It’s almost 2 months now that I am using Google Docs as my primary word processing tool after breaking up the long 10 years relationship with Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word used to be the best word processing tool, but there are numerous offline alternatives to it today, where Apache Office, LibreOffice are some free ones among them. There isn’t any doubt Microsoft Word is a professional software with an overabundance of features. But do you need all of them! It also comes with a heavy price tag making the free alternatives better than Microsoft Word for simple and everyday word processing requirements.
After using Google Docs for almost 2 months now, I have found some of the areas, where it need some improvements, which can make it the toughest free competitor to Microsoft Word. I was never an advanced Microsoft Office user and thus, might miss out some expert functionalities of Microsoft Office, which are not available on Google Docs. Pardon me for that.
But before I start moving with the areas, where Google Docs need improvements, it will be unfair to not discuss the extraordinary features of Google Docs which are worth mentioning. I will not elaborate on this section and will try to keep it short as the topic is not about the specialties of Google Docs. Let’s thus find out the specialties of Google Docs (website).
- Contextual hyperlinks to place links in context with the selected word(s).
- Easy voice typing to type faster. Just press Ctrl+Shift+S to trigger voice typing on Google Docs.
- Save a document and pick it for editing from any other device. In Microsoft Office, you will need an Office 365 subscription for that.
- Easy to see the different versions of a single document.
- Ability to open a document by numerous users for the purpose of collaboration.
So now let’s get started with the areas where Google Docs should improve.
Multiple selections of texts
How easy is it on Microsoft Word to select texts in multiple regions and apply some common settings like bold, italics, font color, etc.! That is by far something which is really handy and most users are accustomed to pressing the Ctrl key to do multiple selections at once to apply some common formatting.
This feature is annoyingly missing in Google Docs. I wish Google to introduce this feature. Though the ‘Paint Format’ feature, which is also present in offline office apps can make things easier by applying all the font settings, that is far from the convenience offered by multiple selections of non-contiguous text.
Choosing Default Font Settings
This feature might not be used by a lot of people, but is pretty handy in Microsoft Office Word. With the default font setting, you can set a particular font type, size, alignment and different other things as default so that you do not need to change the font settings after you have done writing.
For example, if you write most documents with ‘Times New Roman’ font with a size of 12 and alignment ‘Justified’, you can set it as default for the normal template. It means each time you start writing a new document from the scratch, all your desired font settings will be applied by default. This makes your work simple and short. I wish this feature is added to Google Docs soon.
All-time Word count display
In Microsoft Word and numerous other apps, the word count of the current document is always displayed on the screen. Typically below the writing area. Thus, if you are writing an assignment or is making some project with a minimum or maximum word count limit, it can be handy to make things short or elaborate on them as per the word count.
But on Google Docs, you will have to press the Ctrl+Shift+C each time you want to see the word count. I wish Google introduce a small status bar below the document writing area to show the word count only, if not the character count, sentence count, and numerous other things Microsoft Word show. This is a very small exception of mine and other users, who want to embrace Google Docs as the ultimate word processing platform.
No suggestions for Synonyms
Not everybody has a good vocabulary, and that might be the reason Microsoft Word and other similar platforms suggest relevant synonyms for a selected word. Just imagine how beautiful your sentence will look with the term ‘fascinating’, instead of ‘attractive’, and ‘spell-bound’ instead of ‘surprise’. That was just a mug of water from the ocean full of vocabulary. It is easy to access the synonyms and antonyms of a word. Just right-click on the word to get the synonym and antonym suggestions.
Such a great and handy feature is not yet available in Google Docs yet. Though you can always explore a particular word or ask for its definition from Google by right-clicking on it, that is far from the suggesting some relevant synonyms and antonyms to make your assignment look more entrancing. Google, the company which discussed to roll out some handy AI features in Google I/O 2018, it is just a piece of cake to make our assignments look more mesmerizing with some cool words.
Auto-Correct, not that matured
I always used to write ‘dont’, instead of ‘don’t’. It was Microsoft Word, who always corrected me like a responsible English teacher. Not only that, Microsoft Word suggests great improvements for a mistaken part of the sentence. But neither auto-correct nor grammatical suggestions are as good in Google Docs, as it is, in Microsoft Word. Thus, I always need to right-click on an error to replace it with the correct one.
That being said, Microsoft Office does a good job than Google Docs in this case. Though there is a provision to add new words to the dictionary and teach Google Docs some autocorrect suggestions, that is not always the best option. Come on! Who has time to add the simplest shortcuts in English grammar to the autocorrect list? It is Google who should do that.
So those were the things, where Google Docs has some chances of improvement. I wish Google is reading this article. Google Docs is free to use, and the features it offers in the free app are really phenomenal, and they don’t deserve disgrace. The only thing I want from Google is, they offer richer functions for their and our good.
I wish the features will be added soon by Google in Docs to retain and gain more users. What are the other improvements do you want in Google Docs? Let me know about it in the comment section down below.
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