Dropbox is a convenient way to access and view your stored files from any connected PC or mobile device. But sometimes you also want to edit or modify a document, image, or other file. In the past, you'd have to download the file and work with it offline. Now, there's an easier option.
Dropbox has officially unveiled a feature known as Extensions, as described in a new blog post. Through Extensions, you can open and edit a file online without leaving Dropbox. Just choose the web app you wish to use, and you can modify the file directly. Depending on the file and the Extensions available, you can even send it to someone as a fax or as a request for a signature.
Extensions is an attempt to solve one of the limitations of storing your files online -- the ability to do more than just view them. With a competing service like Microsoft OneDrive, you can edit your online documents via Microsoft's free Office Online suite. Dropbox has taken a similar approach but expanded it to support a wider array of files.
"Extensions let you use the tools you already love while keeping everything organized, in sync, and in one place -- Dropbox," the company said in its post. "Just like the right-click menu in Windows Explorer or macOS Finder, Extensions let you open files from dropbox.com in the web-based app of your choice. Starting today, you'll see an 'Open with' menu next to popular file types like PDFs, DWGs, Word docs, videos, and images."
To use Extensions, sign into the Dropbox website on your PC or mobile device. Hover over or view the file you want to work with and click the Open with button. You can access the Open with button from a file's folder or from its viewer window. The variety and types of web apps available depend on the file. Certain image files may offer you an option only to edit the file through the online editor Pixlr X. With PDFs, you can edit the file in a program such as Nitro or SmallPDF, send it to someone for a signature via DocuSign or HelloSign, and fax it through HelloFax. And with a Word document, you can also edit the file using Microsoft Word Online.
The first time you choose an extension you're asked to grant it permission to your file. The web app appears in place where you can now work with the file. When you're done, just click the link to save the file if necessary and then return to Dropbox.
You can find out more by checking out the Dropbox Extensions page.
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