Google Drive

Google Docs, the search company’s cloud word processor, has changed for the better since we looked at the software in 2009.

Today, it is good enough for serious work.

It’s hard to list all the tweaks; cloud applications go through rolling software updates, not large-scale version changes.

Let’s just say today’s Google Docs is much improved.

Better productivity

Three years ago there were two main problems with Google Docs. First, problems with constant scrolling and mousing, windows switching as well as with cut and paste.

Cutting and pasting text from a web page is still irritating.

Otherwise, the user experience is hugely improved. This may not be a simple software issue.

In terms of productivity, Google Docs is now either equal to Microsoft Word or it is so close there’s no noticeable difference.

The second problem with the old Google Docs was proofing over a wide line width. Google fixed this.

Google Docs’ screen now displays a fixed-width page, roughly the size of an A4 paper sheet. This works just as well on a wide-screen monitor as a narrow display.

Better integration

Microsoft Word’s integration with Office and Windows remains a strength. While Google Docs doesn’t need to integrate with the operating system in the same way, Google Drive means the word processor now integrates nicely with everything else Google.

That is with Google applications as well as the Chrome browser and Android. This last point is vital if you use a smartphone.

These changes make Google Docs more useful than it was. Today you can check documents on a phone when you are not at your desk.

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