Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Using Google docs as a file converter

Had an incident the other day where a student had a document that we couldn't open in Word. He knew it was made in word, just not sure what version. It had a .doc extension so I was pretty sure it was older than the version we use, which adds the .docx extension. I tried a couple of things to no avail. I then wondered if Google Docs might be able to read it. I uploaded it into my Google account. It came through perfectly. Then I downloaded it as a word doc and the student was able to open it in our version of Word and finish their assignment.

I mentioned this to a colleague and later that day he had a student with a similar problem. That document was in Open Doc format and he was able to do the same thing. Not sure how many different formats you might be able to convert using this method. But, can't have too many little tricks in that magic bag, can you?

[Image: Flickr: "Repetition": Uploaded on August 25, 2005 by shutupyourface:http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutupyourface/37273590/]


  1. I tried to upload docx file but google docs did not accept it.
    How come?

  2. The docx files are from the newest version of Word (2008). Google Docs doesn't read docx yet. You'll need to open the file in the latest version of Word and save it as a"word document" at which point it's extension should be changed to just a plain doc. That .doc file should upload into Google docs.

    If you don't have the latest version of Word, there are some converters available on the web. (None of which I've kept...but I know I found them with a simple search.)

    Hope this helps.