Tech

Google Docs vs Word: Which Option Is Best for You?

Understanding the difference between these two forms of word processing

Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word are part of large enterprises and have become popular word processing solutions for home users, students, businesses, and everyone in between. We tested both to see what’s different so you can choose the one that’s best for you.

Word is known for its ubiquitous desktop software, usually purchased through a subscription, and Docs works with any web browser or phone and is 100% free.

wire of life

overall result

google docs

  • It’s free for all features.

  • Easy to use anywhere.

  • All the basic editing tools most people need.

  • Useful and easy sharing options.

microsoft word

  • Powerful desktop program.

  • Ideal for offline work.

  • It’s free during the trial period.

Personal preference is the number one reason to use Word or Docs. Both have all the features most people need in a good word processor. When deciding which one to use, you should focus on things like storage and sharing, and general usability and functional differences.

If price is a factor and you don’t need many advanced features, Google Docs is for you. But if you’re physically sharing a lot of documents (eg using Word from a flash drive or a file server, it’ll be a bit faster, and there’s nothing wrong with the rich feature set).

Cost: Documentation is free with no restrictions.

google docs

  • All are free.

microsoft word

  • It’s free for a limited time only.

You can access both Word and Docs if you don’t want to spend money to try them, but only Google Docs is free forever. All you need to do is launch the website in your browser to access all the editing tools you need. No payment information is required.

To use Word for free, you need to enter your payment information and activate your MS Office free trial. The trial version runs for a limited time, during which time you can pay for all the features you get. However, it will be terminated and cannot be used until payment is made.

Word is also available online for free, but this version is much simpler than the desktop version. Learn other ways to use Word for free.

Features: Power users choose Word.

google docs

  • Lots of basic features.

  • Useful for light writing tasks.

  • You can open DOCX files in Word.

microsoft word

  • Extensive menu full of options.

  • Ideal for research and writing.

  • It accepts multiple document file types.

A browser-based tool like Docs can provide all the features you need, but sometimes you need a desktop program. In this case, if you use your word processor heavily, Microsoft Word is the only way to get the full feature set.

I’m not saying Google Docs are terrible. It’s not a full feature. With Word, it feels like you have everything you need at your fingertips. Tables, mail merges, bibliography, table of contents, writing styles, watermarks, labels, and charts are just a few examples of where Word shines.

Docs is useful for a lot of people and most of us have an advantage if we need it for light use or don’t need many advanced options. But if you need a word processor with all the necessary features, you can’t go wrong with Microsoft Word. The fact that nothing as much valuable as Word’s Envelope Composer is part of a document is a simple example that a document isn’t that feature-rich.

There are also small differences that may be important to some. Here are a few:

  • Adding columns or rows to a table in Word can be accessed via a pop-up button when you hover over that area, making it easy to expand the table. To use the Docs app, you need to right-click and read the menu to find the paste option you want. There is no keyboard shortcut for that.
  • Google Docs lets you create standard charts and graphs, such as bars and pies, but doesn’t have the flexibility Word provides. More than a dozen supported including Radar, Treemap, Waterfall, Box & Whisker charts.

Since Google Docs and Microsoft Word are compatible with each other, it’s an issue when it comes to file format support. You can use Word’s popular DOCX format in Google Docs. You can even download Google Docs and open them in MS Word in seconds without converting them to a compatible format.

Mobility: Documents work everywhere.

google docs

  • You can access your website from anywhere.

  • Mobile app for Android and iOS.

  • It is consistent no matter where you use it.

microsoft word

  • Runs on Windows and Mac.

  • Mobile app for Android and iOS.

Google Docs runs completely online, so you can access it anywhere and look the same no matter how you use it. Upload or create documents from your school laptop and they’re instantly available on your phone and home computer. You can easily use it anywhere as long as you have the internet.

Word runs on your desktop. Installation takes time and subscriptions limit the number of devices you can use. Of course, Word Online works everywhere just like Docs, but when we’re talking about portability of the full version, Docs is the clear winner.

