A Better Alternative to Google Docs Viewer

Published in: Embed - Google Docs - Microsoft Office

Google Docs Viewer The formatting is often not retained when Office documents are opened inside Google Docs Viewer Google Docs Viewer is a useful service that helps you preview Microsoft Office files in the browser itself. The online tool can come handy when you don’t have the Office suite installed on your computer or when you would like to quickly preview the content of an online document without having to download it locally.

Office Web Apps, Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs, too offer a similar online document viewer that is superior to Google’s tool as it retains the formatting while rendering the document in the browser.

For instance, here’s a standard PowerPoint presentation (PPT) in Google Docs Viewer and the same file rendered inside Office Viewer. Next, compare a slightly-complex Word document (docx) inside Google Viewer and Office Viewer. The latter retains all the styling and even the fonts look sharp there.

How to Use Office Web Apps Viewer

If you are to open an online document/spreadsheet/presentation inside the Office viewer, all you need to do is append the URL (web address) of that file to “view.officeapps.live.com” as shown in the following examples:



In addition to previewing Office files, the same Office Web Apps Viewer tool can also be used for embedding Microsoft Office documents into your website or blog. The embed code would be something like this:

You need to replace the actual URL of the document and may also adjust the height and width attributes of the IFRAME tag.

While Office Web Apps viewer is definitely a better option that Google Docs Viewer, a limitation is that it only works with Office Files, Google Docs Viewer can also handle PDFs, Photoshop files and even AutoCAD drawings.

📮  Subscribe to our Email Newsletter for Google tips and tutorials!
Published in: Embed - Google Docs - Microsoft Office

Looking for something? Find here!

Meet the Author

Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

Get in touch

Google Add-ons

Do more with your Gmail and GSuite account

We build bespoke solutions that use the capabilities and the features of Google Workspace for automating business processes and driving work productivity.

  1. Mail Merge with Attachments
    Send personalized email to your Google Contact with a Google Sheet and Gmail
  2. Save Emails and Attachments
    Download email messages and file attachments from Gmail to your Google Drive
  3. Google Forms Email Notifications
    Send email notifications to multiple people when a new Google Form is submitted
  4. Document Studio
    Create beautiful pixel perfect documents merging data from Google Sheets and Google Forms
  5. Creator Studio for Google Slides
    Turn your Google Slides presentations into animated GIFs and videos for uploading to YouTube