Did you ever want a simpler way to open Drive documents from MS Office? or upload a recently edited document into Drive? With the release of the new plugin, we can directly open, edit and save Drive documents with MS Office apps like Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
Though we always had the ability to open files from local Drive folder, the new plugin will integrate Drive directly inside the Office apps. Once installed, you can find the option to open online Drive documents in the File menu just like the local files.
How to Integrate Google Drive with Office
To integrate Drive into Office, first you will have to download the official Drive plugin from here.
Install the plugin and then open any office application (Word, PowerPoint or Excel). You will be asked to sign-in as a one-time activity to access your Drive folder. Once, logged-in, you can use the Drive files from the Files > Open menu or from the Google Drive ribbon tab as shown in the below picture.
For now, the plugin does not allow either switching accounts on the fly or sharing and setting file permissions right from the Office app. If you want to switch your Drive account, jump into the plugin settings to sign-out and then sign-in again with another account. You will have to go to the web interface to share and set file permissions.
Overall the plugin is not full-fledged, but nonetheless useful if you happen to open and edit a lot of Drive documents. If you already have Drive installed, then the plugin might not be of much benefit to you. [Download Plugin]
Troubleshooting: If you do not find Drive options inside the Office application, then you will have to manually enable the plugin. Go to File > Options and Add-ins tab. Select “COM add-ins” from Manage options and click Go button. Now, enable the DriveForOffice add-in and click OK. Restart the application to see Drive options inside the Office program.
Interestingly, Google is being very careful with their wordings in the announcement. They quote it as their “Open Approach” without referring to usefulness or popularity of Microsoft Office. It is an option Google believes and at the same time hoping to win some Office users.