Share: Google Docs works better.

google docs

  • High-speed collaboration.

  • Built-in email form.

microsoft word

  • Updates are delayed when working with shared files.

  • A desktop email client is required.

Another way Docs is overtaking Word is through file sharing. Sharing and collaborating in Google Docs isn’t difficult (though it’s very similar in Word). However, because Docs is only available online, any changes you make on one device are, by default, immediately reflected on other devices where the file is open. I’ve never had this experience when collaborating on Word documents.

Docs works better if you want to email a document you’re working on. A simple email option in the menu brings up a popup where you can choose one of your Gmail contacts and several formatting options, including DOCX, Rich Text, HTML, and PDF.

How does Word handle this? Not so good. You need to use a desktop email client installed on your computer and it doesn’t have many format options. Of course, you can use this setting if you prefer a desktop email client over a web-based email client like Gmail.com.

Offline use: Word is designed for this.

google docs

  • Rely on an active internet connection.

  • It supports offline access, but is disabled by default.

microsoft word

  • It runs completely offline.

  • You can easily save documents to a connected hard drive.

If you travel a lot or work on a project on the go, your laptop will inevitably run into network connectivity issues. The best way to handle this is to use an offline word processor so you can work non-stop without hiccups. Microsoft Word will undoubtedly win this battle.

You can use Google Docs offline, but you must take precautions by installing the Chrome extension and then enabling the offline option. If you don’t do this before you experience internet connection problems, it’s too late. Because Word resides on your computer, you don’t need the Internet unless you’re ready to share your files.

Word is even more convenient if you want to save your documents offline or on a removable hard drive. Create documents on a flash drive and edit them right in Word. To use the same document in Google Docs, you need to upload the document there, make changes, and then download it back to Drive.

Final Verdict: Both are useful to others.

It’s impossible to make a comprehensive recommendation for using Word or Docs because we’re all different and have unique needs and experiences when using word processors. Both platforms are useful.

Docs is perfect if you don’t want to pay for it, but need a working way of viewing and editing documents. Some schools even suggest that students pay for a desktop solution like Word. However, it still works with MS Word files, has all the features that most people need, is not easy to understand, and is great for document sharing and backup.

However, Word is more tolerant of features and has long been the business standard. Once the latest version of Word is installed, you will no longer need it, but you will have to pay for these benefits.

Visit Google Docs

buy microsoft word


More information

Google Docs vs Word: Which Option Is Best for You?

Understand the difference between these two forms of word processing

Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word are a part of huge companies and have become common word processing solutions for home users, students, businesses, and everyone in between. We’ve tested both to dig into what makes them different so that you can pick the one that works best for you.

Word is known for its ubiquitous desktop software that’s commonly purchased through a subscription plan, while Docs can be used from any web browser or phone and is 100% free.

Lifewire
Overall Findings
Google Docs

Free for all the features.

Easy to use from anywhere.

All the basic editing tools most people need.

Useful and simple sharing options.

Microsoft Word

Robust desktop program.

Great for offline work.

Free during the trial period.

Personal preference will be the primary driver behind whether you use Word or Docs. Both have all the features most people need in a good word processor. Things like saving and sharing, general usability, and feature differences are what you should focus on when deciding which one to use.

If price is a factor and you don’t need many advanced features, Google Docs is where you should be. However, if you’re one to share lots of documents physically, like on flash drives or file servers, using Word will prove to be a bit faster, and you can’t go wrong with its extensive feature set.

Cost: Docs Is Free With Zero Limits
Google Docs

It’s all free.

Microsoft Word

Free only during a limited-time trial.

Both Word and Docs are accessible even if you don’t want to set aside some money to try them, but only Google Docs is free permanently. Just fire up the site in your browser, and you’ll have full access to all the editing tools you need. No payment information is required.

