Starting today, Gmail and Google Docs users should run into many fewer problems when it comes to opening different types of existing files. Google launched support for 12 new file formats this afternoon, and several of them are pretty common.
Here's the full list of formats in the order Google itself presented them: Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX), Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX), Apple Pages (.PAGES), Adobe Illustrator (.AI), Adobe Photoshop (.PSD), Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF), Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG), PostScript (.EPS, .PS), TrueType (.TTF), XML and Paper Specification (.XPS).
A post on the Google Docs Blog then added, "Not only does this round out support for the major Microsoft Office file types (we now support DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS and XLSX), but it also adds quick viewing capabilities for many of the most popular and highly-requested document and image types."
Also, in the event anyone needed a little more hand-holding, the post explained, "In Gmail, these types of attachments will now show a 'View' link, and clicking on this link will bring up the Google Docs Viewer."
That should go a long way towards making Gmail and Google Docs more user-friendly. Positive comments are already showing up at a rapid pace.
Students and professionals, in particular, may benefit, as they're a little more likely to be trading Excel and PowerPoint files than the average person.