Google recently implemented a change on Google Docs that removed download and export options for older Microsoft Office formats. It is not clear why the change has been implemented, but the result is quite problematic. All documents that you have uploaded in doc, ppt or xls formats cannot be downloaded anymore in those formats. The download as option only displays the new Office formats docx, xlsx and pptx, as well as unrelated formats such as pdf or Open Document formats.
Even Google's file synchronization service Google Drive is not synchronizing the original documents with computer system's it is installed on. All you get are links pointing to Google Docs where the documents need to be accessed.
There is however a way left to download those old Office document formats from Google Docs. It may not be pretty, but it is the only option that you have if you want to download the documents in their original format.
Open the document on Google Docs that you want to download in an old Office format. Click on File > Email as attachment afterwards. This opens a small overlay with a form asking you to add at least one recipient. What it also makes available is an attach as pulldown menu that you can use to change the output format that is sent as an attachment. If you select Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint here, the document will be made available in its original format.
What you basically do is send yourself an email with the document attached to it. This not only works for original Microsoft Office documents, but also other document formats that you have uploaded to Google Docs. Some formats on the other hand, like docx documents, it is not working as you can only attach them in their original format.
The workaround can be useful if you need to create a local copy of an Office document that is hosted on Google Docs in its original Office format. You can also attach multiple documents at once to an email. This is done by selecting the documents in the main document listing on Google Drive and then More > Share > Email as attachment. Note that the option is grayed out if you mix formats. (via Technixupdate)
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.