Just yesterday, Google announced that Google Docs will now support the .zip and .rar archive file formats. Decent, no? Now, there’s actually a problem with this announcement- thing is, in order to actually open one of the formats, you needed to download them first- which is true of pretty much any file you want to add to Google Docs, really. That’s all well and good if there’s .zip or .rar files you’ve got saved on your computer that you want to upload and share on the cloud; but what if there’s an archive file online that you want to open? The whole process of download-upload-unzip-access seems a bit redundant, doesn’t it?
A fellow by the name of Arpit Kumar’s come up with a solution; developing an extension known as “Open ZIP and RAR With GDocs.” Basically, on installing the extension; whenever you see a direct link to a .zip or .rar file, you can simply right click and select “Open in Google Docs” from the context menu. At that point, you’ll be taken directly to Google Docs, which will open the archive and show you the files inside.
There’s really no interface to speak of here. All the extension does is add an option to the context menu that appears when you right click a link to a zip or rar file.
Eminently useful. Believe it or not, opening the files directly in Google Docs-rather than having to go through the download-upload process- actually ends up saving a lot of time; particularly in the case of larger archives. Kumar’s app basically cuts out the middleman-which is always a good thing. Ease of use is another point in its favor- all you really need to do is click.
Final Score: 5/5
The “Open Zip And Rar With GDocs” extension pretty much does exactly as promised, and thus far I’ve found no problems with it. If you’re planning to do any work whatsoever with archived files in Google docs, I’d say this extension is a must-have. My one complaint is that in the case of a file where the direct link is not readily apparent (say, it has a ‘click here to download’) button, the extension can’t really do much. A minor concern- and ultimately an irrelevant one. I’m sure that if the need arises, the extension could potentially be updated to access those types of files as well. This extension can be found free on the Chrome Webstore.