Work with MS Office documents from within Google Drive on your tablet

Jack Wallen discusses how to install and use Quickoffice when working with MS Office files within Google Drive on your tablet.


If you frequently use Good Drive, you know that working mobile with that cloud service can cause problems -- especially when dealing with MS Word documents. Sure, Google Drive handles native files just fine; but when it's time to work with MS Office files, you have to download, edit, and re-upload the file to Google Drive, which isn't an efficient system. That's where Quickoffice comes into play. With this free application, you can work with those Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files within Google Drive and avoid all of the downloading and uploading.


Here are some features you can expect to see in Quickoffice:

  • Create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files
  • Access files in Google Drive and on your device
  • Open and view PDF files
  • Share files through previously shared Google Drive folders
  • Attach files to emails

Note: The one caveat is that Quickoffice opens Google Docs as PDF files, which can't be edited. 

You may think that adding yet another productivity tool on your tablet is overkill; but if you are a fan of Google Drive, and you want to have the simplest means of working on MS Office files from within that tool, Quickoffice is the way to go. Let's install it and see how it works.


The installation of Quickoffice is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android tablet
  2. Search for “quickoffice” (no quotes)
  3. Tap the entry for Quickoffice
  4. Tap Install
  5. Tap Accept
  6. Let the installation complete, and Quickoffice will be ready to use 

Note: Quickoffice is also available for the iPad/iPhone in the Apple App Store.


Now, it's time to connect Quickoffice to your Google Drive account. When you first run Quickoffice, you'll tap through a few windows that display some of the features of the app. Eventually, you'll see the Get Started button. Tap that, and you'll be prompted to select the Google Account that you want to associate with Quickoffice (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Quickoffice running on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Note tablet.

After you've select the account, you must give the app permission to manage files and documents on your Google Drive account. Tap OK on this window (Figure B) to continue.

Figure B

Figure B
You must give Quickoffice permission to access your Google Drive documents before you can continue.

Once you've connected Quickoffice to your Google Drive account, your main window should populate with files. From this list of files, you should see different file types represented with different icons. As you can see in Figure C, each of the MS Office files are represented with a W (Word), X (Excel), or P (Presentation).

Figure C

Figure C
Google Docs are represented with the blue square.

To edit a document, simply tap on the document and the appropriate editor will open. If you tap on a Google document, the built-in PDF viewer will open the file.

One of the coolest features of Quickoffice is the ability to quickly drag and drop files from internal storage to your Google Drive account. Here's how:

  1. Open Quickoffice
  2. Tap on Internal Storage
  3. Locate the file you want to move
  4. Tap, hold, and drag that file to Google Drive in the left pane
  5. Select the Google Drive folder to place the new file into (Figure D)
  6. Tap either Copy or Move

Figure D

Figure D
You can also Copy/Move from Google Drive to Internal Storage with the same method.

I would like to see Google roll Quickoffice and Google Drive into one application. With such a tool, you could work completely mobile and not miss a beat with both Google Docs and MS Office documents. That would be a heck of a one-two punch!

Quickoffice has become my go-to app for working with MS Office file types within Google Drive. If you're looking for a tool that offers similar features and functionality, look no further than Quickoffice. It's free, it works well, and it lets you edit the majority of file types that make up your daily office routine.

Do you use Quickoffice on your tablet? If not, what application do you use for working with MS Office documents? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....