Till this day, you have used Google Docs as an online office tool to read or edit Word documents, Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentation and more. But now, you can read the content of a Zip or RAR file. Say, someone sent you a compressed file at your email address and you are not sure what the content is. You would like to view the content of the zipped file before downloading the whole file. Sometime downloading a large compressed file becomes useless if you find it later as useless.
Now you can open a ZIP or RAR file using Google Docs. Unlike other online tools, Google docs is associated with Gmail and it successfully handles the .rar and .zip formatted files within from the browser. Therefore, you won’t have to download every email attachments(compressed) before you view the content of the file.
Every time you receive an email attachment, it is shown as this:
Both the View and Download options used to be available there for the Google docs supported files. In past the ZIP and RAR files were not supported by Google Docs. Therefore, the only option available for a compressed email attachment was downloading the file. But now, Google Docs supports those file formats and you can click the View option to open it through Google Docs viewer.
After opening it in the Google Docs viewer, it extracts all the content files. If you wish to download any specific member file, simply click the “Action” drop down and select Download. Additionally, you can copy your important files or all in a whole at your Google Docs account for future use.
In the left side bar of the Google Docs viewer, you can view the details of the ZIP file e.g file size, number of files in it etc.
This is positively a good step from Google because extracting archives in Google docs helps users to view, even pick up the right one from the ZIP or RAR files without downloading first. Sometime this can be very lifesaver when you are using your friend’s computer and there is nor extracting tool installed there.
Not only the email attachments but you can also use this awesome feature to view the content of any archive file made public in the web. In details, you can open the ZIP or RAR file from any URL just going through the following trick.
To view the content of a ZIP or RAR file hosted at any web location, copy the file URL and paste at Google Docs viewer.
Then click on the link where it says “To view now, click here“. It will open in Google Docs immediately.
You can also directly open the file in Google Docs viewer by adding the URL after
For instance, if you want to view or extract the content of the file whose URL is
you should paste the following in your browser.
Just note that you are logged in with any Google account.
Use a Chrome extension to open or extract any ZIP or RAR file in the web within from Google Docs
If you don’t like the copy-paste every time you want to view or extract the content of an archive, you can use a chrome extension. Just install the extension from here. This will add “Open with Google Docs” option at the Chrome context menu.
So, just right-click on the file link and select “Open with Google Docs”. That’s it. You can now view the content of the ZIP or RAR files as well as extract specific member files from them. [Thanks ArpitNext]
Google is progressively focusing to support various file types in Google Docs and Gmail. In the back, they added PDF support as well as the OCR feature to extract text from images in Google Docs. Now the ZIP and RAR files are also supported in Google Docs, which is quite handy and helpful, isn’t it?