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Gmail now properly reads PowerPoints, TIFFs

Google's Gmail gets a minor upgrade that lets it open up PowerPoint files, along with TIFF images.

Gmail can now open up PowerPoint presentations as well as .TIFF-formatted images that have been received as attachments in its HTML, multi-page document viewer.

The service has been able to open up .PPT-formatted presentations in its presentations viewer since mid-2007. Under the new system, however, the presentations are displayed in the service's recently renovated PDF viewer that forgoes the need for Adobe Flash in place of basic HTML, and gives users the option to zoom, print, see page previews, and search within it. On some files it also gives users the option to send the presentation straight to Google Docs.

The preview of .TIFF-formatted files is also a new thing and works just like it does on JPEGs, PNGs, and others. Previously you'd just see a little attachment icon.

Also worth noting is that the company is taking the liberty of automatically sending over some viewed attachments to users' Google Docs accounts, then sending out follow-up e-mails that say it can be edited in Google Docs. However, this isn't happening for all users. The e-mail looks like this:

    "You used Gmail's "Open as a Google document" link to view the attachment called "Overall CFI 04162009".

    By doing this you saved an editable copy online at Google Docs:

    Google Docs allows you to:
    Create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online, from anywhere you have Internet access.
    Share documents with others, even collaborating on the same document at once, in real time.
    Know that your documents are safe. Since your content is stored on Google's secure servers, even if something happens to your hard drive, your documents are protected.

    You can always get back to Google Docs directly at

    Thanks, The Google Docs Team"

Google continues to build in more ways for users to view and access links and files within Gmail, keeping them within the service or using it inside of another Google product. Last month the company released Gmail Labs add-ons that provided previews to Flickr photos, Yelp reviews, and YouTube videos if links to those places had been included inside of a message.

The new Google PPT viewer is the same one (powered by Google Docs) that reads PDF and Doc files. CNET Networks