To use Word for free, you need to enter your payment information and activate the MS Office free trial. The trial runs for a limited time, during which you get all the features you would if you pay. But it will end, and you won’t be able to use it until you pay.

Word is also available online for free, but that version is considerably rather basic than its desktop counterpart. Learn more about other ways to use Word for free.
Features: Power Users Choose Word
Google Docs

Lots of basic features.

Useful for light writing requirements.

Can open DOCX files from Word.

Microsoft Word

Extensive menus full of options.

Ideal for research and writing.

Accepts several document file formats.

Although it’s possible for a browser-based tool like Docs to offer all the features you need, sometimes a desktop program is what you need. In this case, Microsoft Word is the only way to get the complete set of features if you’re a heavy word processor user.

It’s not that Google Docs is terrible; it just isn’t as full-featured. When you use Word, you feel like you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips. Tables, Mail Merge, bibliography, table of contents, writing styles, watermarks, labels, and charts are just a few examples of the areas where Word shines.

Docs is great for many people, and for most of us, it has its benefits if all you need it for is light use or you don’t need lots of advanced options. But if you need a word processor with all the bells and whistles—everything you’ll need—you can’t go wrong with Microsoft Word. The fact that something as tremendously valuable as Word’s envelope maker isn’t part of Docs is a simple example of how Docs not as feature-filled.

There are also minor differences that could matter to some. Here are just a couple:

In Word, adding a column or row to a table is accessible through a pop-up button when you hover the mouse over that area, making it easy to expand a table. The Docs app requires you to right-click and read the menu to find the insert option you need; there’s no shortcut key for it.
Google Docs lets you make standard charts and graphs like bar and pie, but you won’t get the flexibility Word provides. Over a dozen are supported, including radar, treemap, waterfall, and box & whisker charts.

It’s a toss-up when it comes to file format support because Google Docs and Microsoft Word are compatible with each other: You can use Word’s popular DOCX format in Google Docs. You can also download a Google doc and open it in MS Word just a few seconds later without converting it into a compatible format.

Mobility: Docs Works Everywhere
Google Docs

Website access from anywhere.

Mobile app for Android and iOS.

Consistency no matter where it’s used.

Microsoft Word

Runs on Windows and Mac.

Mobile app for Android and iOS.

Google Docs runs entirely online, so it’s accessible wherever you may be and looks the same regardless of how you use it. Upload or create a document from your school laptop, and it’s instantly available from your phone and your home computer. It’s straightforward to use from anywhere you have internet.

Word runs from your desktop. It takes time to install, and one subscription limits the number of devices you can use it on. Sure, Word online works from anywhere, just like Docs, but if we’re talking about mobility in the full version, Docs is the clear winner.

Sharing: Google Docs Just Works Better
Google Docs

Ultra-fast collaboration.

Built-in email form.

Microsoft Word

Delayed updates when working with shared files.

Requires a desktop email client.

Another way Docs overtakes Word is when sharing files. It’s effortless to share and collaborate on Google documents (although it’s pretty similar in Word). But since Docs is exclusively online, changes made from one device are essentially instantly reflected on the other ones that have the file open. We haven’t had this experience when collaborating on Word docs.

If you’d rather email the document you’re working on, Docs performs better there, too. A simple Email option in the menu shows a pop-up where you can choose any of your Gmail contacts and several format options including DOCX, rich text, HTML, and PDF.

How does Word handle this? Not as well. You have to use the desktop email client installed on your computer, and you don’t get as many format options. Granted, if you prefer your desktop email client to a web-based one like Gmail.com, then you might choose this setup.

Offline Usage: Word Was Designed For It
Google Docs

Relies on an active internet connection.

Supports offline access but it’s off by default.

Microsoft Word

Runs entirely offline.

Easy to save documents to attached hard drives.

If you travel a lot or like to work on projects on the go, your laptop will inevitably, at some point, have trouble connecting to a network. The best way to deal with this is to use an offline word processor so that you can work non-stop without running into hiccups. Microsoft Word wins this battle hands-down.

