You’re just in the middle of adding the finishing touches to a word doc when your computer crashes. Do you panic? Of course not. You have Google Docs, the free online word processing software created by the information tech giant. Its web-based program provides Google account users with the platform to write documents without having to download a desktop word processor. With a simple Google account, you can create and access documents online. No longer do bosses, co-workers and students have to email or IM files! Viewing, commenting and editing can all be done in one document. The best part? No more clicking save. The app automatically saves changes at regular intervals, including older versions of the doc.
A familiar (inter) face
It’s hard to imagine how any word processor could top Google Docs. It’s simply the best.
You won’t be surprised by the app’s interface given that Google Docs maintains the sleek, minimalist look found on Microsoft Word: white space, rounded page elements and muted colors. You can easily access popular fonts, use ready-made templates, and embed hyperlinks, images and other media.
Doc in the clouds
You can’t talk about Google Docs without mentioning Google Drive. The file storage and synchronization service allows users to organize and share files on its servers. You can store up to 15 gigabytes worth of files in the cloud platform. You can also create files through its office suite apps: Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Docs. So, goodbye to downloading other productivity software.
The downside here? You got to have a WiFi connection if you want to create docs on this web-based storage app. But if it’s any consolation, Google Docs makes up for this default by offering users Offline mode for documents already created. No WiFi connection needed to access and edit documents. Just remember though, any changes made will not be applied until you establish an internet connection. So for documents that have more than one editor onboard, connect if you want revisions updated for all to see.
In your hands
Google Docs is available online on your PC as well as at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. But, it is a stand-alone app. You’ll have to download both Google Drive and Google Docs apps, which is a bit troublesome. Regardless though, if you have data and are connected online, both applications will work without a hitch.
Where can you run this program?
You can access Google Docs through popular web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. However, this only applies if you’re using your desktop. Users that want to edit thru their smartphones will have to download the Google Docs app on their iOS or Android device.
Is there a better alternative?
It's hard to think of another online word processor that can compete with Google Docs. A formidable competitor is Dropbox, another online storage service, who recently released Dropbox Paper.
Paper aims to keep users on the same page. Literally. Its three key features? Check them out!
· Link Doc to Google Calendar or Office 365
· To-Do List Function
· Tag users to the To-Do List
Users can also make mood boards to embed photos, videos and even Spotify tracks. Paper is a good option, but Google Docs has the upper hand here. Again, Google Docs boasts 15 gigabytes of storage, whereas Paper only offers a measly 2 gigabytes.