Google Docs Adds Zip Document Export

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 27, 2009
Updated • Mar 16, 2015

Data storage in the cloud offers several advantages over storing data locally. This include access to the data from any system that can connect to the cloud storage and making documents available to other users.

But there are also aspects of cloud computing that are problematic. This includes service outages in which access to the data is not available for a period of time or even termination of services so that data cannot be accessed at all anymore.

Backup solutions are currently the only way to ensure that data can be accessed in these situations.

Google's document hosting service Google Docs was recently upgraded with an option to export selected documents as compressed zip files.

The new solution provides you with options to export one, some or all documents hosted on Google Docs as zip files to a local system so that they can be accessed on it whenever the need arises.

Update: The feature is no longer available on Google Docs directly. You have two options currently to export Google Docs files to a local system. The first is by using Google Takeout to export all Google Drive files, the second to install Google Drive on a local system and sync date between the cloud and that system. Update End

The easiest way to backup all Google Docs documents is to switch to the All Items view in the left sidebar. This displays all documents hosted on Google Docs in list form.

A click on the checkmark button and the selection of "select all visible" from the sub-menu will mark all documents that are currently displayed. Another click on More Actions and the selection of Export will open a new window that looks similar to the one above.

Google Docs users can now convert, zip and download all the selected documents at once. The window lists the number of selected documents and display the conversion options for the different document types. Spreadsheets can for instance be converted to Microsoft Excel, Open Office or Adobe PDF formats before they are downloaded. It seems that the selection of a default document type is mandatory. Documents are then zipped and a download dialog window is displayed in the end. Users with many large documents can make use of the email notification option to be informed when the files are available for download.


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