How to Convert Office Files to Google Docs on Your Chromebook

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Its Web-based operating system means your Chromebook doesn’t support Windows (or Mac) software. That includes the non-Android versions of Office programs such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint, which is a major hurdle for those hoping to use these budget-based systems for productivity or business. Luckily Google Drive can convert uploaded Office files for easy editing on your Chromebook -- and, later, in the cloud. Here’s how to set it up.

1. Open Chrome.

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2. Enter "https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive" in the navigation bar and hit enter.2

3. Click the Settings icon.3

4. Select Settings.4

5. Check the box next to “Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format,”  and click Done.

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Now when you upload a Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, the files will automatically be converted into Google Doc format. Here’s a list of the supported file types:
Google Docs: .doc, .docx, .html, .txt, and .rtf.
Google Sheets: .xls. .slsx, .ods, .csv, .tsv, .txt, and .tab
Google Slides: .ppt, .pps, and .pptx 

How to Upload Office Documents 

6. In Google Drive, click the New button atop the left-side menu.
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7. Select File upload.7

8. Select the files you want to upload to Google Drive from the Chromebook's local drive. Hold command to select a second file.89. Click Open. 9

The files upload in a pop-up drawer where you can track their progress from "Uploading" to "Converted".screenshot 2018 01 30 at 7.25.02 am
After conversion, the files appear as either a Google Doc, Slide, or Sheet file under My Drive.
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Chromebook Tips

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11 comments
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  • Cama Mcrae Says:

    Thanks so much. I tried four articles before I found yours. None of the others worked. So, THANK YOU.

  • Kuran Says:

    Thanks this was very helpful! Even 3 years later, cause I didn't know that option existed to convert! However It seems as though google has issues with conversions for large files, I had errors everytime for a file that is 300MB

  • Susan Says:

    I followed your steps to convert an .xls file I downloaded from Verizon. I got the message "This file could not be imported because it has been corrupted." I have tried downloading the file again, but I keep getting the same message.

  • Jeff Says:

    Tried this on my Samsung Chromebook and starts upload then it says this uploaded file could not be imported. Any suggestions?

  • Joy Odozi Says:

    so helpful, God bless you.. Chrome book just gets better...

  • Chris Says:

    I just uploaded and converted a few Word documents and when I opened them up after they were converted, they were all just blank pages. How do I convert my Word documents into gdoc format without losing their content?

  • Leo Says:

    Good advice. Typically, I have installed apps to Chrome browser, which allow me to open different files in cloud. For instance, rollApp is good for Chrome and there are quite few more apps. The problem with your approach is limitation of cloud storage (Google Drive). That's difficult to overcome when you are active user of different clouds.

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