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Chrome’s ability to tackle most common formats out of the box is pretty much still unrivaled in the browser world. In addition to having its own, integral version of Flash and WebGL rendering, the browser can also open, view and print .PDFs from a tab. Hot on the heels of such useful features is Chrome Office Viewer, a step forward for users of Microsoft Office files who also use the Chrome browser.
The Chrome extension allows users to open a large range of Office files from within their browser, just like a PDF. Once opened, the contents of the file can be viewed and printed if need be, before deciding whether or not to open the file locally to make modifications. This isn’t a document editor, solely a viewer, so you will still need a copy of Office (or similar) in order to make changes. Supported file formats are: .DOC, .DOCX, .XLS, .XLSX, .PPT and .PPTX.
Note: It would appear that the plugin only works on certain computers, with this writer’s Mac (and the latest Chrome stable build) not being supported. This would point to either a reliance on Office itself, or the Windows version of Chrome solely. The software is also still in the beta phase of development and therefore may behave oddly at times, something to remember if you’re thinking of relying on this plugin.
- Preview Office documents from Word, Excel and PowerPoint in a tab in the Chrome browser.
- View and print without opening desktop software.
- Works identically to Chrome’s in-built PDF viewer.
Check out Chrome Office Viewer @ Chrome Web Store