3 Best Chrome Extensions to View Office Documents in Your Browser
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If you’re like me, living a Microsoft Office-free life is a good life 4 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office 365 4 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office 365 Microsoft Office 365 offers the perfect integration of a desktop office suite with its web-based counterpart. Can any of its free alternatives compete? We look at four office suites with both offline and online features. Read More . Maybe you’ve strategically designed every aspect of your life so that you never have to spend eight hours a day working on Microsoft Office products. Or you’ve convinced your team members to move to other, better solutions.

But sometimes, it rains even in paradise. You might find that someone important sends you an Microsoft Office document like a PowerPoint presentation 7 Free PowerPoint Alternatives for All Your Presentation Needs 7 Free PowerPoint Alternatives for All Your Presentation Needs Microsoft PowerPoint is a fantastic tool, but you might need a free alternative. We have compiled the best presentation tools, just keep in mind that none of them are as good as the original. Read More or an Excel spreadsheet 5 Courses to Upgrade Your Excel Skills and Save 5 Courses to Upgrade Your Excel Skills and Save If you want to work smarter or even earn a raise, these bundles at MakeUseOf Deals can help Read More in its original format. And you just don’t have the time to teach them about proper PDF sharing etiquette The 7 Best Tools to Present & Share Your PDF Files Online The 7 Best Tools to Present & Share Your PDF Files Online PowerPoint is seen to be boring. Presenting with PDF files can be a quicker and easier alternative. Here are seven selected tools to present & share your PDF files online. Read More .

In times like these, you need a simple, free way to view Office documents (and maybe make a few minor changes). Good news is, you can do all of that without ever leaving your Chrome browser. No need to pollute your Windows or Mac machine with Office installers, or third-party apps. You won’t even need to download files to your hard drive to view them.

What Can You Do?

Using the extensions highlighted below, here’s what you’ll be able to do:

  • Preview Office documents you come across online right in the Chrome browser. No need to download the files.
  • Preview Office documents you receive as attachments.
  • View Office documents that you’ve saved to your PC or Mac storage.
  • Edit local Office documents in Chrome without changing the format or uploading to Google Drive suite.

For Online Documents: Docs Online Viewer

Docs Online Viewer is a Chrome extension that lets you preview a variety of document formats right in the Chrome browser.

Whenever you come across a link to a supported document, you’ll see a little blue cloud document icon next to the link (like in Google search page).

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Click on it and the document will open in a view-only mode right there.

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The classic Office document formats (DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX) are supported. You’ll also find support for CSV, Pages, PDF, RTF and more. Docs Online Viewer actually uses Google’s own document viewer. It just bypasses Google Drive UI and directly shows you the document. You’ll be able to highlight text and copy it. To save a document as a PDF Save Your Gmail Messages as PDFs and Reach Inbox Zero Now Save Your Gmail Messages as PDFs and Reach Inbox Zero Now Whether you need to archive special emails or you just want to make a local backup of your email, this nifty extension makes it easy by saving your emails as PDFs. Read More , use Chrome’s Print feature Google Cloud Print and Alternatives for Printing On-the-Go Google Cloud Print and Alternatives for Printing On-the-Go Google Cloud Print allows you to print from a remote location. Here we also show you several Google Cloud Print, alternatives for your desktop or mobile device. Read More and select Save as PDF.

From the extension’s settings, you can enable the options to open the document in a new tab.

DownloadDocs Online Viewer

For Documents in Gmail: Google Suite

If you’re using Gmail’s web view 6 New Free Gmail Extensions for Chrome You Need to Install 6 New Free Gmail Extensions for Chrome You Need to Install If you use the mighty combination of Google Chrome and Gmail, there are some new browser extensions you need to check out. Read More in Chrome, you don’t need a third party extension to preview Office documents.

When you get an email with an Office document attached, you’ll see a rich preview for it in the bottom of the email (the attachments section).

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Just hover over the box and click where you see the title of the document. You’ll see the preview of the document as an overlay. Click on the menu button and select Open in New Tab to open the document in another tab.

From here, you can also save the document as PDF by clicking the Print button and selecting Save as PDF from the popup.

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If you want to edit the document, click on the Open with… button on the top. Depending on the document format, the related Google app will show up here. For example, if you’re previewing a Word document, you’ll get an option to open in Google Docs. When you do that, the document will open in a new tab.

For Local Documents: Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides

Docs Online Viewer lets you preview documents on the web. Gmail has a built-in preview for Office files. But what about the documents that you’ve downloaded to your PC or Mac?

Previewing or editing them directly in Google Drive’s web interface is surprisingly hard. You have to upload them, they get converted to Google Suite’s format, and then you have to export them back. Thankfully, Google has an extension specifically designed for viewing and editing Office documents offline — without changing the format.

Once you’ve downloaded the Office Editing extension, open a new tab in Chrome, drag the file over to the window, and it will open up. You can end things there; view that Word document and copy the text over if you want.

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You can also go ahead and start editing the document. The page will prompt you to save the document.

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Pick a place, give a name and the document with the changes will be saved.

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The best part is that going forward, all the changes you make will be saved automatically to that file — locally.

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This seems like a small thing, but it’s a great workflow and opens up a whole new world of seamless Office document editing. Here are a couple of upsides:

  1. No need to download and install a third-party app.
  2. No need to import or upload the file to your personal Google account.
  3. Open Office files and edit without messing with the format.

Yes, you’re still using Google’s suite for editing the document which doesn’t have nearly as many features, but as long as you’re doing basic edits, this should be fine.

Download — Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides

For Advanced Scenarios

For basic editing, Google’s Office Editing extension will be enough. But what if you want to edit a complicated Excel sheet without paying for Microsoft Office. The best option right now 8 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives for Mac Users 8 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives for Mac Users Just ditched Windows for a Mac? Here are the best Microsoft Office alternatives. Read More is to download the free LibreOffice suite Is the New LibreOffice a Better Microsoft Office Alternative? Is the New LibreOffice a Better Microsoft Office Alternative? LibreOffice, a long-time contender of Microsoft Office, just received a makeover and important updates. After being held back by niggling bugs over the years, has LibreOffice finally found the winning formula? Read More . Alternatively, give Microsoft Office Online How Dropbox Paper Takes on Google Docs and Office Online How Dropbox Paper Takes on Google Docs and Office Online Dropbox Paper advances Dropbox from a file sharing and cloud storage service to a collaborative document editor. Can it compete with established competitors like Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online? Read More a shot as well.

How long has it been since you gave up the Microsoft Office suite? What does your document workflow look like now? How do you cope with coworkers who still deal in Office documents? Share with us in the comments below.

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