(as of 2/17/2021)
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- Provides Microsoft Word's basic features in a cloud-based application
- Saves documents automatically to Google Drive
- Allows users to share and edit documents with others over the web
- Includes up to 15 GB of free storage
- Opens .DOCX, .ODT, and other standard word processor files
Google Docs is a cloud-based word processing program included in the Google Workspace suite. Anyone with a Google account can use Google Docs to create personal and business documents, including letters, resumes, invitations, brochures, and newsletters. They can then save and share those documents over the web or by downloading them as .DOCX or .PDF files.
Microsoft Word users will recognize the majority of Google Docs' features. Google Docs allows users to create documents from templates, open pre-existing DOCX and .ODT files, format documents' page layout and text, insert tables and images, and check documents' spelling and grammar. It even allows multiple users to open and edit the same document at the same time. While Docs does not include some of Word's most advanced features, such as comprehensive macro support, Google continually adds new features to Google Docs. Because Docs is a web-based program, those new features are made available instantaneously, making it simple for users to take advantage of additional and upgraded functionality.
However, while Google Docs' connection to the web is its greatest strength, it is also its greatest weakness. Google Docs automatically saves users' documents to Google Drive, which allows users to open, edit, and share documents from any PC or mobile device - provided they can access the Internet. Google Docs users who encounter unexpected or prolonged Internet outages may struggle to access important documents unless they've previously made those documents available to edit offline. When editing offline, a user's changes are not applied to the online version of their documents until after they connect their device to the Internet.
Google Docs is primarily a web-based app, but limited versions of the application are available for Android and iOS devices. This makes the app perfect for those who like to create, edit, or refer to documents on-the-go. Google Docs is also free-to-use provided you do not exceed Google Drive's free 15 GB storage limit, though again, you must sign up for a Google account to use Google Docs.
Google account users who do not want to pay for access to Microsoft Word should consider using Google Docs. Docs includes all of Word's essential features, as well as unique, web-optimized features that make storing, accessing, and sharing documents among multiple users easy. Just be careful not to rely on Google Docs in times when Internet access is not guaranteed.
Supported File Types
Primary file extension
Other file extensions used by Google Docs 2021
|Supported File Types|
|.EPUB||Open eBook File|
|.GDOC||Google Docs Shortcut|
|.GDOCX||Google Drive Document|
|.HTML||Hypertext Markup Language File|
|.ODT||OpenDocument Text Document|
|Portable Document Format File|
|.RTF||Rich Text Format File|
|.TXT||Plain Text File|
|Additional Related File Formats|
|.DOC||Microsoft Word Document (Legacy)|
|.DOCM||Microsoft Word Macro-enabled Document|
|.DOT||Microsoft Word Document Template (Legacy)|
|.DOTM||Microsoft Word Macro-Enabled Document Template|
|.DOTX||Microsoft Word Template|
Updated: February 17, 2021