Feeds

Google rewrites dot-doc death note

All formats can be uploaded to Google Docs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google’s plan to give old Microsoft Office file formats a quiet bullet behind the woodpile seems to have fallen by the wayside, with Mountain View quietly revising its feature announcement.

Google's original announcement stated:

The following features are intended for release to these domains on October 1st: Docs: Users no longer have the ability to download Google Docs in Office 2003-07 format (.doc, .xls, .ppt).

It was an announcement that had brought a loud and unwelcome reaction from users – and the Google announcement has been quietly laundered. It now reads:

Docs: The built-in exporting feature from Google Docs to Microsoft Office will now allow users to download Google documents as modern Office formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), as opposed to the older formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) that were standard in Office 97-2003. For users who still use Office 97-2003, we recommend installing the free compatibility plugin from Microsoft, which will allow them to open modern Office file types.

Note: The ability to import Office files of any format to Google Docs is still supported and will remain unchanged.

[Emphasis added]

The Reg's antipodean labs tested the new regime today and found it is possible to upload a .doc file to Google Drive. Doing so produces three options:

  • Convert documents, presentations, spreadsheets and drawings to the corresponding Google Docs format
  • Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents
  • Confirm settings before each upload

It is possible to upload a .doc to Google Drive and then download it as a .doc file. But Google Drive allows viewing of documents, not editing, so once you alter and download a file you'll be railroaded back into the modern file formats.

While users that retain the old formats are still criticized for their reluctance to upgrade, the apparent change of heart from Google will come as a relief for anybody with a large library of historical documents in the legacy formats. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.