Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Google Documents

So far I've reviewed Google Spreadsheets and Presentations, and last but not least, its time for Google Documents. Again, like the other members of the Google Docs team, this is done online or offline and requires none of those file transfers. When this program was first released, it was extremely basic, but it has evolved and now includes such things as offline access and the ability to view and hopefully soon edit pdfs. The things that I like about Google Documents are:
  • No software has to be installed thus it can be accessed anywhere
  • Online and offline access
  • Handles basic word processing well
  • Easily shared with others for viewing/editing
  • Easily published as a webpage
  • Excellent special character selection and ability to input unicode.
  • Google Docs folder layout and transfers are excellent
  • Frequent updates

Google Documents in Action

Some drawbacks of using Google Documents for word processing are:
  • Doesn't handle figures very well
  • Margins can't be adjusted for viewing but can be for printing.
  • Colour palette for text and background is limited
  • Very few "advanced" features available (i.e., endnote, footnote)
  • Font types are limited
  • Bullets/numbering has glitches
  • No thesaurus
Google documents definitely needs more work, but it has come a long way since its release. I use it for basic needs, anything more I switch to OpenOffice, the main thing is to stay away from those Microsoft products.

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