Microsoft Office files in Google Docs.

To be clear, you will open a Microsoft Word document in Google Docs, an Excel sheet in Google Sheets, and a PowerPoint presentation in Slides. The formatting, for the most part, will remain as it is though for presentations, you might lose some audio or video files. For Excel files, you may not be able to execute a function if Google Sheets doesn’t support it.

Microsoft Office files in Google Docs

The trick to opening Microsoft office files in Google Docs is in Google Drive. Google Drive allows you to upload any and all types of files. For many files, Google Drive lets you preview them and open them in other web apps, including one of the many Google apps.

Open Google Drive and click the New button on the left. Select File Upload and then select the document, spreadsheet, or presentation that you want to open. Allow it to upload to Google Drive. Once the upload completes, click the file to get a preview.

At the top of the preview window, you will see an Open With option. Click the dropdown next to it and pick the app, in this case Google Docs, to open the file in.

If the file you uploaded was a spreadsheet, you will have to pick Google Sheets from the menu and if it was a presentation, you will have to pick Google Slides.

Once the files import, you will be able to edit them. The files aren’t uploaded as snapshots. The text and images are all directly editable however, they will save as a copy. The original Microsoft Office file will not be changed. Google Docs cannot save the edits to the same file however, once you’ve made all the edits to it that you want, you can save it as a separate DOCX or XLSX or PPTX file from the File menu.

If during the import process, you lose some data, try adding it directly to the document that you have open in Google Docs and then saving it.

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