Converting a Word Document to Docs Format

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2013)

1

The most popular word processing software in the world is Microsoft Word. Lots of people are making the switch to Google Docs, however, so that they can take advantage of the unique tools it provides. Even if the switch isn't an outright abandonment of Word, many people have added Docs to their arsenal of tools they use on their computer.

This means that, at some point, you might have a need to get an existing Word document into Docs. Fortunately, this is rather easy to do:

  1. Log into Google Drive (drive.google.com).
  2. Click the Upload button. (It is a red button just to the right of the Create button. It has an upward-pointing arrow on it.)
  3. Choose Files from the resulting options. Drive displays what looks like a standard Open dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Choosing files to convert.

  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the file or files you want to convert. (You can choose multiple files by holding the Ctrl key as you click on each file name.)
  6. Click Open.

At this point, Drive grabs each of the files and converts them into Docs format. You will then see the documents in the documents list maintained by Drive. You can edit the converted documents by clicking the document names, the same as you would with a regular Docs document.

Understand that the Word documents you upload are not maintained in their original Word format. This means that much of the formatting that you may have applied in Word won't appear in the converted document. Why? Because Docs doesn't have all the formatting bells and whistles that Word has. In addition, any graphics or other objects you might have had in the Word document are stripped out of the Docs document.

The upshot is that you can expect to spend a good deal of time reformatting a document after you convert it to Docs format. (Or, if you are using the Docs collaboration feature, you and your collaborators can work on reformatting the document together.)

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 1?

2013-10-05 08:43:49

Steve Dyson

I don't understand what this is about. I use Google Drive every day with a group of 15 others. We all upload Word files, modify and save Word files to GD, download, modify off line then load them back up... all without, as far as I can tell so far, losing any of our styles or formatting. (We do, however, have one Mac user who cannot modify on line for some reason, so she modifies off line then uploads again to replace the previous version.)
If my experience is typical of what GD offers, I think your article should have begun with an explanation to this effect.


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