Any Microsoft Office documents that you’ve embedded into Office files that you’re working with inside of Docs, Sheets, or Slides can now be viewed directly by tapping the new ‘eye’con (My term, not Google’s) that appears under them once they’re selected. That’s right, the company heard that you liked Office with your office, so it put more Office in your Office (Click for context that shows my age and lack of taste in memes). This will open them in Drive’s Preview mode, which, by its very nature, does not allow you to make modifications. The whole point is to gain context from relevant files while collaborating with others on the current one.
According to Google, many users have been requesting this feature for some time now, and it’s great to see them respond directly to feedback. To clarify, this update does not mean you can preview Office files directly in Google’s standard Docs, Sheets, or Slides files. Still, many people who engage in this workflow should now have a much easier time working seamlessly together.
Rapid Release domains can look forward to this feature over the next two weeks as it will begin appearing gradually during Google’s popular staged rollouts. Scheduled Release domains will have to wait for two weeks after September 6, 2021. As with many of the company’s latest updates, this will go out to all Workspace tiers, as well as G Suite Basic and G Suite for Business customers. Surprise, surprise, this is also one of the few that is being made available to personal Google Account users!
Here’s to hoping that free users will begin to see more of these inclusions now that they’ve also been upgraded to Workspace. I’m using the entire suite a lot more with my family now that that shift has occurred, so being able to take part in the fun feature bumps with them will be a nice bonus. Let me know in the comments if you’d want to be able to preview Office documents in your standard Google Docs or if you think such a feature is only going to be used by Office converts or hybrid users.