At the second day of Google I/O conference, the company announced that users can now edit Google Docs offline also. Many users were longing for this feature for a long time and Google has now finally delivered it. This feature is already added to Google Docs but you need to follow a few steps to enable it.
This new offline mode is useful when you are travelling on an airplane, in a subway or on a cafe which doesn’t have any internet connectivity. When you get back online, these changes will be synced online. This is very useful for those who are not always connected to the internet.
Before proceeding forward, note that you need to be using Google Chrome browser only. If you are using any other browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Opera, then this offline mode won’t work.
Step-by-step to enable Google Docs Offline
Open Google Docs and click on the gear icon from the upper right hand of the window. You’ll see a new option in this drop-down that reads “Set up Docs offline (beta).” Click on this option.
After clicking on this option, you’ll need to follow two steps. Click on “Enable offline Docs” and then install the Google Drive Chrome web app. For the second step, you’ll be taken to the Chrome Store where you can download and install the app.
In the below screenshot you can see that I have already installed Google Drive app and therefore it says “You’re already done this step”.
Now you’ll be able to see a notification informing you that recently opened Google documents and spreadsheets are being synchronized. Click on the gear icon and then on “View offline Docs” to see which documents are available offline. When you are not connected to the internet, simply open this URL: docs.google.com/offline and you can start editing your documents.
For now you cannot create new documents but only edit them. There is the button to “create” but it greyed out and not clickable.
There is one drawback of this entire process. This offline support is not available to the complete Google Docs suite. You’ll be able to edit only documents when offline. Spreadsheets can be viewed when offline but editing them is not possible. Presentations, drawings and other items are not available when you are offline.
This feature is currently in Beta. We hope that Google soon offers offline editing for entire Google Docs suite.