Google Docs: The Better Microsoft Office?

April 9th, 2014 by Rossy Guide

Microsoft Office

When it comes to office automation, the first thing that comes to mind is Microsoft Office. One cannot imagine a Windows-based computer without a local copy of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The history of MS Office starts officially on November 19, 1990 when Office for Windows (also called MS Office 1.0) came out for use with Windows 2.0. Prior to Office 1.0, the basic elements of the package were still available as separate programs but for MS-DOS. The primary input devices for pre Windows Microsoft Word were keyboards. Though they have many good features, formatting and printing requires good expertise.

Here’s our list of top 10 features that the new Office has to offer.

o Touch everywhere
o Inking
o Apps
o Skydive
o New subscription services
o Stay connected
o Skype
o Reading, markup
o Digital note-taking
o Meetings

Google Docs

Google Docs is a freeware web-based office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. It also was a storage service but it has been replaced by Drive. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating with other users live. It combines the features of Writely and Spreadsheets with a presentation program incorporating technology designed by Tonic Systems.

-  Storage

With the launch of Google Docs, 1 GB of storage was included for free.

-  File limits

Individual documents may not exceed 1 GB as of 13 January 2010, embedded images must not exceed 2 MB each, and spreadsheets are limited to 256 columns, 400,000 cells, and 200 sheets.

-  Supported file formats

Users can upload files of any format. Google Docs supports 15 file formats for viewing. [.DOC and .DOCX,.DOC and .DOCX, .PPT and .PPTX, .PDF, .PAGES, .AI, .PSD, .TIFF, .DXF, .SVG, .EPS & .PS, .TTF & .OTF, .XPS, .ZIP and .RAR, WebM & .MPEG4 & .3GPP & .MOV & .AVI & .MPEGPS & .WMV & .FLV & .ogg].

 

Comparison:

Google Docs is a good alternative to Microsoft Office.  Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Microsoft Office

Advantages

o Each program in the suite is very powerful, and contains advanced features for formatting and data management.
o MS-Office is a standard set of applications used by many organizations.
o File size is only limited by the amount of drive storage space available on the individual user’s computer.

Disadvantages

o MS-Office is licensed per machine, and may not be available on home computers.
o Compatibility issues may arise between MS-Office versions.
o Files can be stored in different locations, but there can be multiple copies of the same file leading to questions as to which version is current.
o Files can be opened by only one person at a time, restricting collaboration.

Google Docs

Advantages

o Cloud-based, meaning that the applications and documents are available on any device with an internet connection, including smart phones.
o Can read and write MS-Office files.
o Multiple users can access a document at once, allowing for sophisticated collaboration.
o Documents can be published and viewed online into other web pages.
o All document changes are saved, and all previous versions are accessible.
o Users can create advanced forms and surveys.

Disadvantages

o Must have Internet access to use – not currently available offline.
o Does not have some of the advanced functions of MS-Office, including Mail Merge, advanced printing, etc.
o Formatting is not as easy as in MS-Office.
o Does not have a direct print function. Documents must be downloaded as a PDF then printed locally.
o Does not have a database such as MS-Access.
o File size is restricted to 2 MB, with a limit of 25 GB combined with Gmail.

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