Geek Stuff

Use the Google Docs Viewer to Open and View Most Documents Online

imageTired of installing PDF readers, Office programs, or TIFF editing software just to open up a document?  Google Docs Viewer provides a simple solution for all of your document reading needs.  Updated yesterday, it now even supports .doc files.


Google Docs Viewer is a web application that can open all of your Internet documents directly from your web browser.  To use it, all you have to do is visit and enter the document URL.  You don’t even have to log into a Google account! The viewer is compatible with the following document types:

  • .pdf
  • .doc (or .docx)
  • .tiff
  • .ppt

google docs viewer lets you view any online document


If you need to view a document from your computer, you can do that with regular Google Docs at  Note that you will need a Google/Gmail account to use Docs, but an account is 100% free.

upload files to google docs


The viewer is rather groovy; it lets you zoom in or out and has page previews on the right-hand panel.

google doc viewer for documents from your computer


If you are using Gmail, you also enable the Google Docs Preview lab and preview .doc files directly from your email.

view .doc files in gmail


Overall it’s a groovy service and the new .doc format support is proof that Google is working hard to keep up with Microsoft’s online Office suite.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. BG

    Dear Austin,

    When I use a Firefox addin that will open docs using Google Docs, the document always opens up in HTML view which I cannot change to Doc view. It doesn’t matter which addin I use, I get the same result. When I open a document in Google Docs itself, documents open in doc view successfully. Is there some way to get my docs to open in Doc view instead of HTML? Thanks.



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