Google‘s Workspace tools such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides support Microsoft Office files, allowing for collaborative working across platforms. But with different development teams behind the scenes, and a different Feature set, it’s quite reasonable that some compatibility issues arise at times. Thankfully, Google will warn users of such known issues, so they can be wary of the potential problems they may face before working on the file.
When editing an Office Word file on Google Docs, you will see a blue box next to the file name. The box appears there the entire time you work on it will highlight that it’s a “.DOCX” file, i. e. an Office-formatted file. But if Docs detects any compatibility issue, it will add a warning symbol (a triangle with an exclamation mark inside) to the box.
Hovering the cursor over the box will tell you that the file has compatibility issues. If you click on it, Google will further explain that Docs can’t display some Word features. So if you make changes to the file, those features or formatting will be dropped from it. A “See details” button will let you find more information about the compatibility issue.
As Google explains, you will lose the incompatible features if you continue editing the file. However, if you didn’t check those beforehand and lost some critical formatting, Docs has your back. It will let you undo all the changes and restore to the original version with the click of a button. This “Restore” button is available from the same blue box. You can also quickly check the version history to see changes.
The new Office compatibility warnings are now rolling out to Google Workspace tools
Google started rolling out these warnings on Docs, Sheets, and Slides for compatibility issues with Microsoft Office files this Wednesday, August 10. All users on Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains should receive the new Feature over the next couple of weeks. The company says warnings will be enabled by default and will always appear when editing a Microsoft Office-formatted file with compatibility issues.
These warnings will be available to all Google Workspace customers, legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts. If you happen to regularly open Office files on Google tools, you should get the new Feature soon. Stay tuned for more new features and Google continues to improve its extensive suite of productivity tools.