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View Desktop Files using Syncdocs

Google Docs lets you edit most Office format documents. A less well known feature is that it can view, but not edit, even more file formats.

Syncdocs interfaces with this Google Docs viewer. Use Syncdocs as a viewer to view files on your computer.

To View a file:

Simply right click on a file.


Select “View in Google Docs

Syncdocs opens the file in a browser window. If the file is not already online, it will take a few seconds to upload it to Google first.

Here, the example .zip file is opened and the files inside the .zip file are shown:



What sort of files can I view?

Supported file formats for viewing:

Office Suites

  • Office 2007/2010 Word, Excel and Powerpoint .docx, .xlsx, pptx
  • Office 95-2003 Word, Excel and Powerpoint .doc, xls, ppt, pps
  • Open/Libre Office/Open Document Writer and Calc .odt, ods
  • Apple pages.

Electonic Paper

  • Adobe portable document format .pdf
  • postscript: .ps, .eps
  • Microsoft .xps


  • most bitmap image formats: .jpg, .bmp, .jpeg, .png
  • vector images: .ai, .dxf, .svg, .mwf
  • fonts: .ttf


  • many video formats .flv, .avi, .mpeg


  •  .zip, .rar – you can view the contents of files inside these archives, too


What are the advantages of viewing files online?

For one, you are protected from viruses and malware that can lurk in Microsoft Office and .pdf documents. The files are safely opened on the Google server, not on your PC.

Secondly, once you’ve viewed the file online, it is accessible from many devices. You can view it on your phone or easily share it with others.

Thirdly, Google Docs has an easy photo album capability. Just click on the “Images & videos” menu to get it. You can use this to organize and view your photos and images.


Power User Google Syncing with Syncdocs

We’re often asked how to automate tasks with Syncdocs. Using the command line with Syncdocs, you get more control over your Google Docs account.

You can:

  • create a batch file to backup for a specific user
  • call Syncdocs from another program to upload a file or folder
  • share a folder with others
  • view a local file in Google Docs viewer
  • control Google Docs via a script
  • automate deployment

Syncdocs is controlled via the command line with these options:

Command line options

Automatic Deployment and Account pre-configuration

For administrators who want to deploy and pre-configure Google Drive to their users, there’s an automated deployment guide. This describes command line options useful for deployment like:

-syncfolder -oauth -user -password -iacceptterms

Run once only

If you wish to run Syncdocs only once, for backup purposes, say once a day, you can add an item to the Windows scheduler.

The Syncdocs command line option to run once is –OnlyRunSyncOnce

This option is not case sensitive.

Standard shell error reporting is supported, exit code 0 means no problems, 1 a serious error.

Specifying another user

You can specify another user for Syncdocs with the –u or –user option.

The syntax is:

   syncdocs.exe –u

This will start Syncdocs with this user’s Syncdocs credentials and settings, the same as switching users in the Preferences menu.

If the user specified does not exist, then Syncdocs will ask the user for their details. If Syncdocs is already running, accounts will not be switched.

This can be useful for deployment.

If you use multiple accounts, you can create desktop shortcuts for each account using this command line.


Live command line options

The options below work fastest when Syncdocs is already running and synced. If Syncdocs is not running, it will take a few (5-60) seconds to log in first, before processing your command.

Creating new files

To create a new document on Google Docs:

     syncdocs.exe create doc

In general the syntax is:

  syncdocs.exe create [doc|sheet|presentation|email|calendar]

to create the new type you wish in a web browser on Google Docs.

Uploading existing files

To upload an existing file (of any type) from your PC to Google Docs:

  syncdocs.exe upload “C:\path\filename.ext”

If exactly the same file (based on contents, file name and time) is already on Google Docs, then the file is not uploaded again. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Direct Uploads” collection on Google.

To view a file

Similar to uploading a file, to view a file in Google Docs using the default web browser:

syncdocs.exe view “C:\path\filename.ext”

Google supports viewing:

  • Office 2007/2010 .docx, .xlsx, pptx
  • Office 95-2003 .doc, xls, ppt, pps
  • Open/Libre Office/Open Document Format .odt, ods
  • Apple pages.
  • .pdf, .xps
  • most image formats: .jpg, .bmp, .png
  • vector images: .ai, .dxf, .svg
  • postscript: .ps, .eps
  • fonts: .ttf
  • archives: .zip, .rar

see here for a full list

If exactly the same file is already on Google Docs, then the online version is used. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Direct Uploads” collection on Google.


To open a file for editing

Similar to viewing a file, you can open a file for editing, if the file format can be edited and your current settings allow conversion to Google Docs.

  syncdocs.exe open “C:\path\filename.docx”

Only formats supported for editing will be opened (most MS Office and Open files and text files, see Conversion section of FAQ for more).

If the file cannot be opened, it will be opened for viewing.


To share

Similar to uploading a file, to share a file in Google Docs

  syncdocs.exe share “C:\path\filename.ext”

If exactly the same file is already on Google Docs, then the online version is used. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Public Share” or “Direct Uploads” collection on Google, depending on whether it is shared publically, or just to specific users and groups.


You can share entire folder trees in the same way:

  syncdocs.exe share “C:\path\folder\”

Note the trailing slash “folder\”.  Syncdocs will upload the whole folder tree on the next sync, if it is not already on Google.

Add extra privacy to your Google Files

You can easily use Syncdocs to sync your Google Docs to and from your PC. Syncdocs and Google Docs are both secure.

However, if you share a Google account with others, and want to keep your own cloud data private, take a look at Secret Sync. It encrypts all you data locally so that your data is completely private, accessible only to you on your local PC. Syncdocs still syncs all your data to Google Docs, but the chosen Secret Sync folders are encrypted on Google Docs and Apps.