Docs or Word? Tough decision? It could be, depending on who you are and what you do.

I’ve had several conversations about the pros and cons of both Google Docs and Microsoft Word, and I’m happy to say that I’ve finally come to some sort of conclusion on the matter.

I hope you’re able to find this article helpful as you decide which word processor to use in the future. Enjoy!

Microsoft Word


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Summary: I have an undeniable bias toward Microsoft Word. I’ve used it for years, and it currently holds over 2,000 of my documents. It’s an older program, yes, but I think that Microsoft has worked hard to perfect its word processor. It’s not perfect yet, not even close, but it is reliable, accessible, and consistent. While a bit complicated, it’s really great for long documents and solo projects.

Pros:

  • There’s no denying that Word offers more tools overall than Google Docs. There are more tabs, detailed actions, and technical language involved with the program compared to its counterpart. For example, there are definitely more editing options on Word when it comes to images.

    Since Word’s detailed program can be overwhelming, many might see it as con, but my personal stance on it is that it is more of a pro. After all, more options = more actions.
     
  • Word picks up on misspellings and grammar mistakes significantly better than Google Docs. If you are not experienced in grammar, Word is most likely for you, as it will do a better job pointing out your mistakes for you.
  • Looking for synonyms and new words? Microsoft Word has a handy-dandy, built-in dictionary and thesaurus. No need to pull up a separate tab and search Thesaurus.com; instead, find the tool on Word and get to business.

Cons:

  • The details of every single setting in Word makes it more complicated and possibly confusing. If you are brand new to Word, you may want to consider watching YouTube videos on how to navigate it and how to perform specific functions.
  • You have to manually save your Word documents as you write. While it does occasionally save automatically, it does not save frequently like Google Docs; therefore, the chances of your document being lost is greater. But you just have to be diligent.

Best If Used By: 

  • An experienced user. Perfect for writing longer documents such as novels, long essays, or research papers. It’s used especially well if you’re dealing with documents in which you have to move images. Word allows you to easily move images throughout your document, as it gives you various “wrapping” options. While Docs also offers this wrapping feature, Microsoft Word makes it smoother for you to grab an image and move it to wherever you’d like. The program is definitely less frustrating when it comes to images.
  • I have not tried to create a resume in Docs, but I know that, in Word, creating a resume is fairly quick and painless. So, if you’re writing a resume, Word is pretty good for that.

 

Google Docs


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Summary: It is only recently, in school in particular, where I’ve been introduced to Google Docs and have been trained to frequently use it. It seems to be quite a recent program that still needs some work, but as a writer, I recognize its potential as an educational and professional tool. It’s extremely helpful.

Pros:

  • I have to praise Google for its collaborative innovation. Users can easily share documents with other users, receive comments, suggest edits, and contact professionals through email. Google Docs is a writer’s dream-come-true, in all honesty. Paper edits are no longer necessary; you’ve got the online editing world at your fingertips.
  • Docs reliably saves your documents. It does not require you to manually save your documents like Word does, and the risk of losing your work is definitely less.
  • Docs gives you your basic necessities, which makes the program in its entirety exceptionally user-friendly. This can be interpreted as both a pro and a con: a pro, because it offers a concise word processing experience. For the con, read on.

Cons:

  • I often describe Google Docs as “the bare bones of Microsoft Word.” I will admit, “bare bones” has quite a negative connotation; that’s because the lack of choice on Google Docs can be frustrating to a user who wants to carry out a specific task. Sure, you can look up your question on the word processor’s built-in Help section, but it doesn’t go very far.
  • All documents are shared to a general Cloud, not on your computer. This fact kind of scares me, since how can I possibly place all of my trust into a vulnerable, digital Cloud? If Google Drive glitches, so do your documents. So, with all of your Docs, I recommend backing them up to Word anyway. Using both programs in tandem is definitely useful. 


Best If Used By: 

  • An inexperienced user who doesn’t require specific needs. It’s especially best if you’re a collaborative writer who likes to edit others’ work and/or receive your own edits. Docs is better if you’re writing shorter articles, like poetry, short essays, short stories, or documents without images. If you are writing larger documents, such as a novel, I would recommend Microsoft Word instead.