You can use Google Docs offline, but it requires you to be proactive by installing a Chrome extension and then enabling the offline option—if you don’t do it before an internet connection problem, it’ll be too late. Since Word is on your computer, the internet is never necessary until/unless you’re ready to share your files.

Word is also much more convenient if you like to store documents offline or on removable hard drives. It’s simple to create a document on a flash drive and edit it in Word directly from there. To use that same document on Google Docs would require you to upload it there, make your changes, and then download it back to the drive.

Final Verdict: Both Are Useful for Different People

It’s impossible to make a blanket recommendation for using Word or Docs because we’re all different, with unique requirements and experience using word processors. Both of these platforms are useful.

Docs is perfect if you don’t want to pay for anything, but you still need a functioning method for viewing and editing documents. Some schools even suggest it over requiring students to pay for a desktop solution like Word. Yet, it still works with MS Word files, has all the features most people need, couldn’t be easier to understand, and works great for sharing and backing up your documents.

However, Word is more generous with features and has been the business standard for a long time. You won’t find yourself wanting more if you have the most up-to-date version of Word installed, but you will have to pay for those benefits.

Visit Google Docs
Buy Microsoft Word

#Google #Docs #Word #Option

Google Docs vs Word: Which Option Is Best for You?

Understand the difference between these two forms of word processing

Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word are a part of huge companies and have become common word processing solutions for home users, students, businesses, and everyone in between. We’ve tested both to dig into what makes them different so that you can pick the one that works best for you.

Word is known for its ubiquitous desktop software that’s commonly purchased through a subscription plan, while Docs can be used from any web browser or phone and is 100% free.

Lifewire
Overall Findings
Google Docs

Free for all the features.

Easy to use from anywhere.

All the basic editing tools most people need.

Useful and simple sharing options.

Microsoft Word

Robust desktop program.

Great for offline work.

Free during the trial period.

Personal preference will be the primary driver behind whether you use Word or Docs. Both have all the features most people need in a good word processor. Things like saving and sharing, general usability, and feature differences are what you should focus on when deciding which one to use.

If price is a factor and you don’t need many advanced features, Google Docs is where you should be. However, if you’re one to share lots of documents physically, like on flash drives or file servers, using Word will prove to be a bit faster, and you can’t go wrong with its extensive feature set.

Cost: Docs Is Free With Zero Limits
Google Docs

It’s all free.

Microsoft Word

Free only during a limited-time trial.

Both Word and Docs are accessible even if you don’t want to set aside some money to try them, but only Google Docs is free permanently. Just fire up the site in your browser, and you’ll have full access to all the editing tools you need. No payment information is required.

To use Word for free, you need to enter your payment information and activate the MS Office free trial. The trial runs for a limited time, during which you get all the features you would if you pay. But it will end, and you won’t be able to use it until you pay.

Word is also available online for free, but that version is considerably rather basic than its desktop counterpart. Learn more about other ways to use Word for free.
Features: Power Users Choose Word
Google Docs

Lots of basic features.

Useful for light writing requirements.

Can open DOCX files from Word.

Microsoft Word

Extensive menus full of options.

Ideal for research and writing.

Accepts several document file formats.

Although it’s possible for a browser-based tool like Docs to offer all the features you need, sometimes a desktop program is what you need. In this case, Microsoft Word is the only way to get the complete set of features if you’re a heavy word processor user.

It’s not that Google Docs is terrible; it just isn’t as full-featured. When you use Word, you feel like you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips. Tables, Mail Merge, bibliography, table of contents, writing styles, watermarks, labels, and charts are just a few examples of the areas where Word shines.

Docs is great for many people, and for most of us, it has its benefits if all you need it for is light use or you don’t need lots of advanced options. But if you need a word processor with all the bells and whistles—everything you’ll need—you can’t go wrong with Microsoft Word. The fact that something as tremendously valuable as Word’s envelope maker isn’t part of Docs is a simple example of how Docs not as feature-filled.

