Google Docs is Google’s version of an online word processor – an answer to the ubiquitous Microsoft Office Word processor. While the MS office comes at quite a substantial cost for the users, Google docs is absolutely free to use – the only requirement is that you should have a Google account – which again, is free to open and operate. Google docs is a SaaS (software as a service) application, and provides a number of office suit functionalities and the ability to edit and collaborate online for users.
At one time, this development had the potential to scare Microsoft, as the market buzz was that the new word processor from Google would damage MS office. But MS has still remained the overwhelming market leader, and the word processor of choice for the average user – mostly because of the familiarity factor. In addition, MS has also responded with the Office Web Apps, a service similar to Google Docs, and which is expected to be introduced in 2010.
Google Docs- An Introduction
Just like the other Google services, Google docs is also available with your Google account. If you do not have a Google account you can open one easily – it is 100% free! From your Google account, you can easily access the Google Docs option.
At present, Google docs offers the following features for your use -
The interface is quite similar to the Word interface that you must be so familiar with – though in Google docs, it is much cleaner, simpler and uncluttered, especially when compared with the 2007 version of MS office. If you are a Gmail user, you would be already using the Google docs interface while composing your emails. You can create, save, print, edit and email any document.
The spreadsheet interface is similar to MS Excel, and you can create spreadsheets in a similar manner. Google has recently added a number of features to its spreadsheet, making it more functional and powerful, and with a lot of useful features that are the hallmark of MS Excel. The loading is considerable faster, and the drag-&-drop and easy sorting features make it convenient to use. You can also link to any sheet within the spreadsheet.
Easily prepare good looking presentations using Google docs – with all the features that let you add text, pictures and links to the slides. You can save, share, edit and print the slides directly from Google docs.
This is one of the most interesting features that is provided by Google Docs, and you might have even come across a Google Docs form if you participate in online surveys etc. You can prepare surveys, multiple choice questions, paragraph texts and simple check boxes to create great looking forms. You can also easily preview the forms even as you are making them. You can send the forms to multiple e-mail accounts and view the response online.
This is the most recent addition to the Google docs family, and you have to really check it out if you want to see what you can do with it. You ca ad images directly from your computer, or from an URL, or you can even search for an image using the search option! Combined with the other traditional drawing tools, only your imagination limits what you can do with the Drawing function of Google docs!
Advantage of Using Google Docs
- The best part about using Google Docs is that you can even load your existing MS documents, such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentation into the Docs interface, and edit, save and share them from there.
- Another notable and useful feature of Google Docs is online collaboration, wherein a number of users can views, edit and collaborate on any document – Word, spreadsheet or a presentation.
- Online collaboration on the documents, and view the documents right on the browser, without opening up a different application.
- You can integrate your documents with Google Analytics – which will help you to analyze when and where your documents were opened and shared.
>> Check this link for other creative uses of Google Docs.