View contents of ZIP & RAR Files Online before downloading using Google Docs

Google Docs Viewer is a free and useful service by Google, which lets you quickly view documents online without leaving your browser. It saves time and frees you from the task of downloading files, then open and read them with a relevant program.

The Google Docs Viewer allows you to quickly view many file types online, including PDFs, Microsoft Office files, and many image file types. Earlier, it was not possible to preview the contents of ZIP and RAR files online and you had to download the complete archive first to your computer. Fortunately, Google DOCS has now added support to view contents of a ZIP/RAR file online received as attachments in Gmail.

Furthermore, there is an easy way to explore the contents of any ZIP and RAR file online using Google Docs itself. This comes handy when you need to download only desired individual files from a ZIP/RAR file, instead of downloading the full archive.

To do so, visit https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=, add the URL of Zip file to the end of docs link and then hit Enter. Docs will show a preview of all files in that Zip archive.

Example: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.deviantart.com/download/220725520/_122_by_bo0xvn-d3newwg.zip

Download any desired file from the archive content list by clicking ‘Actions’ and choose the Download option. You’ll be able to View items supported by Google Docs Viewer, Print (PDF) and Save them to Google Docs. Docs also lets you view ZIP and RAR archives that are embedded inside other archives. It shows the file type and its size too!

Google Docs Viewer supporting File Formats

Until now, Google Docs Viewer used to support 3 major file formats namely: PDFs, Microsoft Word documents (.DOC, .DOCX) and PowerPoint presentations (.PPT). Google Docs viewer has now added support for 12 new file types listed below:

  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

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