The GoogleDocs as an office application is one of the best options for you if you don’t want to purchase the commercial, expensive office suite like Microsoft Office. There are also some free source options available such as LibreOffice but then there is no real time collaboration available with it.
People primarily use Googledocs for three reasons:
- Everything is in the cloud so even if your hard disk crashes (as it must have happened to many of you) your crucial documents are always safe and well cared of.
- You can collaborate with people from across the globe at the same time because your documents can be accessed remotely by whomever has access to them. These days GoogleDocs even saves multiple versions of your document so your team can work on long reports and case studies collectively without having to be at the same location.
- GoogleDocs is free and if your needs are not very advanced, this can be the perfect tool for you. All you need is a browser and you are ready to roll.
My favorite reason is that every character gets saved as you work so no work is lost even if your computer suddenly shuts off.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can access your documents only via your browser and this means you always have to be online in order to work on your documents. Although the days when connectivity is unsteady are rare, still there can be many instances when you are without an Internet connection and still you have to work on your GoogleDocs documents.
Working with GoogleDocs in MS Office
If you want cloud features and collaboration capabilities of GoogleDocs but are also used to working with MS Office suite you can install an add-on that will allow you to manage your GoogleDocs documents from within applications like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc. The add-on is called “Google Cloud Connect” and you can download it from here.
Once you have downloaded Google Cloud Connect and installed it, an extra bar will appear in the most of your Microsoft Office applications as seen below:
When you use it for the first time it will ask you for your Google account login information and you can decide to let computer remember that information or you can enter it whenever you want to sync your documents.
Using gExplore to use GoogleDocs on desktop
This is a new application that has become visible on the Internet and is being reviewed by multiple websites although it is a bit unclear how one uses it. Besides, right now if you go to the gExplore website and try to download the application, it gives you an XML error. Nonetheless, the link has all the information you need in order to use the application.
Having written all this, personally I feel you are better off using the GoogleDocs interface, unless of course there is some specific reason. For instance even Dropbox has a neat web-based interface but still you want to use it locally on your desktop, again, for a specific reason.