Google said that it is adding more Microsoft Office integrations to its Workspace suite to make users more productive. Google Workspace is the name given to what was formerly known as G Suite. Included in the Workspace are tools like Docs, Slides, Gmail, and Sheets.

Recently, Google has increased efforts to be a more attractive place for remote workers, collaborators who need to work together online, and frontline workers. Microsoft positions its Office 365 in the same way that Google is doing with Workspace.

One of the essential capabilities added on Thursday allows users to open and edit Office files directly in a Gmail attachment.

New and improved additions

Google Group Workspace Product Manager, Erika Trautman, wrote in a blog post that when users receive a Word email attachment, they can open it and edit it with one click while still keeping the original Word format.

The user can then respond to the original email thread and include the updated file, straight from Docs. Several unnecessary steps are eliminated when using this method.

A new Macro Conversion add-on can be used to migrate macros (they are rules or patterns specifying how specific inputs have to be mapped to a replacement output from Excel to Sheets).

A vast userbase

Additional updates announced include mixed page orientation support in Microsoft Word and Docs files. Docs will also have support for inserting images behind text and watermarks sometime in 2021.

Previously, Google added native support for Office documents to the Web versions of Docs, Sheets, and Slides in 2019. They then applied this to the mobile versions in September. This December, Google added a new Workspace version, customized for government agencies with flexible pricing, better security, and compliance.

The moves may be working as Google claims to be supporting more than 2.6 billion people in education, enterprise, and other settings.