Said that we’re living in a digital world, and when you consider how many people work, play, and learn using their computers, you can’t help but agree. Word processors such as Microsoft Word revolutionized how we do things, and Google Docs came along to push things to a whole new level.
What exactly is it, you may wonder? Well, this is an application that allows you to create and manage your documents both while connected to the internet and while working offline. You determine, as the document creator, whether access to the document is either private or public, meaning that you can work on it simultaneously with an entire team of people all over the world as long as they have access to a working internet connection. Here’s a quick look at some of the features and capabilities that make this application what it is.
1. Offline Accessibility Function
This is probably it’s most useful feature when you consider it in comparison to other online word processing tools available. Should you be working on a document or spreadsheet when the power shuts down or, the Wi-Fi shuts off, as can happen anytime without warning, Google. Docs will change over automatically from its online mode to its offline setting. You won’t have to worry about any loss of data as you continue with your work; the application will synchronize any changes you make offline with the online version of your document the moment you reconnect to the internet.
2. Real-Time Collaboration
You don’t have to grant them full access, though, if you would rather not. You can specify whether they can only view, comment, edit, or any combination of the three.
It seems like such a set-up can get real messy real quick right? Well, they seem to have thought of that as well. To prevent the confusion overlapping edits can cause, they created it with a tracking function that lets you see everything as it was before any changes, at which point you can then authorize any modifications made to the document before they become permanent. As we mentioned earlier, Google Docs will allow you to tag as many people as you like as collaborators, meaning you aren’t limited to how many people you want to include in your project.
3. Research Capabilities
One of the most powerful features of this application comes as a direct result of its affiliation with its parent company, Google, which went ahead to incorporate its ultra-powerful search engine capabilities into it. What this means for users is, rather than exiting your document to look up pertinent information elsewhere, you can get your information right from the Google Doc screen’s search box. This feature allows users to look up quotes, academic papers, images and whatever else they might need. Moreover, they have provided a handy ‘Cite’ button that allows you to indicate the source of your information with a footnote notation at the click of a button.
4. Multiple Format Compatibility
One of the biggest challenges users face when creating and sharing documents is the issue of cross-compatibility across different platforms. Many competitors try to lock in users on their platforms by making it difficult, if not impossible, for a document created on one platform to be shared and viewed on another. Google Docs chose not to be one of them. They give users the option to download or email documents in various formats including .pdf, Word Document (.docx), Web Page (.html), and many more.
This feature is a really important one when you take into consideration the fact that one of the program’s most important features is its ability to bring collaborators together from different places to work on a single document. Computers and platforms can vary from place to place, so it’s vital that a job-sharing platform accept formats without exception. That’s the only sure way to get the most out of such a program.
5. Custom Personal Dictionaries and Automatic Substitutions
While this might not be such a spanking-new innovation in itself, it deserves mention due to its sheer usefulness.
6. Direct Email Attachment
While users have the option of sending Google Docs documents as email attachments, they the choice of reversing this process and saving attachments directly to the text itself. You can attach videos, other documents, images, and sound files to your project folder straight from your Google interface at the click of a button.