How to open Office files in repository for editing in client application & saving to repository?

I have a few .xlsx and .docx files in a project repository. Can I edit/save them directly from the Web UI, opening Excel and Word desktop installed applications and saving changes to the repository? a bit like what I can do with OneDrive, SharePoint Online ? .xlsx attached to Issues open in Excel, but I cannot save back the changes to the issue. .xlsx in repositories cannot be edited/opened, only downloaded as a .zip file. Am I missing something trivial here or is this as (not) designed ?

Thanks for helping out.


xlsx and docx files are not plain text which could be edited e.g. with Markdown as structure. Instead, they use a proprietary binary format involving XML and meta information in a container to my knowledge. An editor or a Web IDE would need to take this into account, like OneDrive does with providing cloud based office apps. There’s a whole lot more happening in the background than just editing a text file. Same problem applies to PDF for example.

I don’t know whether GitLab will support these special formats and re-invent the wheel from online docs or sheets. One thing I could imagine is that an integration into OneDrive is possible, where stored data is synced to the Git repository after online edits.

From a historical point of view, a Git repository with its own history is somewhat different to the SharePoint approach with storing a file tree accessible via web, similar to NextCloud.

In order to edit the files, you need to download them, edit them and upload/commit them back to the Git repository into your GitLab project.