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Google Docs

Many years now, that is for almost a decade we have all pretty much used Microsoft Word for our word processing needs, but now that the IT market is so extended and has faced a lot of changes, new options are becoming very popular.

Until recently there was simply no alternative to the Microsoft Office applications. If you wanted a document typed up and edited, there was Microsoft Word and if you wanted to tabulate your accounts, there was Microsoft Excel. To make a presentation to clients, you would have used Microsoft PowerPoint.

But then a new option came to the spotlight: Google Docs promising multi-user collaboration, e-mail integration and cloud access.

Microsoft Office offers a wide range of functions and tasks and perhaps a key advantage of Microsoft Office is that, unlike its competitors, the applications function perfectly without an Internet connection. Data is kept local and centralized, calming many concerns about security and fidelity.

But Google Docs also offer a lot of options. Cloud access, meaning a student or employee can edit his or her documents from anywhere – work, home, a hotel or an Internet cafe, without having to carry a company laptop from place to place. Collaborative editing enables a number of people to simultaneously work on a document without multiple versions being e-mailed back and forth across the office.

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Maybe one of the biggest scores in favor of Google Docs is that it costs $0 to download, install, implement and repair. Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus, on the other hand, is almost $500.

Here is a list of 5 issues and Google Docs can completely avoid:

1. Autocorrect is believed to be confusing

Autocorrect is not available in the spelling error context menu in Word 2013. This means that when you have a typo, you cannot right-click on it and choose autocorrect in order to fix the error. Fortunately, you can find and use this option in Google Docs very easily. If you make a typo, simply right-click on it and select “Always correct to…”. With this you get your misspelled words edited every time you type them in your doc. There is also an option to correct the typo only once or add a word, like a name of something or someone, to a dictionary..

Plus last March Google introduced context spellcheck, powered by the web: Google will actually make spelling suggestions based on the text surrounding the word in question.

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2. The dictionary is not included

This is the first time Microsoft released Word 2013 with no dictionary available. But since Google Docs are web based it is very easy to connect to an online dictionary. Last year Google introduced a tool for research, making the dictionary experience more valid.

If you want to look up the meaning of a certain word in Google Docs, just right click the word and select the option “Research”. Then Google will offer you mini web results on the right side of the document, including results from online dictionaries.

3. Tracked changes

The changes found in Word 2013 appear very indistinctly, thus causing some users to forget the tracked changes and send the document altogether with the edits. Although Google Apps does not have tracked changes, Docs, however, have powerful feature for editing: “Revision History”.

By using this option “Revision History” you can see exactly where and when another user have made changes, if you are working on a document with another colleague. Just select “File”, then “See revision history” and a window appears on the right side of the document with all the changes made recently. You can also select “Show more detailed revisions” to see the entire edit history. Changes appear in the user’s assigned color. In case you want to share a completely clean copy of the document, just add a collaborator as “View only” or “Make a copy” from the “File” menu and you are free to share that copy with the person you want to.

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4. Compatibility Mode is Complicated

Google Docs users simply never have to worry about compatibility. Compared to Microsoft Word, installed on individual computers, Google Docs functions online and updates are automatically available. This means that everybody can work on the same system 24/7.

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5. PDFs to word

Even though it is said that you can edit PDF documents with the newest version of Word, still the feature does not function very well. You will never have to create PDF with the public Google Docs. Also, the readers can download another file and create publicly shared Google document, just do not forget to set access to “Can View”. With this the readers are not allowed to make changes. And should the readers want a copy, they can download the document as PDF file by themselves.

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