Google has announced that it is making working with Microsoft Office files sent over an email even easier for Gmail users. People can now view, edit, and collaborate on the attached Microsoft Office documents in Gmail easily. The company has said that Office files sent and received in Gmail can now be edited in Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly with just a single click. As per Google, users will now see a new edit icon that they can click on to open the document directly in Docs, Sheets, or Slides — all without losing the original format.
Previously, Gmail let users only view the emailed attachments and not edit them. To edit or modify them, users had to import those documents into Google Drive first. This is identical to opening a native Office file, but this time without converting them into Google Docs, preserving the original file format instead.
New Editing Feature and Roll-out Details
The new editing ability for Office documents coming to Gmail is also bringing a few other features along with it. One of them is the ability to reply to the email from within the file. What this means is that Gmail will now allow its users to respond to the original email from the document itself. They can do so using the new options from the File menu in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This will allow you to reply to the original email and include the now-updated document without even re-uploading the file.
Note that there is no admin control for this feature, and end-users will have this feature turned ON by default. Available to all Google Workspace users, except Workplace Essentials and Enterprise Essentials customers, the new feature has already started rolling out for both Rapid and Scheduled Release domains from December 10. However, it may take up to 15 days for this feature to be visible for all users.