Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Reasons to Use Google Drive Instead of Microsoft Office

As Google continues to refine and build on their already established line of Google Drive apps, it is increasingly becoming a more viable replacement for Microsoft Office.  Now, before you raise your hand in disagreement with me (or before sending me a fuming email about how Microsoft Word is far superior to Google's apps) hear me out.  I know that you can't do everything in Google Drive that you can do in Microsoft Office.  But how often do we need those features Google still doesn't quite have yet?  Here are 7 reasons why you should use Google Drive instead of Microsoft Office.

#7: The Kind of Apps You Know and Love

Looking for a word processing app?  Google Drive has that.  How about a spreadsheet app?  Google Drive.  Presentation app?  Google Drive.  All of these are available to use.  In fact, there's two more bonus apps: Forms and Drawings.  If you are familiar with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, you'll probably be able to pick up Documents, Presentations and Spreadsheets right away.

#6: Upload Your Docs from Office

If your making the move away from Office to Google, you can use the Upload feature in Google Drive to get your files moved over nice and easy.  You can upload individual files or you can upload entire folders of files.  When you upload files, I would recommend converting them to Google Docs format so that the documents won't go against your quota.  When you convert them to Google Docs format they might change in looks slightly, so be sure to check them out after you upload them to make sure they don't look all wonky after the conversion process.

#5: Email Attachments Are So 1999

Sharing is it. No more emailing files to this group of people to review or edit documents—just share it!  You can share a document with 200 people.  You can choose whether these people can edit it or just comment it or view it.  When you share a document with someone, it shows up in their Google Drive.  

#4: Never Lose a File Again

As soon as you create a new Google Doc, it is saving it—constantly—automatically.  You won't find a save button in Google Docs because there is no need to save.  At the top of the screen you'll see "Last edit was made blah blah blah."  While you type, you'll see "Saving..."  It's got you covered in case your computer shuts down, loses power, you close your browser window or if your laptop get's run over by a school bus.  It's always safely saved on the web for you.

#3: Never Lose Data Again

Have you ever deleted a paragraph in a document or made a horrifying edit in a document and closed the document and clicked Save instead of Don't Save Changes?  Then realized that you just did a very bad thing?  Undo won't fix that oops.  Google Docs has a handy rollback feature called Revision History.  It's located under the file menu and you can see the revision history for the document and it allows you to restore the document to a point in time in the past.

#2: Live Collaboration

Have you ever tried to open up a document saved on a network share that someone else already has open?  Weird things happen.  The program might say the file is already open for editing and the only way you can open it is if you open it in Read-Only Mode.  When you do that, you'll have to save the file with a different file name in order to save it.  Now you've got two files that contain two different versions and it's just a mess.  With Google, you can edit the document with another person at the same time.  You can be on your computer and they can be on your computer and you can both work on the same document at the same time.  In fact, you can have more than 2 people... 50 people can edit and view a document, spreadsheet, presentation or drawing at the same time!

#1: It's in the Cloud

You can get to it wherever you need it: home, school, work, anywhere.  You don't even need an Internet connection any more.  Huh?  More on that to come... watch for future EHOVEwire posts on how that magic is possible.

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