Using Google Drive for all Office files

Hello! My name is Anders, I've been Office free for three months!

I've completely stopped using the Office applications in favor of Google Drive's Docs, Sheets and Presentations. However, people keep sending me Word and Excel files. You can download those and upload them to Drive and edit them, but it's not a seamless workflow. Sometimes you would just like to open an Office file attached to an email to read it. Shouldn't there be some way to make Google Drive the preferred application for Office files?

Well, there is. The key is a Chrome extension that lets you open Office files in the browser, locally, as they are with no uploads. Bonus feature - it's super simple to convert and upload them as Drive files if you want.

Do this:

  1. Install the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides extension, made by Google.
  2. Right-click any .docx file on you hard drive, and select "Get info".
  3. In the dialog, select "Open with" and "Other". Under the list of applications, select "All application". Then choose "Google Chrome".

4. Finally, press "Change All..."

Now, whenever you double-click a .docx file, it will open in your browser. Once there, you can edit the file and save it back to your harddrive. If you would rather like it to become a Google Doc file in your drive, theres a menu option for that:

Repeat items 2 and 3 above for file types .xlsx, .pptx, .doc, .xls and .ppt and you will be all set for a life without Office.

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