Google Docs should be a preferred option if you don’t want to install word processing software on your computer or want to easily share your documents with others. Word will provide you with more advanced word processing features, should you need them. You should use a combination of both depending on the project you’re working on.
If you’ve been using Word and are thinking about switching to Google Docs, this is the post for you to learn more about the cloud-based word processing program and how it measures up to Microsoft Word.
Before Google Docs came into being and became popular, there was no doubt that Microsoft Word was the go-to program when it came to word processing. It still is.
According to Statistica as of 2021, there are over a million companies across the globe using Office 365. Office 365 is the preferred choice for over 731,000 companies in the USA alone.
In the earlier days, you wrote in Microsoft Word and then printed out your writing to share it with others.
If you shared a file, the other party must have Microsoft Word installed on her computer. Otherwise, she would not be able to open the document.
Google Docs Arrives
All the inconveniences associated with Word changed when Google Docs was released in 2012.
Suddenly anyone with a Gmail account and an Internet connection had a wordprocessing program on the computer without having to install a program.
Easy Document Sharing
The best part of it all was one could share the file without the need to attach a file to the computer.
Best of all was you could allow different levels of access to the person you’re sharing with. You can allow the person to edit it or just read it.
Safe Online Backups
The best part is you don’t have to worry about losing the files that you’ve been diligently working on.
With Google Docs you don’t have to worry about your losing your files if your computer hard disk dies or the flash drive you saved your files in becomes corrupted.
Your files will there in the cloud for you to continue working on them or download them.
Minus the Save Button
With Word, you have to get into the habit of saving what you write. This isn’t easy for new users. Sometimes you’re too engrossed in the work that you forget to hit the save button.
Suddenly your computer gets turned off and you lose whatever you have written from the point you last saved your document. This is definitely a frustrating experience,
With Google Docs you don’t have to worry about this. Every time you add something new to a document, it’s automatically saved, So, you can really focus on your writing flow and not have to pause to save your document.
Who Should Choose Google Docs
If you seldom create documents or just create basic documents like letters you should use Google Docs. It’s free to use and you don’t have to worry about paying a subscription.
Also, as mentioned earlier, if you often share documents with others, Google Docs will be an ideal fit.
If you already have a Google account, (most of us do), you can easily log in to Docs and start creating your documents.
Also, you don’t have to worry about your documents not being compatible with Word, because there’s an option to download your Doc in Word format.
If you work with different types of operating systems, then you would have no problem with compatibility. You can access your documents via Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and Chrome OS computers.
- Mac OS X
- Chrome OS
Word Measuring Up to Google Docs
Time was when only Google Docs offered a cloud-based word processing program for free.
Microsoft has also come up with its own online version. The setup is similar to Docs. You sign up for a Microsoft account and then log in to office.com to use the free version of the Microsoft Word program. Whatever work you create will be saved in your OneDrive account.
You won’t get a full version of Word though. Just enough for you to create a basic document. But you have the sharing facility as in Google Docs.
The one big advantage of Word is you can work on it offline You don’t need to be connected to the Internet to work on your documents,
Of course, you can use Google Docs offline. However, many would not do as they’re used to working with it when connected to the Internet.
When your Internet or Google’s server is down, you can’t access your documents.
If you have a PDF you wish to edit, you can’t do it with Google Docs, However, you can do it with Word.
Extensive Formatting Features
You can create a wide range of documents with Word, ranging from brochures, book manuscripts, and even ebooks.
So, if you’re professionally creating such documents, Microsoft Word should be your preferred choice.
As you can see from the above, Google Docs will suit those who just have basic word processing and document sharing needs. Remember, real-time collaboration on documents is offered only in Google Docs.
Also, if you’re new to word processing, you would not want to go with Google Docs first. It has a friendlier, uncluttered interface compared to Word’s, which may intimidate beginners.
Word would come in handy when it comes to creating anything beyond letters and standard reports owing to the number of templates available. If you don’t mind the subscription cost, of course.
However, if budget is a concern and you want the best of both worlds, you should stick to Google Docs and the free version of Word on office.com.