My business life with Google Docs

In October last year, I wrote about my employer moving over from Microsoft Office365 to Google G-Suite. Now with some months of experience, it is time for an update with the document handler.

As office suite user I am on a very basic level, compared to many others. The documents and sheets I work with are mainly max 2 pages, and does not contain high visual effect’s or layout’s. They do not contain a large portion of table of content, or anchors or hyperlinks. Neither do they contain complex macros or pivot tables. If I have more rows then 200 in Excel, or sheets it’s a exception more then a norm.

Google Docs

Within Word or today Docs, my main documentation is user instructions or guides on how to use different programs. And not to my surprise have it varied in terms of use. All the basic components are found easily and the function buttons are labeled with easy to understand what will happen when used. Pictures are as easy to paste into the documents to bring the visual support to an guide, and when bringing in a picture, the pop-up window is actually pretty good. When Office opens the Windows Explorer, Docs have it’s own pop-up window, where you easily can bring the picture from either you computer or what Google prefers, Google Drive.

What Docs lacks, or trails far behind Word is in the template gallery. Docs version is not as wide in choices, and the layout of available templates is not as good as in Word.

One thing that does take getting used to is the part that all the G Suite apps have an aggressive and

Automatic saving of files.

automatic auto-save mode. From the second you open an desired new file, the saving starts, without you having a single character typed on it. This results very easily in that you have in you private Drive cloud storage many files that are saved with “Untitled documents”, that are empty, as you just opened a file without any input into the file. Even if you start to write, and not depending on how much you write into the new document, the file does not have an automatic filename. That causing that you actually don’t know what the document is for, although you may have written a lot of text into the file.

And as the saving is made automatically in the background, I tend to forget to name the file. In Word if you haven’t saved the file and try to close the window, Word prompts for a save or a discard of the file, which automatically forces you to name the file when saving.

One issue that have appeared is that when having, or receiving a .docx file, and storing it into Google Drive, and then opening for further editing or use, Docs always changes the file format to it’s own version, creating a duplicate of the file, which can actually stuff your Drive view some, and that is kinda annoying, to have one version in .docx, and another in Docs format. And who does need to versions of the identical file, but different formats?

A positive side is that after creating, or editing of a file, you are able to download the file in many different file formats. So you are not bound to use it then in Docs format.

Docs download options

That would actually be a major issue if this functionality would not be included.

One small irritation moment is when you have created a new document, and you need to send it to an external person, you can’t attach the file from Drive into the mail your sending, when within Gmail. If you open the file in Docs, then there is the possibility to “email as attachment..”. Why can’t there be option to send a mail from Gmail, and attach a Docs file from you Drive and attach it as attachment, only as link to Drive?

If you desperately need to attach the file and send it, you need to download it in one of the formats offered on you computer, then go into mail and attach it as the .docx or .pdf file format. My preferred solution of this would be that you could save it into for example .docx format into Drive, and then just send it straight from there. Instead of having to circulate it by your computers hard drive.

So the conclusion of Docs.

Well in everyday use I get by just fine with the Docs. Nothing I needed has not been found. The saving of files is both a negative and positive. I like that I don’t need to remember to save the file all the time, and the app has worked well at all the time. There has not been any lagging or app “unexpected errors” which is always good. After a while of getting used to using Docs instead of Word, it does feel natural, and I haven’t used Word for any documenting needs since starting with Docs.

If Google just got the possibility to save from Docs straight into PDF or Word format for sending it to another person by mail, that would be great. Or maybe being able to open a Word format straight into Docs, and making edits, and then save and keep the initial file format, THAT would be great.

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