You can create Microsoft Office and Google Docs files directly from Dropbox; create, edit, and save documents all without having to switch to another app. Here’s how.
You create documents in Microsoft Office and Google Docs, then use Dropbox to back up and store these files online. Bouncing among all these different services to create, save, and share can be slow and clumsy, which is why Dropbox now offers a way to create Office and Google Docs files without leaving its site.
With the new integration, Dropbox users can directly create Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides files. Dropbox takes you to the right website for creating each type of file, and from there, you build, edit, and save the file in one seamless process. Let’s check it out.
Create a File From Dropbox
You’ll need a Microsoft Account if you want to use Office on the Web or a Google account if you want to use Google Docs and other Google apps. Go to the Dropbox website, and at the main screen, click Create new file. You can then select between Microsoft and Google file types.
Create a Word Document
If you select Microsoft Word from the drop-down menu, Dropbox hooks you into the free online version of Word where you can now create your document using all of Word’s tools, features, and commands.
Name the document by clicking on the default title at the top of the page and typing the new name. After you name your document, the file is automatically saved to Dropbox. Once you complete the document and want to close it, click the link at the top to Save and return to Dropbox.
Create an Excel Spreadsheet
Click Microsoft Excel, and Dropbox links you to the web-based edition of the program. Create your spreadsheet, and remember to give it a different name to automatically save it. Click the default title at the top of the page and devise a more descriptive name. When you’re finished, click the link to Save and return to Dropbox.
Create a PowerPoint Presentation
Create a presentation by selecting PowerPoint. Rename it by clicking the default title and writing the new name. Once the presentation is named, the document will automatically save. Click the link to Save and return to Dropbox when you’re done.
Move Documents in Dropbox
By default, a document is saved in the root folder of Dropbox. But you can easily move it to another folder one of two ways: Drag and drop the document into the folder where you want to store it, or click the ellipsis icon () next to the document, select Move, and then choose the destination folder. Click the Move button to finalize.
Create New Dropbox Folder
Let’s say you don’t have a folder in Dropbox to store your freshly created documents. Click the ellipsis icon () next to your new spreadsheet and select Move. At the Move window, click the link to Create new folder. Name the folder and click the Create button. At the “Move item to” window, select your new folder and click the Move button.
Open Document in Microsoft Office
Now you have some Microsoft Office documents stored in Dropbox. To open and edit one of them in the web version of the corresponding Office app, select the file in Dropbox you want to edit. Click the “Open With” button and then select Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, depending on the file type.
Automatically Open File Types
At this point, a message may pop up asking if you want to associate this type of file with its Office app. This means that any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file you launch in Dropbox will automatically open with its corresponding Office app.
To do this, click the button for Yes, set as default. Otherwise, click the Not now button. Make any needed changes or edits in the file you opened and then click Save and return to Dropbox to close it.
Create a Google Doc
If you choose one of Google’s apps you may need to sign in with your Google account to continue. At the Google Docs screen, create your document. To name the file, click the box for Untitled in the upper left and enter the new name for the document. When finished, close the tab for the spreadsheet to return to Dropbox.
Create a Google Sheets Spreadsheet
Select Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet with Google. Create and name your spreadsheet by clicking the default title in the top-left corner and writing in a new name. Your changes are then saved automatically. Simply close the spreadsheet tab when done.
Create a Google Slides Presentation
Create a new presentation by selecting Google Slides from the Dropbox menu. Make sure you rename the document by clicking the title in the top-left corner and typing in the new name. The document will then save. When you’re done, close the tab to return to Dropbox.
Saving Google Files
Any Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides files will automatically save to Dropbox. When you’re finished with it, you can simply close the tab for your document to return to Dropbox, where you’ll see your new file being stored. Once files are saved to Dropbox, they can be opened again in their respective programs at any time.
Set Default Apps
Finally, you can control which apps open which files. To do this, click your profile icon at the Dropbox screen and select Settings > Connected apps. Scroll down the screen to the section for Default editing apps. Click the Open with drop-down field next to each of the three Microsoft Office apps. You can now set the default editor to Dropbox, Microsoft Office, or Google Docs.
Whitney, Lance. “How to Create Microsoft Office, Google Docs Files from Dropbox” August 2019