Oudi Antebi, a former marketing manager at Microsoft, has developed an awesome plug-in that turns your copy of Microsoft Office into an offline Google Docs editor. You can save your Office documents directly to Google Docs or directly open your online documents in Microsoft Office programs for reading and writing.

Here’s a quick tour on how you can integrate Google Docs with Microsoft Office via Offisync.

Step 1: The plugin adds a new toolbar to your Microsoft Office suite of applications (both Office 2003 & Office 2007 are supported). You can then log-in to either Google Docs or your Google Apps Account or both.

login into google docs

Step 2: Once logged-in, you can browse through the list of your existing Google Docs documents from within Microsoft Office as if you were browsing files stored on the local file system.

The plugin implements some sort of a filter so you will only see .doc files inside Word, .xls inside Excel and ppt presentations inside PowerPoint. If you have too may documents in the root folder of Google Docs, you can use the built-in search function to limit that document list to a small set.

browse online files

Step 3: Now click the document name in Google Docs to open that file in the corresponding Microsoft Office application. A limitation is that you can’t download multiple documents from Google Docs in one go.

download google documents

Step 4: If you are editing an existing Google Docs document in Office or need to upload a new document from Microsoft Office to your Google Docs account, simply hit the "Save" button and the modified copy of the document will be saved to your online Google account.

save document online

Another advantage is that you can share Google Docs documents with multiple people right from Microsoft Office. Just specify the email addresses of your contacts along with permissions (read-only or read-write).

permissions - share docs

It can’t get easier than this. And since Google Docs now supports the new Open XML format, you can also save Office 2007 format files (pptx, docs, xlsx) via the same plugin.

Office Live Workspaces will also be integrated with Microsoft Office 2010 but until that is released, this plugin is a great choice. Also check this detailed Google Docs Guide for more tips and tricks.

Related: Sync Google Docs with Microsoft Office