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A dozen new formats for the Google docs viewer

21 February 2011 by J.M.

The file viewer Google docs viewer is able to display numerous new document types in your browser, among them Adobe Photoshop- and Illustrator files.

You are confronted with the Google docs viewer when you use Gmail – when opening e-mail attachments that the browser cannot display on its own. With the update, the web application can now display twelve new file types, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xls and .xlsx) as well as PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 presentations (.pptx).

Apple Pages files can be rendered in your browser as well. Other new supported file formats are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Postscript and true type fonts. The list is completed with Autocad files (.dxf) and Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg).


The rendering is quite faithful. However, some browsers cannot directly copy selected texts to your clipboard. With Google Chrome and Firefox, this works using the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut. The viewer itself is limited to correct rendering; you cannot edit the files.

Google docs viewer is available outside of Gmail as well, at docs.google.com/viewer. To view files with it, they must be available on the web (callable with http or https).

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