Google’s office suite (aka Workspace), consisting of Google Docs, along with other tools like Sheets and Slides, is very capable. It lets you access files on the go and offers powerful collaborative editing options if you’re working on a document with multiple people. Many use it as a substitute for Microsoft Office, and well, Microsoft’s tools still offer some advantages. Today, Google is eliminating at least one of them, with a new workspace modification that greatly expands offline editing capabilities.
Google is rolling out a change that lets you edit and comment on Office files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, all offline.
As of 2019, Google’s suite of document editing tools has the ability to edit both Office documents and offline workspace filesbut for some reason this feature wasn’t available for documents opened in Office editing mode, so if you had offline Office documents on your hard drive and you were offline, you better get them edit in Word/Excel/PowerPoint if you needed to make any changes.
Now this is no longer necessary, you can edit, comment and collaborate in Office document on Docs/Sheets/Slides while offline. The files will all be saved locally and synced to the Google Drive version as soon as your device is back online.
The fact that offline editing, a feature that’s been around for years, wasn’t available for Office files seems like a weird oversight, but it’s good to see Google fixing that mistake. Unless you need Microsoft Office for some other reason, if you have the office app Google Driveyou can replace Office with Google Workspace in most cases, as long as you have a browser.
You can expect to see offline editing appear for these files starting today, but it could take a few days for everyone to benefit.