Google Drive has received a new update today which is going to make it easier for users who rely on Google Drive to collaborate on projects to use a mix of Microsoft Office and G Suite while going about their work. It now allows users to comment on Microsoft Office, PDF, and image files in the Google Drive Preview Pane without requiring Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat Reader apps and user licenses.
This eliminates the need for buying for apps like Microsoft Office if you don’t use them regularly but need to work on related files once in a blue moon. It also eliminates the need to convert files to Google Docs, Slides or Sheets-compatible files before working on them. Users can comment, assign tasks, mention coworkers and have the people reply back even when they’re not using G Suite.
Bear in mind that this isn’t similar to the real-time commenting feature provided by Office 365 or G Suite, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction as it saves time and lets users get done with their work faster without having to switch between the two.
Comments made in Drive Preview can be exported so that when the underlying file is opened using the local app, the comments made are already present. It’s also possible to edit Microsoft files without converting them fully using the Office Compatibility Mode in Docs, Sheets or Slides.
This isn’t the first time both G Suite and Microsoft Office are playing nice. There’s already a Drive plug-in for Outlook which makes it easier for users to insert files stored in Drive to an Outlook email and save the incoming attachments from Outlook to Drive.