Google Drive Updates: Microsoft Office Plugin & Locking Down Shared Files

by Denise Hazime on July 23, 2015

Two very important updates have arrived for Google Drive; a plugin for Microsoft Office and the ability to lock down printing, downloading and more on shared files.

Google Drive Plugin for Microsoft Office

While the ideal world would be for everyone to take advantage of the apps Google offers which effectively replace everything in the Microsoft Office suite, the reality is that the entire world doesn’t work like that. With the new plugin for Microsoft Office, you can now upload files to Google Drive directly from Word, Excel or PowerPoint, keeping your files accessible from anywhere and on any device.

You can also open your Microsoft Office files that are stored on Google Drive and save changes to Drive when you are done working with them.

Now, your busy team can work on documents from anywhere without needing to email them back and forth, or with the fear that a file will be lost. The only drawback for the moment is that the plugin is only available for Windows users; hopefully Google will release a compatible plugin for those on the Apple ecosystem soon. You can download it here.

How to Secure File Permissions on Google Drive

As a file owner, you can now disable downloading, copying and printing of any of your files on Google Drive for commenters and viewers on files. This not only locks down file security, but forces commenters and reviewers to leave comments on your Google Drive file rather than downloading a copy and sending you their comments without the benefit of a revision history through Google Apps.

To get to the new functionality, open “Sharing” on any Google Doc and click on “Advanced” in the lower right-hand corner. You will then be presented with the following dialogue box:

Check it and hit “Save changes” to disable printing, copying and downloading. Remember that this will only work for commenters and viewers, not for editors. Currently, the feature is only available on Google Drive online, not through mobile apps. However, once access is limited, it will be limited on all platforms.

It is also available for any file stored on Google Drive, not just those created through Google Apps. This is good news for business owners who use Google Drive as a backup measure who want to protect sensitive information. For a full rundown of owner controls over files and folders, including the new measures, please see Google’s support page.

UpCurve Cloud can help you implement Google Apps for Work across your entire ecosystem and install improvements like the Microsoft Office plugin when they come up. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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