To say Microsoft Word revolutionized the world is an understatement. For nearly three decades, Microsoft Word was (and still is, for advanced users) the undisputed leader of word processors. Growing up, we all have fond memories of using the word processor to draft resumes and documents.
With the advent of high speed internet and cloud-based services, users wanted more than just a word processing tool. Enter Google docs.
When Google first introduced Docs in 2006, it was just an average text editing tool that offered the benefit of cloud storage and collaboration . It still lacked many key features. But over the years, Google introduced many new features, that clearly makes it clearly a winner.
Here are some some mind-blowing reasons to choose Google Docs over Microsoft Word:
The Cool Stuff
Why waste time typing when you can dictate instead? Google Docs has a text-to-speech feature that allows you to complete your work faster by simply dictating over a microphone.
To use this option, make sure your microphone is working and select Tools > Voice typing. Click on the icon that appears on the screen and start talking. Now watch as your voice magically turn into text.
You can also dictate punctuation marks. If you need to correct a mistake, simply move your cursor to the area and start dictating again.
NOTE: This feature works well doesn’t work on Firefox desktop version.
Not fluent in English? Dictate in your own language and translate it to English later. To do this, select language from the drop-down menu in the microphone icon (before you begin).
Once done, go to Tools>Translate document. Enter a filename, select English as language and click Translate. A translated copy will open in a new window.
Embed Drawings and Charts
You can insert Google Drawings and Charts (from Google sheets) as stand-alone objects (with no link to the source file) or with a link to the source file.
The advantage of linking to source is, you’ll see an “Update” button on the object within document, every time the source file is updated.
One of the most frustrating things about MS Word you need to constantly switch between the document and browser to browse the internet.
The Explore tool in Docs, allows you to search WEB, IMAGES, DRIVE without leaving what you are doing.
When you click on a search result, the page gets loaded on a new window. Clicking on the “ button that you see when you hover on a result, automatically adds citation as a footnote.
The image search results can be drag-dropped directly to the document.
If the Explore Tool is opened when there is already text in the document, it gives you search suggestions based on the content.
The Outline Tool is a navigation panel that works similar to a table of contents. It helps you to quickly find sections that you need within a document.
When you add titles and headings styles, the tool auto-detects these sections and adds them to the navigation pane. You can turn on or off the outline by clicking View >Show Document Outline option.
Integrated Google Keep, Calendar and Tasks
The quick-access side panel to Google Keep, Calendar and Tasks applications is a hard to miss feature. The panel allows you to quickly check schedules and access notes without interrupting what you are currently working on. If you need to grab notes while reading through a document, selecting the text and right-clicking would show you an option to “Save to Keep” .
Spelling & Grammar
A blue line is shown below a word that has a potential grammar problem and a red line for spelling errors. If a valid word gets flagged as a spelling error, you can add it to your personal dictionary by highlighting the word and right-clicking and choosing add to dictionary. To enable or disable these features select Tools > Spelling and Grammar.
This one is equivalent to the autocorrect feature in MS Word. To access auto substitution, go to Tools > Preferences. You can add commonly misspelled words, frequently used phrases to the list to save time and energy.
Page setup (margins and page size)
Head over to File > Page setup in Google docs, to change paper orientation, margins, page size and color. The File > Print menu, shows a Print preview.
You can change alignment, line space, make the first line indent, apply style for headings and titles, add header/footer, insert footnotes, page number, page breaks and table of contents using the Format and Insert menus in Google docs.
What sets apart Google docs from MSword is, you can style using Google fonts.
All you need is a browser or an app to start using Google docs. Auto save and Revision history are a bonus.
In Docs, multiple people can work simultaneously in a document through collaboration. You can even add and assign comments to collaborators.
Export and import
You can import and edit Microsoft Word files. Export work in .docx, .pdf, .odt, .rtf, .txt or .html formats.