To say that I like Google Apps for Work would be the great understatement of the decade. It can do nearly anything you need done when organizing and administering your nonprofit; from creating and managing users, provisioning email, tracking analytics, and, of course, it can help you create, edit, share, and collaborate on documents. You probably know this already, but let me give you a concrete example of how I used it here at OrgSpring.

I\’m in Pittsburgh, PA and one of our board members is in Los Angeles, CA. We opened a Google document on a Saturday morning and began writing a grant for a client. We could see each other typing and writing, and were able to eliminate the need for phone conferences and long email chains discussing changes. Together we wrote more than 20 pages including text, graphs and charts and tables, and images. When we were done, we submitted the grant on email to the grant administrator. A few weeks later, the grant administrator asked us to clarify some of our costs. We whipped up another spreadsheet with more details and shared that too. A few days later the grant was approved and our client was $20,000 happier.

But I recognize not every organization is as tech-savvy. That\’s exactly why we do what we do at OrgSpring – to take some of that tech burden off your shoulders. For those of us still hanging onto the last decade by using Microsoft Office Products like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint – Google Apps may feel less than useful to you. After all, you couldn\’t edit those docs directly in Google. You\’d have to convert them to Google\’s format first, then edit in Google, then convert back to the proprietary Microsoft format and then email it back to your group.  That\’s certainly less efficient than keeping track of just one word doc and one excel file and making sure you\’re always working on the correct version.

Until today!

Google Apps for Work just got better. Google has released the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides extension for Chrome browser users, which lets you directly edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files directly online in your browser, without the need to convert the files. The docs can be shared directly from Google Drive also, making it a one stop shop for office users, and perfect for small to large nonprofits that still have users working within the strict confines of Microsoft products.

You upload a Microsoft document. Click to edit it. Make your changes. Save it (keeping the original format in-tact) and then share it out to whoever else needs a copy.

I created a short video tutorial on how you can download the extension directly into Chrome and start using it right away.You can also link to the extension directly using the button below.

Download the Chrome Extension

The video is just 15 minutes, which some might think long, but I first introduce why this new extension is important, exactly what it does, and how you can get it. I also show you exactly how to use it on your computer and in your email for both Microsoft Word Documents and Excel files. I also briefly mention powerpoint, which follows the same process as the previous two. If you want to skip straight to installing and working, you can forward  to 3:30 in the video. Remember, the video is shot in full HD, so remember to click the cog wheel and set to the highest resolution your computer will allow.

If you have any questions or comments, leave a message here or on the youtube video directly and we\’ll try to respond as quickly as possible!



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