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May 19, 2009

OffiSync - Integrate Google Docs with Microsoft Office

OffiSync is a plug-in for Microsoft Office 2003/2007 that integrates the office suite with Google Docs. You can open documents, spreadsheets and presentations already saved in Google Docs, edit them in Microsoft Office and save the files in Google Docs. The add-on creates a new revision of the document when you save it, but there's no option to automatically save the document periodically.

You can view the files from multiple Google accounts and Google Apps accounts, so the add-on is a good option to virtually merge your accounts. Since the plug-in doesn't offer all the features available in Google Docs, you'll still need to open the online interface to publish a document, to use gadgets in Google Spreadsheets or to collaborate with other users. While you can manage the collaborators in Microsoft Office, you can't collaborate in real-time and your changes will overwrite the changes made by your collaborators.

Despite its name, OffiSync doesn't actually sync Google Docs with your computer and it doesn't even show the most current version of a document, assuming that other people edited it after you opened the document in Microsoft Office.

It could be an option for those who aren't comfortable with using an online office application, but they want to backup the documents online. It's probably not a good idea to use it this way since Google Docs doesn't have all the features that are available in Microsoft Office and the documents won't look the same. In its current incarnation, the plug-in isn't very useful for those who use the collaboration features from Google Docs.

Here are some potential uses:

* create a document in Microsoft Word and quickly import it in Google Docs, without using the online interface
* open a document created in Google Docs to improve the layout before printing it
* use some functions from Microsoft Excel that aren't available in Google Spreadsheets


  1. Assuming you have the Office suite why would you do this instead of using the far superior Office Live service?

  2. @Anonymous:
    Can you edit files online in Office Live? Can you collaborate in real-time with other people? Can you view the files online from any computer? Can you publish the documents, embed them in a web page, use the data in other web services?

  3. @Alex:
    Can you edit files online in Office Live? No
    Can you collaborate in real-time with other people? I guess, but within the Office apps
    Can you view the files online from any computer? YES:)
    Can you publish the documents, embed them in a web page, use the data in other web services? No

    Don't get me wrong I love Google Docs, but when you already have a .doc/docx or want professional editing/formatting capabilities Office Live is the way to go.

  4. “Save your documents online in Google Docs and access them from any computer”
    Note that Google Docs will convert Office documents to its own HTML based format. You will lose formatting on the conversions. So to say “Save your documents online in Google Docs” is slightly misleading as you can’t use Google Docs to store files!

  5. When Google supports Office Open XML or OpenDocument, this will be a great solution. Until then, it's just a recipe for user frustration except for the most technical of users.
    The list of things that you cannot do in Google Docs Sheets that you can do in Excel (on Windows anyway - Mac Excel is hamstrung) is nearly as long as the list of things you can do in Excel. When saving work from Excel to Google Docs, the user has to expect to lose a large portion of their work due to the impedence mismatch of features. However, the user will likely not know which work was lost and will therefore be very dissappointed the next time he/she tries to open that file in Excel. I could be wrong - maybe Google Docs will preserve these unsupported features transparently, but I would be surprised if they did.

  6. It looks useful to me. I use Word and Windows Live with one set of co-workers and Google Docs with another. This could speed up the transition between the two.

    Are there plans to allow Google Docs to work with the docx format.

  7. Both Google Apps and Office Live Workspace provide a very capable collaboration platform. Sometimes I find myself struggling to decide to which platform to use for my classwork.

    Office Live Workspace, as expected, provides seamless integration with Microsoft Office, which is critical if you are working with lots of documents and spreadsheets. But with release of Offisync, a 3rd party plugin for MS Office, the same level of seamless integration with MS Office is now available for Google Docs users.

    MS needs to learn about collaborative editing from Google, and Google needs to learn about building user-friendly interfaces and seamless integration with desktop apps from MS.

  8. Other than inserting images, you may also use the Offisync plug-in to add website screenshots into your documents or spreadsheets.

  9. OffiSync Premium launched in November. Buy online at and use code "LAUNCH10" at checkout for a 10% discount.

    OffiSync Premium = Google Sites integration and other great features.

  10. Celebrate the launch of OffiSync 2.0 and SAVE 25% (Through 5/31/10)

    Visit, enter the number of licenses you need in the cart, and use promo code LAUNCH25R2 at checkout.

    If you have more than 50 users, or use Google Apps Education Edition, please visit and request a site license quote.

  11. offiSync - fantastic product relating and comparing to Microsoft Office Live ! More reliable then Microsoft Live and free - the most important without advertises and spam !
    I love it , thank you offisync team

    Rafal Jablonski

  12. I have been working with offisync for about 1 month and it has been working great. However, I recently tried to edit a file and the changes won’t save. I have a total of 4 different spreadsheets in Google docs and I have the same rights for each one. I first started working on changing the format of the first 3 & the changes were saved but not on the 4th. I’m able to keep making changed to the first 3 without any problem but not on the 4th. Has anyone had this kind of problem?

  13. OffiSync stopped at version 10. the company been bought by jive, and still don't know where are those guys bringing it to.

    offisync was good though