Attachment Types Supported for Viewing in Gmail

Preview Gmail attachments in your browser without downloading them

Colourful Paperclips in a cirlce

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In Gmail, it is possible to view some attachments in your browser without having to download them first. Learn how to open text documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and other attachment types supported for viewing in your Gmail inbox.

Information in this article applies to the web versions on Gmail.

How to Preview Attachments in Standard Gmail

In the standard web version of Gmail, you can open attachments using the Google Docs Viewer, the same pop-up window used on Google Drive.

While viewing a message in Gmail, click on the preview of the attachment to open it.

While viewing a message in Gmail, click on the preview of the attachment to open it.

If the file type is supported, it will open in the Docs Viewer.

If the file type is supported, it will open in the Docs Viewer.

Attachments Supported in Google Docs Viewer

Gmail allows you to send almost any file type as an attachment, but only certain files can be previewed within your browser.

Supported Microsoft File Types

File Type Extension

Microsoft Word documents

.doc and .docx
Microsoft Excel spread sheets .xls and .xlsx
Microsoft PowerPoint presentations .ppt and .pptx
XML paper specifications .xps

Supported Adobe File Types

File Type Extension

Adobe PDF documents

.pdf
Autodesk AutoCad graphics .dxf
Adobe Illustrator graphics .ai
Adobe Photoshop images .psd

Postscript files

.eps and .ps 
Scalable vector graphics .svg
TrueType files .ttf

Other Supported File Types

File Type Extension

Archive files

.zip, .rar, .tar, and .gzip 
Audio files .mp3, .mpeg, .wav, and .ogg
Image files .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .gif, .bmp, and .tif
Video files .webm, .mpeg4, .3gpp, .mov, .avi, .mpegps, .wmv, and .flv
Text files .txt

How to Preview Attachments in Gmail Basic

The simple HTML version of Gmail doesn't support the Google Docs Viewer, but you can view certain attachments as HTML before you download them.

Select View as HTML under the attached file.

Select View as HTML under the attached file.

If supported, the file will open in a separate window.

If supported, the file will open in a separate window.

Attachments Supported for Viewing as HTML in Basic View

The following file types are supported for viewing as HTML in Gmail Basic:

File Type Extension

Microsoft Word documents

.doc and .docx
Microsoft Excel spread sheets .xls and .xlsx
Microsoft PowerPoint presentations .ppt and .pptx

OpenOffice/StarOffice documents

.sxw
Open Office/Star Office spread sheets .sxc
Open Office/Star Office presentations .sxi
Star Writer documents .sdw

Star Calc spread sheets

.sdc
Star Impress presentation .sdd
Adobe PDF documents .pdf
Archive files .zip and .rar