Remember the old days when would make a document in Word and then email it to someone and they would edit it and email you back the attachment? Sometimes it got confusing as to which copy was the current copy. Using Google Docs solves that problem since the document you are working on is always the current version and both collaborators have access to edit it at the same time.

So now that you’re using Google Drive, you have this pesky problem of a) all of your documents that are not Google documents and b) friends and coworkers sending your office documents.

First, you can use your Google drive as a storage drive. In http://drive.google.com the create button creates Google docs, but the icon next to it lets you upload files…. any file type. This will store your files in your Drive, but you will not be able to access them.

You can identify the files in your Google Drive by their icon. In my sea of Google doc icons the P for PowerPoint and W for Word documents stick out. These files can be viewed in my Google Drive but not edited.

You can convert these files from Office files into Google files.  No, the conversion is not perfect but I have found it to be pretty darn good.

First set your upload settings.  Go to the settings wheel under your picture in the upper right hand corner. From the list choose “upload settings” and then checkbox both “Convert uploaded files to Google Docs format” and “Confirm settings before each upload.” This way when you do try to upload an Office document you will be given the option to convert your files or not.

If your Office document is already uploaded, but not converted, check the checkbox next to the document. At the top is a “More” button that will appear. Choose to “Open with,” and open with Google Docs instead of the viewer.