Whenever we think of creating, forwarding, or editing a file, the first thing that pops into our minds is Microsoft. For more than a decade, Microsoft has been a key player in this segment till the time Google made a stellar entry with Google Docs. Google Docs is everything that Microsoft is and much more. The best part is: It’s Free! Today, we’ll walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of using Google Docs to help you choose the best option for yourself.
What is Google Docs
Google Docs is a free cloud-based word processor that you can access via Google Drive or docs.google.com. What’s more, you can use Google Docs on your PC, laptop, or mobile devices like iOS Android, or Windows. It is also compatible with multiple browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and more. Google Docs has a maximum storage accommodation of 1 GB per file.
Without having to part with your precious moolah, Google Docs helps you create and share documents. It also carries a cloud storage option. In simple verbiage, your files will permanently remain on the cloud without the risk of incidental data loss or omission of your precious files. It also permits users to work or collaborate in real-time and maintains the privacy of your documents by allowing you several options of sharing, like read-only or edit options, with whomever you wish to share with.
Advantages of Google Docs
Google Docs is one of the prominent doc editors used by individuals and businesses. Let us discuss the pros of using Google Docs.
Free and Easy-to-Use Platform
The best and most significant benefit of Google Docs is that it is completely free. There is no subscription or hidden costs involved in the usage of Google Docs in comparison to its other counterparts. The features and the quality it offers are at par with most of the paid platforms, with no issues of accessibility and sharing. Moreover, the interface is uncomplicated and without any clutter. You just require internet connectivity, and voila, you can operate it anywhere.
Now you don’t have to worry about a file on your office computer that you forgot to mail over the weekend and face the wrath of your boss. You can simply log in to your account from your phone or laptop and mail it anytime, anywhere.
Now you don’t have to send the same emails to and fro again and again. This feature allows you to collaborate with multiple users and teams at the same time. You all can work simultaneously on the same file, edit them, leave a comment, or suggest changes, and its rectification keeps everyone in the loop. You can keep tabs on everything via version history, thereby promoting seamless integration without an ounce of confusion. What could be better than this?
Cloud-based Storage and Accessibility
Google Docs works entirely on the cloud. Every document you create is stored on the cloud rather than on individual devices. You just need active internet connectivity, and you can access your file from anywhere in the world. This feature offers accessibility and flexibility, especially to large corporations based on different continents. Another added advantage is security. As your files are stored online, there is no threat of data loss due to theft or hardware or software failure.
Seamless Integration with Other Google Tools
Be it Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Slides, or any other prominent Google tool, Google Docs easily blends and integrates with everything. The seamless integration also allows Google Docs to be accessible in multiple business verticals by streamlining workflows and enhancing productivity. For instance, you can easily export data to Google Docs from Google Sheets or Google Slides without the need to manually transfer those files from one person to another.
Extensive Sharing and Commenting Features
Google Docs offers robust sharing and commenting features that simplify collaboration and feedback exchange between all the stakeholders. Now you can share documents with specific individuals or groups, allowing them different levels of access, like view-only, comment-only, or editing accesses. These options ensure that certain information remains safe without hampering communication. It also allows transparency in communication without any scope for misunderstanding.
Disadvantages of Google Docs
Now that we have seen the advantages of Google Docs, let’s take a gander at the disadvantages posed by them.
Google Docs is functional only when it has an active internet connection. If you find yourself in a place or a situation without internet accessibility, then this platform will be rendered ineffective. You will not be able to use the platform optimally when away from the internet. Therefore, it is not suitable for people who have unreliable or no access to the internet.
Limited offline options
Google Docs have introduced an offline mode. However, it still has limited functionality in comparison to the online mode. Though you can open and edit documents, you will not be able to use its collaborative features like real-time sharing and comments. You must also remember to sync your documents in offline mode, which, if forgotten, may lead to inconvenience.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Even though cloud storage is a convenient option, it still poses a security threat for some users. Google has taken sufficient and proactive measures to combat this situation. However, people are still at risk for data breaches and the threat of unauthorized access by third-party sources. Many organizations, therefore, have stringent policies and privacy regulations that forbid employees from storing and sharing confidential or sensitive information on cloud-based platforms.
Dependency on Google’s infrastructure
As Google Docs is a product of Google, it is solely dependent on Google’s infrastructure. In case there are any outages or issues with Google, the entire platform is affected, including Google Docs. You may have at the time noticed that Google Docs are defunct when you try to access them, sometimes for several hours. This is extremely inconvenient, especially who use Google Docs for day-to-day operations.
Lack of Formatting Options
Google Docs offers its users a lot of basic formatting options on its dashboard. However, they fall short when it comes to offering an advanced level of formatting options. In case you need intricate formatting, special features, or a complex layout, Google Docs falls short in comparison to other platforms like Microsoft. If you use advanced formatting for your docs, then Google Docs is not the one for you.
Google Docs is a powerful tool empowering millions of people. Like any other platform, Google Docs has its own appeal and dissuasion. From the above dissertation, we can conclude that though it is not free of faults, Google Docs still basks in glory with the backing of millions of users across the globe. With a free tool, what more can we ask for?