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Alana Galloway ’16

 

Alana Galloway '16
Alana Galloway ’16

Since its launch in 2007, Google Docs developed into an alternative digital writing application for Convent of the Sacred Heart students and Microsoft Word users alike. 
Though Word remains the most popular word processing program nationwide, according to pcworld.commore and more writers are turning to Google Docs as the primary location of their written work. In accordance with this statistic, many Sacred Heart students have also made the change to Google Docs.
“I like Google Docs because it makes group projects much easier to work on,” junior Victoria Paternina said. “But I also like Word because I don’t like relying on the Internet for everything, and I don’t like having my documents on the Internet.”
Some teachers also find Google Docs helpful in the classroom due to its simplicity and collaboration options.
Although Google Docs does not have as many features as Microsoft Word, I think the trade off is worth it when using Google Docs in education. The ability and ease of collaboration is an invaluable resource in any classroom,” Upper School math teacher and Certified Google Educator Mr. Joel Padilla said.
While Word can be accessed without wireless fidelity (WiFi) connection, Google Docs allows for multiple users to edit one document simultaneously on the Internet.
The Google program also features a share button that sends a document to others, allowing them to edit and work on the same page at the same time. This function encourages classroom collaboration and group projects, according to google.com
Unlike Word, which can only be used on a desktop, laptop or iPad, Google Docs can be accessed on any device. The application is online and therefore autosaves written work every few seconds to ensure that users do not lose their documents. Although Word also autosaves, files can still be lost if a user’s computer crashes.
Google Docs works seamlessly with Drive and any operating system which give users the freedom to work on their documents anywhere and anytime without the fear of losing information,” Mr. Padilla said.
Not only does Google Docs autosave users’ work online, but it can also be obtained free of charge. In contrast, Word must be downloaded in the Microsoft Office package for a minimum of $69.99 per year, according to microsoftstore.com. 
Along with this increased price, however, Word offers more complex features that are not available in Google Docs, including a thesaurus tool, multiple languages, greater storage space, and increased privacy.
“I really like Word because I have been using it for so much longer. It has auto-correct and different languages, which is really helpful, ” junior Marie Njie-Mitchell said.
While some users praise Google Docs for its simplistic design, streamlined features and collaborative functionality, others praise Microsoft Word for its sophisticated functions. 
“The nostalgic purest in me always gravitates towards Microsoft Word due to a combination of familiarity and the ease in which documents can be formatted to specific rules. I find Word’s extensive options in formatting more appealing and accessible,” Upper School English teacher Dr. Cristina Baptista said. 
Word offers other unique features such as a notebook view and the ability to use a built-in microphone to record audio notes. It also tracks document changes and offers to protect files with a password for increased security. Additionally, Word comes with over 200 pre-downloaded fonts, while Google Docs only has 19, according to digitalfirst.com.
“The appeal of Google Docs is that work is constantly online, can be collaborative, and cannot disappear if a person’s computer crashes, since it is stored in some mystical cloud floating in that ether of the Internet,” Dr. Baptista said. “Nevertheless, Google Docs also operates under the presumption that everyone has Internet access at all times. Word is much better for writers who want fewer distractions and may not have Internet access readily available.”
– Alana Galloway, Co-Features Editor