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Gmail Adds “Attached” Document Previews

gmail logo and attached document previews

Lately it seems like Google has just been rolling updates off of the press.  This comes as no surprise following the release of Google Wave, and the large amount of feedback coming from the small number of users who were invited to test it.  Earlier today Google released a small update that probably was overlooked by many but turns out very useful. Google Docs now now has preview integration of nearly any  document sent to Gmail.  Personally I have just started using Google Docs, primarily for their web-based PDF reader….

It made me very excited to see that now I could preview PDF’s sent to my e-mail without having to open them up in Adobe or Foxit.  Is there anything not to like about this update?

After looking at the process, I’ve noticed that there is a catch.  At first glance I had thought that this preview would apply to all attachments, which of course would be a dream come true.  But after enabling the feature and sending through a few test-emails is became apparent that something was wrong.  Then I read the fine print again; “shows previews… when you receive a link to a Google Doc”  In order to preview a document, it has to be shared to your e-mail using the Google Documents interface.  This can be done from the Google Docs application using the Share menu.

to preview Google Docs they must be sent from Google Docs share fucntion to a gmail account

As a result, if you want to send your documents to your contacts and allow them to preview them,  will you need to first upload your documents to Google Docs.  But wait, now you will also have to make sure that the contact you are sharing documents with has enabled the Google Docs preview feature in labs. By default this feature is turned off, You’ll need to go into your Gmail Settings, then Click the Labs tab and down on the list Click Enable next to Google Docs previews in mail. Don’t forget to Click Save Changes when you are done!

Related Article:  Secure Photos and Videos on Your Android Phone Against Theft or Phone Snoopers

google docs previews can be enabled in the Labs settings

Once you’ve gotten into the “groove” of using Google Docs to send your files, this turns into a really great feature!  As seen below you no longer need to worry about opening attachments.  Instead, now you can just preview a document or even go straight to Google Docs and begin reading, editing, or sharing it with even more people.

google docs now preview in gmail

Can’t seem to get it to work?  Think that this is just too darn groovy to be stay still?  Post a comment below, or Join Us in our Free Technical Support community.

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