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Google Workspace

New ways Google Workspace works with tools you already use

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Looking back on 2020, it’s clear that the ways we work have rapidly transformed—from the rise of remote work and increasingly digitized processes, to balancing time across work and personal responsibilities. But one thing hasn’t changed—businesses still rely on a staggering number of applications to get work done. Working from home and the associated pressures on productivity have only emphasized the need for fewer tools that do more, are easy to use from anywhere, and seamlessly integrate with other software.

Google Workspace helps you get more done—with communication and collaboration tools known and loved by billions of users, thoughtfully connected together. And while billions of users choose our apps, we recognize that they also need to effectively collaborate with partners, customers, and even teammates that might use other tools. In particular, we know that many people work with a mix of Google Workspace and Microsoft applications—for example, while migrating to Google Workspace or collaborating with external vendors or clients. That’s why we make it easy for you to use Google Workspace with Microsoft Office and Office 365, helping you collaborate productively from any device with anyone, regardless of what tools you use.

Save time with helpful intelligence and faster workflows in Google Workspace

Creating and collaborating on content is at the heart of getting work done. When working with content received from customers, partners, or teammates, employees shouldn’t lose time converting files or working in unfamiliar tools. 

With Google Drive, you can store and share over 100 different file types and formats, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, as well as PDFs, images, and videos. And by using intelligent features like Priority and Quick Access in Drive, you can find files nearly 50% faster. 

With Office editing, users can also easily edit Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without converting them, with the added benefit of layering on Google Workspace’s enhanced collaborative and assistive features. From assigning action items via comment, to writing faster with Smart Compose, to accelerating data entry with Sheets Smart Fill, Office editing brings Google Workspace functionality to your Office files. And we recently extended Office editing to the Docs, Sheets, and Slides mobile apps as well, so you can easily work on Office files on the go. 

Starting today, you can also open Office files for editing directly from a Gmail attachment, further simplifying your workflows. For example, when you receive a Word document as an email attachment, you can open it and start editing in Docs with a single click while still preserving the Word file format. Then you can respond to the original email thread and include the updated file, right from Docs—saving you time by eliminating steps like downloading the file to edit, or searching for the relevant email to reattach it to.

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We also know it’s important that your Office files look consistent when opened in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, so we continue to support additional formatting options used in Office files. Today, we’re announcing mixed page orientation support in Docs, so you can create Docs or edit Word files with mixed landscape and portrait pages. And next year, we’ll add support for inserting images behind text and watermarks, to give you further flexibility.

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Finally, when it comes to spreadsheets, we know that many organizations maintain both Excel and Sheets, especially when relying heavily on macros that have been built over time to automate processes. In Sheets, it’s easy for anyone to record macros, without having to write any code. And to make it easier for teams to transition from Excel to Sheets or support co-existence of these tools, we have also launched a new Macro Conversion add-on that helps users migrate macros from Excel to Sheets. This way, teams can save time through automation, without having to start from scratch.

Stay connected with others, wherever you are

Business growth is fueled by people connecting and generating ideas together, whether they are working from the same office or dispersed around the globe. Google Workspace makes it easy to schedule time and meet with others, helping you maintain a connection with your collaborators and accomplish more together, from any device, anywhere.  

To make and maintain these connections, people need an easy way to schedule time with others, regardless of which calendaring system they are using. Some organizations run mixed calendaring environments, for example, during a migration to Google Workspace or merger, where one company is not on Google Workspace. To help in such scenarios, the Google Calendar Interop tool makes it easy for people to schedule and book resources regardless of which system they’re on. With Calendar Interop, teams across systems can see each other's free/busy status, event details, and book shared resources, so that they don’t need an endless exchange of chats or emails to land on a time that works for both parties. 

Google Meet is another powerful tool for keeping employees connected, wherever they are. With Meet, it’s easy for teams to connect via secure, enterprise-grade video conferencing from any device—laptop, mobile, or even dial-in via phone. Google Workspace customers can invite anyone to join a Meet call, including people using Outlook who don’t have a Google Account. Or if using Outlook to schedule events, users can easily add Meet video conferencing details using the Google Meet add-in for Microsoft Outlook. With a simple tap of the meeting link in your email or calendar, you can easily connect face-to-face with your collaborators, helping maintain that human connection that drives work forward.

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Be productive from anywhere with custom solutions 

Often, certain tasks and processes require employees to develop custom applications to manage them. Understanding how to code can be a huge barrier for employees faced with this challenge, but Google Cloud’s AppSheet enables anyone to build applications without having to write code. AppSheet is available to all Google Workspace users and has a number of tight integrations that make it easy to build custom apps on top of Google Workspace apps, like Google Sheets.

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AppSheet is designed to work on any device and can connect to your data and spreadsheets, wherever they live. While AppSheet and Google Workspace are tightly integrated, AppSheet also easily connects to O365 data sources such as Excel spreadsheets stored in OneDrive or SharePoint. AppSheet creates a bridge between environments—custom apps and automations can connect to Google Workspace and Microsoft Office apps simultaneously, so that teams and processes split between environments can be managed more seamlessly. Plus, with AppSheet, even Microsoft users can easily incorporate Google's leading AI and machine learning capabilities, like optical character recognition and sentiment analysis, into their apps.

Flexibility is important when it comes to effective collaboration, and we’ll continue to invest in the many ways Google Workspace can work seamlessly with the rest of the tools you use—helping you accomplish more, faster. Visit our learning center for more info on topics like working with Office files in our apps, or check out these helpful switching guides if your organization is currently transitioning from Microsoft Office to Google Workspace.