Google Drive Commenting Now Works With Office, PDF Files

Google just announced a handy new feature that lets you comment on Microsoft Office, PDF, and image files right from Drive.

“When you’re collaborating with an external agency, negotiating a contract with a client or coordinating a sales agreement with a supplier, chances are you’re dealing with multiple file formats,” Google Drive Product Manager Birkan Icacan and Software Engineer Eric Zhang wrote in a Wednesday blog post. “With this update, you can now comment on those files in Drive the way you’re used to in Google Docs.”

So, if a colleague sends you a Microsoft Office file like a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation, for instance, you can open it in Drive and add your feedback via the preview pane without having to switch to another tool or convert the file to a Google format such as a Doc, Sheet, or Slide.

“In the Drive preview pane, comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers and the people you work can reply back, even if they’re not using G Suite,” Icacan and Zhang wrote. Then, when you send it back, your colleague can open it in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and “will see your comment in the file and can reply right from there.”

The same is true for other popular file formats such as PDF documents and image files.

This new feature comes after Google in December ended support for its Drive apps for Mac and PC ahead of a full shutdown on March 12. Google is axing those desktop apps to make way for Backup and Sync (consumers) and Drive File Stream (enterprise). To download Backup and Sync or Drive File Stream, head here.

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