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12 new file formats in the Google Docs Viewer (googledocs.blogspot.com)
136 points by dmaz on Feb 18, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments

They support Adobe Illustrator! Amazing. I would love to know how they do it internally.

Assuming they did not want to entirely roll their own impl, I would guess they used the same (code|technique) as Inkscape: http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Output_format_requir...

It works! Gradients and all! Only problem is the same one as with PDFs, there is always a nasty band over gradients as if it lacks color gamut. NB I'm using the 'View' option in gmail to test drive it.

Great, yet more formats that I have to try and get around Google Docs with. Worst of all is PDF: Some of us have browsers and platforms that don't hate the format, and viewing PDFs natively in Safari/Chrome is a million times better than sending them through Google Docs for mangling.

Easily my most despised GMail "feature", that.

If you're using Chrome, Gmail opens PDF's using Chrome's own viewer now.

So why is their platform the only one to get special treatment? Safari also has a (better, faster) native PDF viewer, why not hand off to it too?

Don't like this precedent of funnelling the web via their servers and translators unless you're using their browser.

Awesome. We've had it on Mibbit for some time now to view pdf, ppt and doc files.

(Inline viewing next to chat, see screengrab)


Excellent we can now pass on support for the others.

It's a shame it's so chatty. Unless you're using it as a simple IFrame embed, it will fall over on xss errors.

In Twiddla, for example, we'd like to include a bit of custom script to detect when you click the "next page" button so that we can keep everybody synced up. That means we have to proxy it through our server and mess with the markup a bit. That's easy to do in Scribd's viewer, and it actually worked fine in Gdocs' view before October last year.

Then they changed things & got all fancy. Shame.

I uploaded an SVG and it converted it into a read only image. I tried inserting an SVG into a drawing and it failed.

I was also curious about how they handle SVG. I was hoping I'd be able to edit it as a vector drawing. Nope. It gets rendered to a bitmap, by all upload methods I tried.

I found a couple people surprised by this in another context, so I'll include it here: while nice and featureful, Google Docs requires viewers to be logged into Google. This is a problem for some curmudgeons like myself, so if at all possible, try to have at least some alternate means of providing the data.

Not necessarily true, if you set it to public, right?

Ah, I couldn't say since I don't use it myself. I know I've been asked to log in to view publicly disseminated document links.

If setting it to public solves the problem, by all means do that!

Yeah, it looks like documents can be viewed publicly (without a Google account) if going through the Viewer: http://docs.google.com/viewer

Pretty handy if you have a bunch of files in their original formats available for downloading, but want to have links available for easy online viewing.

They probably haven't set up the sharing properly.

If you share a document, in the "Permissions" box the top item lets you change how visible a document is, and there's also an "allow anyone to edit" checkbox so you can even edit without signing in.

Very cool. I wish I could use it:

Google Docs is not available for jedsmith.org. Learn more about Google products you can use with jed@jedsmith.org.

I love the Google Apps Unified Account, but it seems like every now and then I run into yet another service that hasn't been "migrated" yet.

I think you can enable support for more products in the Google Apps management page. I have access to pretty much all Google products in my GApps account

No, it has to do with the single sign-on conversion. Docs is enabled:


But I get this when I click through:


It was a caveat I was informed of when I performed the conversion on my domain, but I didn't expect something flagship like Docs to not work.

> It was a caveat I was informed of when I performed the conversion on my domain

Can you explain that. I have no idea what it means.

Ehm, I have access to docs for all of my personal domains, and for my gmail account.

This is the menu that is shown that allows me to switch between accounts: http://i.imgur.com/tU5t4.png

You can still test it out by using the viewer to open files on the web, without having to log in; this can be pretty useful in its own right. Here's a bookmarklet that opens the link you click immediately afterwards in Docs Viewer:

    javascript:var link,l=0;while(link=document.links[l++]){if(link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.pdf')!=-1||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.ppt')!=-1||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.tiff')!=-1||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.tif')!=-1||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.pptx')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.xls')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.xlsx')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.pages')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.ai')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.psd')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.dxf')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.svg')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.eps')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.ps')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.ttf')||link.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('.xps')&&link.href.indexOf('javascript')==-1&&link.href.indexOf('file:')==-1){var newString='http://docs.google.com/viewer?url='+link.href;link.href=newString;}};void(null);

Does the Viewer work for you?


I have just tried to open a word file and it was impossible since Google Docs support Word files only up to 1MB! This is a big limitation in case that somebody would like to co-edit scientific articles.

Does the autoCAD open up into google sketch up? B/c that would be cool.

DXF and DWG import requires Sketchup Pro in the current version. Older versions of Sketchup at least up to 7 supported DXF/DWG (that's why I still have them installed).

The xls viewer looks bugged, the merged cells don't show up properly.

I'd love to have that as an API to integrate into a webpplication. Much like Crocodoc, only support for far more file formats.

You can embed http://docs.google.com/viewer links in an iframe.

But it only works if the visitors are logged into google / gmail, right?

No way! Finally illustrator doc support!

Nice. Very nice. Big fan of this feature of gmail.

If only Zimbra could do Doc files this well... :(

The Illustrator and Photoshop formats are what caught my eye.

What happens if you try to view an Illustrator file in Google Docs Viewer?

Does it render the file just as Illustrator would?

Since Google Docs offers the ability to export to PDF, it would be impressive if you could open an Illustrator file in Google Docs and export it to PDF format without the need to own a copy of Illustrator.

> Does it render the file just as Illustrator would?

I doubt it, but just managing the basic structure is an amazing feat.

This is one of my favorite features of Gmail, the easy opening of docs. Also very necessary on the cr-48.

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