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How is Google Docs Better Than Microsoft Word

Years ago, when Google introduced Google Docs to the world, it was seen as a nice little piece of software, but nothing more than that. It was fun to use, simple and clean, but it couldn’t replace a full-featured piece of software like Microsoft Word.

The years following Google’s release of Google Docs, companies stuck with Microsoft’s offering, refusing to try out this new piece of technology.

But in recent years, a shift has emerged. We are seeing more and more companies adopt in Google Docs as their main method of writing. As a writer yourself, you may still feel that Microsoft Word is the only way to go. But you might be surprised to learn that Google Docs is not just on par with Microsoft Word anymore, it’s better.

Today, let’s discuss some of the important features of Google Docs but make it a step above other word processing programs like Microsoft Word. And we’ll also talk about why these features mean you should be using Google Docs for your writing every day.

Always online

Let’s start with the biggest benefit, and also what many people feel is the biggest drawback.

Google Docs lives in a web browser. Yes, there are apps for phones and tablets. But for those of us who sit at a computer to write, we use Google Docs in the browser. It’s its most differentiating feature, and it is what makes Google Docs what it is.

On the positive side, the reason it helps so much is that your work is automatically saved to the cloud. Any change you make is saved within seconds. And once those changes are saved, you can access the new documents from anywhere.

This is especially important for anyone who works on multiple devices. You don’t have to set up a different syncing solution. Instead, just use Google Docs and the entire process is automatic.

On the flip side, some feel that the always-online aspect of Google Docs is a liability, not an asset. The reputation that Google Docs has built over the years is that it is useless without an internet connection.

While it is true that Google Docs is a far better system when you are online, that doesn’t mean it’s useless when you’re offline. In fact, nearly all of the main features of Google Docs are available to you if you don’t have an internet connection. And you can save the changes to your documents to the device that you were using, which will then sync to the cloud when you restore your internet connection.

Always saving

Along with always being online, the automatic saving feature of Google Docs is one of the best features of any writing app.

Some of us writers are old enough to remember when we had to manually save and backup our writing. And nearly every single one of us has dealt with a data crash, a corrupted file, or even a power outage that left us losing pages upon pages of our writing simply because we didn’t hit the save button in time.

With Google Docs, this is no longer an issue. Every time you begin to write in a Google Doc, the app is saving your progress. Because it saves right to your Google Drive, your file is automatically backed up to the cloud and you no longer have to worry about significant data loss in case your hardware fails.

Especially when you’re working on big writing projects, having your data always safe and your progress always saved is a killer feature.

It’s free

This is a simple point to make, but it’s one that we have to cover.

Many of us writers, especially when starting out, don’t have deep pockets. One of the biggest factors into any solution that we come up with is whether or not we have to pay for it.

Like most of Google’s offerings, Google Docs is free. That’s it. You don’t have to worry about subscriptions or coming up with any kind of upfront payment. You can sign up for Google Docs right now and be writing within seconds.

Yes, other writing apps are free. And there are free versions of a lot of the major writing apps today. But more often than not these apps also hide a lot of their features behind premium pay walls. That means you can’t take full advantage of the program unless you pay for it.

I’m all about investing in your writing career. I think it’s an important and underrated part of success. But there are times when you do need to manage your budget. Google Docs doesn’t cost anything. It’s that simple.


Another one of the great benefits of Google Docs is one of its leading features from the get-go.

Whether you are writing for clients, or you have to work with an editor on your book, collaboration is something that needs to be simple and straightforward.

When you use different writing apps, you may find yourself in the midst of a back-and-forth exchange with a particular document. In the old days, this meant needing to label the new files with a date, or some other suffix, so that you can differentiate between the last version and this one.

After a while, this process would become unwieldy, where no one would quite be sure of where the latest version is or even in which file is the latest version to begin with.

With Google Docs, this is no longer an issue. Google Docs has collaboration built right in. You can work on a document with somebody else even at the same time, and all the changes will be saved and synced to each other. All of it is done live, and it’s done on the same file.

That doesn’t mean it becomes more confusing. You can also turn on track changes and be able to see what the other person is changing and rewriting. You can work with each other in whatever way is best for your workflow. And you don’t have to worry about being confused over which file to use.

Version history

Sometimes, you need to go back and find a piece of writing that you already deleted.

Maybe you wrote a scene and decided to remove it from the piece. But then later on, you decide you want to put it back in, or you want to pull some aspects of it into a new scene.

In other writing apps, like Word, you might not be able to get access to that scene anymore. Once you save the new changes, the new version is the only one you have access to.

But with Google Docs, every old version of your document is saved. All you have to do is open up the version history, and you can go back in time to see what you changed and deleted, and you can even restore a previous version of your file.

This is one of those little talks about features of Google Docs that becomes more handy the more you use it. But it’s important to know that it’s there to begin with. Once you know, you may use it more than you think.


Finally, Google is very good at incorporating a lot of their offerings into other services. Google Docs is no different.

It’s all about workflow. When you are dealing with Google Docs, you want to be able to access it and interact with it with as little fuss as possible.

Here’s an example of what I mean. When you want to email a document to your editor, for example, you want to do it as quickly as possible. If you are working with a Word document, you’ll have to attach it as an attachment to the email. And again, you will then have to download the file, work with it, rename it so that you can differentiate your version from the other version, and so on.

But with Google Docs, all you have to do is click the little Google Drive button in Gmail, and you can insert your document into the email with one click. This link will automatically open up into Google Docs, where your editor can interact with the file using the collaboration tools that we’ve already discussed.

Because Google Docs are all about links, rather than attachments, it’s far easier to share these files with other people. You can set up a meeting and put a link to the Google Doc in the calendar invitation. Or you can send someone a text with a link to a file.

It’s far easier to integrate a link with other forms of communication. That’s one of the secret advantages of using Google Docs.

I don’t need to spend any more time trying to convince you to use Google Docs. The best way to convince you is by letting you use it for yourself. Take a few minutes to play around in Google Docs today if you never touched it before, and see how much better it is for your work clothes in Microsoft Word.