There are also minor differences that could matter to some. Here are just a couple:

In Word, adding a column or row to a table is accessible through a pop-up button when you hover the mouse over that area, making it easy to expand a table. The Docs app requires you to right-click and read the menu to find the insert option you need; there’s no shortcut key for it.
Google Docs lets you make standard charts and graphs like bar and pie, but you won’t get the flexibility Word provides. Over a dozen are supported, including radar, treemap, waterfall, and box & whisker charts.

It’s a toss-up when it comes to file format support because Google Docs and Microsoft Word are compatible with each other: You can use Word’s popular DOCX format in Google Docs. You can also download a Google doc and open it in MS Word just a few seconds later without converting it into a compatible format.

Mobility: Docs Works Everywhere
Google Docs

Website access from anywhere.

Mobile app for Android and iOS.

Consistency no matter where it’s used.

Microsoft Word

Runs on Windows and Mac.

Mobile app for Android and iOS.

Google Docs runs entirely online, so it’s accessible wherever you may be and looks the same regardless of how you use it. Upload or create a document from your school laptop, and it’s instantly available from your phone and your home computer. It’s straightforward to use from anywhere you have internet.

Word runs from your desktop. It takes time to install, and one subscription limits the number of devices you can use it on. Sure, Word online works from anywhere, just like Docs, but if we’re talking about mobility in the full version, Docs is the clear winner.

Sharing: Google Docs Just Works Better
Google Docs

Ultra-fast collaboration.

Built-in email form.

Microsoft Word

Delayed updates when working with shared files.

Requires a desktop email client.

Another way Docs overtakes Word is when sharing files. It’s effortless to share and collaborate on Google documents (although it’s pretty similar in Word). But since Docs is exclusively online, changes made from one device are essentially instantly reflected on the other ones that have the file open. We haven’t had this experience when collaborating on Word docs.

If you’d rather email the document you’re working on, Docs performs better there, too. A simple Email option in the menu shows a pop-up where you can choose any of your Gmail contacts and several format options including DOCX, rich text, HTML, and PDF.

How does Word handle this? Not as well. You have to use the desktop email client installed on your computer, and you don’t get as many format options. Granted, if you prefer your desktop email client to a web-based one like Gmail.com, then you might choose this setup.

Offline Usage: Word Was Designed For It
Google Docs

Relies on an active internet connection.

Supports offline access but it’s off by default.

Microsoft Word

Runs entirely offline.

Easy to save documents to attached hard drives.

If you travel a lot or like to work on projects on the go, your laptop will inevitably, at some point, have trouble connecting to a network. The best way to deal with this is to use an offline word processor so that you can work non-stop without running into hiccups. Microsoft Word wins this battle hands-down.

You can use Google Docs offline, but it requires you to be proactive by installing a Chrome extension and then enabling the offline option—if you don’t do it before an internet connection problem, it’ll be too late. Since Word is on your computer, the internet is never necessary until/unless you’re ready to share your files.

Word is also much more convenient if you like to store documents offline or on removable hard drives. It’s simple to create a document on a flash drive and edit it in Word directly from there. To use that same document on Google Docs would require you to upload it there, make your changes, and then download it back to the drive.

Final Verdict: Both Are Useful for Different People

It’s impossible to make a blanket recommendation for using Word or Docs because we’re all different, with unique requirements and experience using word processors. Both of these platforms are useful.

Docs is perfect if you don’t want to pay for anything, but you still need a functioning method for viewing and editing documents. Some schools even suggest it over requiring students to pay for a desktop solution like Word. Yet, it still works with MS Word files, has all the features most people need, couldn’t be easier to understand, and works great for sharing and backing up your documents.

However, Word is more generous with features and has been the business standard for a long time. You won’t find yourself wanting more if you have the most up-to-date version of Word installed, but you will have to pay for those benefits.

Visit Google Docs
Buy Microsoft Word

#Google #Docs #Word #Option


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