If you are using a web mail service such as Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo Mail, you have probably come up with your own way on how to deal with email attachments.
Most users are probably downloading them to their computer so that they can open them after the download has finished.
Some email services have begun to add viewing options for select file types, pdf documents, Excel spreadsheets and images directly to their applications to improve the usability for the user.
While that is great for taking a quick look or even printing documents right away, it does not really take care of the distribution issue.
Some users may prefer to keep the attachments on Gmail, as they have access to an Internet connection wherever they go. Others may prefer to download the attachments to the local system, for safe keeping and offline access.
Google announced yesterday that it has improved the integration of Google Drive, the company's file synchronization and document managing platform, in Gmail.
The core change here is that you can now view and save attachments directly to Google Drive, without ever leaving Gmail in the process.
Viewing is only available for supported file types, while saving is available for all of them.
Depending on the type of attachment, up to three options are available on how to deal with them:
About the error to preview files: If the attachment is displaying contents, then the preview will work fine on Gmail. If it is displaying a generic image instead, then it won't work and you will run into the "sorry" error message. The screenshot above shows a generic image, while the screenshot below shows how attachments look like that you can preview on Gmail.
If you have received multiple attachments in an email, you can use the buttons on the top right to download them all to the computer, or save them all to Google Drive.
Benefits of Google Drive
There are not any disadvantages, as you can still download the files to your local system just like before.
The new integration is currently being rolled out, which means that it may not be enabled for your Gmail account yet.
The new feature set is definitely useful for Gmail users who prefer to use the web client instead of a desktop email program. What's your take on the new integration? Let me know in the comment section below.
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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.