Google's office suite has been able to work with Microsoft Office files for a while now, but the company has recently focused on improving the experience. Last month, it started making editing more accessible for Office files stored in Drive, and now it's announcing new features that create even more synergy between Gmail, Drive, and Office files.
In an effort to make it easier to edit Microsoft Office files sent via Gmail, Google is adding a quick shortcut to Gmail that will make it much faster to jump into the editing interface and make changes. Office files in Gmail will get a new edit icon that opens them directly in Docs, Sheets, or Slides with a single click.
Editing Office files from Gmail will require but a single click.
In addition to the new shortcut, Google will remember when a file came attached to an email. In Office editing mode, a new section called Email will appear in the File dropdown menu. After you've finished making changes to the document, you can use new options to reply to the original email with the updated file, or compose a fresh email with the file attached. You can also use it to quickly revisit the original email message, too.
This new Email menu will start to appear when editing Office files attached to a Gmail message.
The new Office editing features are rolling out starting today, but may take a week or two to show up for eligible accounts. Google says that Workspace Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus will receive the upgrade, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers. Hopefully it makes it to plain ol' everyday Google accounts before long, too.