When Google first launched the Chromebook Pixel, we were told that native, offline Microsoft Office editing was coming soon, made possible through Google’s acquisition of Quickoffice. The first fruits of this acquisition first became apparent in Chrome Office Viewer, and now users running Chrome OS on the dev channel can finally begin editing Office documents using this same built-in software.
To enable this functionality, you must be in the dev channel; at this time, it will not work in the stable or beta channels. Once you have verified you are in the right channel (or you have upgraded to the dev channel), simply navigate to chrome://flags, and enable the flag entitled, “Enable document editing.” Restart your Chrome OS device, and you can begin editing Office files right away.
Since this is still a dev channel-only feature, bugs are bound to exist. For example, images in text documents do not currently display correctly. If you find other bugs, you should report them so that development can proceed at a good pace, and this will eventually trickle down to other channels (like beta, where I’m currently at).
Personally, I’m very happy to see this functionality coming to Chrome OS. Initial reports confirm that Quickoffice in Chrome OS is much better at preserving complicated document formatting than Google Docs, and there’s the benefit of complete offline functionality, as well. Since I work with lots of people who still live in the Microsoft Office stone age, this will be an invaluable tool for me as I collaborate on Office documents with them.[OMG! Chrome!]