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Preview of Office documents

3 min read  •  April 16, 2020

Office documents are a consistent part of everyday office life in almost every company - even today. We create presentations in PowerPoint, calculations in Excel and letters in Word (or alternative applications). To make working on Office documents even easier and more convenient, you can now preview files in Stackfield.

Note: This feature is only available to Premium and Enterprise plan users.

Being a comprehensive collaboration platform, Stackfield combines various tools to map all areas of everyday work. Of course, file management is an integral part of Stackfield as well. Office documents - like various other files - can be shared centrally and edited with all team members. To make file management and collaboration even more efficient, Excel sheets and the like no longer need to be downloaded or "edited locally" to view them. With the new preview function, users can view these documents with just one click.

How to open the preview for Office documents

For data protection reasons, Office documents are not displayed with content by default, i.e. they must be explicitly requested by the user. If the function is available, the preview opens with a click on the button of the same name (e.g. within the stream right below the file name).

Preview button in stream

In the opened preview all document pages can be viewed simply by scrolling. The application bar in the upper right corner of the view allows you to zoom in (magnifying glass symbol with "+"), zoom out (magnifying glass symbol with "-") and display the file in its original size (diagonal arrow symbol). For a better overview, there is also a thumbnail view of the pages on the right-hand side, which you can use to quickly "jump" to the corresponding page with a single click.

Open preview

Note: If you want to preview a file within an encrypted room, you may not be able to do so. In this case your organizations administrator didn’t enable this function for encrypted files.

Special case: Files within encrypted rooms

For files in encrypted rooms, this option is initially disabled by default to ensure compliance with your policies. Administrators of Premium and Enterprise plan organizations are free to decide whether or not the preview can also be used for encrypted documents.

This is what happens when you preview files from encrypted rooms

With end-to-end encrypted rooms, files are stored in encrypted condition on Stackfield's servers, with Stackfield having no access to the encryption keys. Since the preview must be created on Stackfield's servers, the individual encryption key of a file is sent to Stackfield's servers only once to decrypt the file, create the preview and display it to the user. Once the user closes the preview, the information is deleted from the cache. The file remains encrypted and secured on Stackfield's servers so that it cannot be accessed by third parties. Of course, the content from the preview is not stored by Stackfield.

Activating/Deactivating the preview function for encrypted Office documents

To enable or deactivate this option, go to the "Preview encrypted Office files" section under the "Settings" tab in the organization settings. If you want to use the option for encrypted files as well, select the "Activate" option in the drop-down menu.

Activating the preview option

Note: If the feature is disabled in the Organization Settings, users receive an automated "error" message when trying to open the preview of an encrypted Office file.

Preview notification

These file types are available in the preview

Stackfield supports all MS Office and OpenOffice files with the following extensions in the preview:

  • Word processing (MS Office / OpenOffice): .docx; .doc; .odt
  • Spreadsheet (MS Office / OpenOffice): .xlsx; .xls; .ods
  • Presentation creation (MS Office / OpenOffice): .pptx; .ppt; .odp

Announcement: Direct editing of Office documents and Teams integration

Finally, we would like to give you a little insight into our next updates. At the current time our development team is working on

  • a function for editing Office documents directly in Stackfield,
  • conference calls in audio and video telephony (as some of you may already know)
  • and further integrations, the next one will be for Microsoft Teams.

Organizations that have already integrated other communication solutions such as Microsoft Teams and want to continue using it, can simply switch off the direct messaging area (Organization Settings -> tab Permissions -> "Who can use direct messages?") and limit the use of Stackfield to the other work areas (project management, document and file management, etc.). Those who use Teams may use the Teams integration then. This saves users from having to constantly switch between different applications.

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Lena Wimmer
About the Author:
Lena Wimmer is Product Marketing Manager at Stackfield. She is passionate about American literary history, great content and cinematography.
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