How to Edit Word Documents in Google Docs

Also edit Excel and PowerPoint files in Sheets and Slides

Open a Word Document without MS Word

Microsoft Word documents have become the standard for most types of text documents over the years, since nearly everyone and every business had Microsoft’s Office suite. Now, though, more people are working with Macs, Chromebooks, and writing on mobile devices. If you don’t have Microsoft Word, you can instead use Google Docs for Word documents, as well as Excel, and PowerPoint documents.

How to Open a Word Document in Google Docs

Next to Office, Google Docs is the most popular way to write and edit documents. The biggest appeal of Google Docs is the cloud. Everything you do is automatically saved, and you can access your documents anywhere. However, a lot of people don’t know you can also upload your existing documents to Google Docs, including Word documents.

  1. Sign in to your Google account and head to your Google Drive.

  2. Select New in the upper left of the screen.

    Google Drive home page
  3. Select File upload.

    Google Drive new document menu
  4. Another window will open up for you to browse to the location of your Word document. Find the file, and upload it.

  5. Google Drive will take a few seconds to import the file. You’ll receive a notification in the lower right of your screen letting you know when it’s done. You’ll also see the document appear in your drive.

    Google Drive document uploaded
  6. Select your document in the Drive to open it.

    If you want to open an Excel spreadsheet or a PowerPoint slideshow, upload that instead. The process is identical.

  7. You’ll see your document in Drive’s viewer. It will look a lot like a browser-based PDF file viewer. At the top of your document, select Open with Google Docs.

    Google Drive document open
  8. Your document will open in Google Docs. From here you can edit, share, and do anything you'd do with a document you created in Google Docs. All your changes will automatically save as well.

    Edit Word document in Google Docs