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How to Open Files from Google Drive in Compatible Mac and PC Software

google driveGoogle has just released a Chrome extension that enables you to open files from Google Drive directly in a compatible Mac and PC software. Imagine being able to open a .psd file directly in Photoshop from your Chrome.

The new Chrome extension called Application Launcher adds a list of compatible software for the selected file type under the Open With option in right click context menu. That allows you to directly open the file in a compatible application if that is installed on your computer.

However, the feature requires you to have Google Drive installed on your computer and synchronized. Simply just installing the Chrome extension does not add the ability to open files in a compatible software. You have to make sure you have Google Drive installed and all files are up to date.

google drive open with
This is basically what the new extension does given that you also have Drive installed and synced. GIF courtesy: 9to5google.com

This could be a drawback to the new feature because a lot of people, especially those who already use Dropbox to sync a folder from their computer, don’t also install Google Drive. They use Chrome to upload, organize and manage files on Google Drive. So if it was possible to just add the extension and be able to directly open the file from browser that would have been a major win.

It is possible that Google made it mandatory to have Drive installed and synced because otherwise Chrome would need to download the file first before opening it in a compatible software. That would be basically the same as downloading the file first and then opening it. By making sure that Drive is installed and synchronized, Google can let you select the open with command from the browser and execute the command from your local computer.

Nevertheless, the new extension will definitely come in handy for a lot of users. Are you one of them?

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