For years now Microsoft Word has been the go-to word processing tool for many users. Word has a plethora of features, it remains easy to use but isn’t free. Google Docs, on the other hand, is a cloud-based solution and doesn’t require any downloading. Microsoft too has an online version of Word — called Word Online. How does it stack up against Google Docs? Read on to find out:
Word Online is free but ‘limited; Google Docs is completely free of cost
Microsoft Word Online has a lot going for it in terms of features but you don’t get every feature that you get in the ‘offline’ version of Word. Having said that, most casual Word users won’t feel anything is missing from Word Online. If you are into routine editing and writing work, then Word Online is more than sufficient. You will need a Microsoft Account to use Word Online to use the free version. To use the ‘advanced’ version of Word Online, you will have to pay for the Microsoft Office 365 package.
Google Docs is absolutely free to use. You don’t need to download anything to use Google Docs — at least not on your PC/Mac. Google Docs can be used across devices with a minimum of fuss. All you need to do is log in to your Google account and you are set to use Docs. In terms of features, you get all-you-need for routine editing and writing work.
The Word Online interface is slightly ‘complex’ compared to Docs
Being feature-rich means that Word Online can be a bit complex to navigate through. You need to remember how to navigate through the various tools that Word Online has to offer.
Google Docs, on the other hand, is pretty straightforward and the user interface doesn’t seem daunting. The layout is easy on the eye and tools are relatively easier to find.
Google Docs doesn’t offer too many customisation options as such but most buttons are easy to find. Word Online, on the other hand, allows customisation to a great extent.
Compatibility, access and features
Both Word Online and Google Docs work on almost every browser seamlessly. Word Online does have an extension in Chrome that allows users to access documents from the OneDrive account. Google Docs gives you access to all the documents through Google Drive as well. Collaboration works much better on Google Docs when compared to Word Online.
Both word processing tools are compatible with various file formats.