The team behind Chrome browser has been doing a fantastic job by regularly updating Google’s web browser with new features. Over the last three years, Chrome has evolved as one of the finest and powerful desktop web browsers out there for Windows and Mac.
Majority of power users prefer to use Chrome over other desktop web browsers for a variety of reasons. First, it sports a clean interface. Second, it’s faster than other web browsers. And third, it’s feature-rich: supports extensions, web apps, and lets you view PDF files within the browser.
Support for Microsoft Office documents is probably the only missing feature in Chrome and this feature can now be added by installing an extension.
Up until a few days ago, Google Chrome users had to either install Microsoft Office to open and view downloaded files or use the Office Viewer service from Microsoft to view Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in the web browser.
To help Chrome users open and view Office files within the browser without having to install Office client, Google has released an extension named Chrome Office Viewer for its browser so that users can open Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint files within the browser. The current version of the extension is in beta stage and supports .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt and .pptx formats.
How to install and use the extension:
Step 1: Visit this page of Chrome Office Viewer extension and click Ad this to Chrome button to install the browser. You’ll will need to sign-in with your Google account to download and install the extension.
NOTE: As of writing this article, the extension can only be installed on beta version of Chrome browser only. If you visit the link using a stable version of Chrome, you’ll see “This application is not supported on this computer. Installation has been disabled” message.
Step 2: Once installed, download a supported Word, Excel or PowerPoint document, right-click on the Office file and then click Open the link in new tab to view the file.
Please note that the extension is currently in beta stage and might not live up to your expectation.