Update: Google Docs Viewer is no longer available. The formats are however supported by Google Docs and Gmail integration is also still provided. The main difference is that there is no option to use the viewer without a Google account.
One of the main points of criticisms of Google' online document viewer Google Docs Viewer was that several widely used formats were not supported by it.
Among the unsupported formats were Microsoft Excel files, both .xls and xlsx to be precise, the new PowerPoint format .pptx, Adobe Photoshop .psd files and many lesser used but still popular file formats.
Google on Friday announced that they have added support for 12 new file formats to Google Docs Viewer. Support for all file formats mentioned above have been added plus support for Apple Pages .pages, Adobe Illustrator .ai, Autodesk AutoCad .dxf, Scalable Vector Graphics .svg, Postscript .eps and .ps, TrueType .ttf and XMP Paper Specification .xps.
What does it mean for users of the service? First, all major Microsoft Office 2010 formats are now supported by Google Docs. Supported are both Microsoft Word (doc and docx), Microsoft Excel (xls and xlsx) and Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt and pptx) formats which can now be viewed online.
As usual, support for new formats has an impact on other Google services that make use of the Google Docs Viewer. Google's email service Gmail for instance now offers a View link for those newly supported formats so that they can be viewed directly online without the need for a desktop software that supports the attached formats.
The new file format can also be uploaded and shared directly in Google Docs. Google Docs Viewer is accessible right here. It can be used directly to view a document that is located on the Internet. Just paste the url of the document into the form and click the Generate link button for options to view the document online.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.