1. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Active Member

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    Google Docs or Word!?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by J.T. Woody, Jun 20, 2018.

    Give me your best argument for why you use/don't use GOOGLE DOCS or WORD

    (I'm not including Scrivener or any other apps/software because I'm not familiar with them. In the case of Scrivener, I don't remember much about it, just that I downloaded it back in high school but for some reason or other, deleted it. I guess I just didn't like it? -shrugs-)
     
  2. GB reader

    GB reader Senior Member

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    I write only short stuff max 8000 words, but most of it less than 4000 words.
    I am totally pleased with Google docs, the best thing with it that you can edit from any device, anyplace as long as you have internet. If you make documents available offline you can even edit without internet. You could probably get word to work with stuff in the cloud as well. Word is much more advanced if you are preparing documents with table of contents, footnotes and embeďed tables. But for writing stories, just text, I se no advantages.
    Maybe if you want to print out a copy and format more advanced then word would be better.
     
  3. DaltonM

    DaltonM New Member

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    Google Docs for me. The ability to jot down anything from a quick character description, plot point, backstory is a huge plus for me. I hear a lot of people saying that Docs really slows down for long documents but I don't do a lot of long novel-type writings so it isn't a deal breaker for me.
     
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  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I prefer Word because I like to have my work on my hard drive, with a copy on my backup drive. I'm sure Google's not going out of business any time soon, but I don't trust any online presence to house my work exclusively.
     
  5. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    I use Word because I write fairly long novels and Docs really does slow down with length. And because I don't really trust Docs to accurately translate the Track Changes when I'm editing.

    I have my Word files backed up on Dropbox, so I have a copy on my computer AND a copy in the cloud that I can access from wherever. Best of both worlds?
     
  6. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Word. Last Christmas there were issues with internet access where I was writing, and I lost an entire days’ work because it didn’t save to the Internet. So now it’s multiple backups online, offline, and two separate thumb drives.

    ETA: And I can read back and edit my work on my phone if I want to as well, so it’s as portable as Google Docs when I need it to be, as long as I have Internet access.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  7. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Active Member

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    I use Word. One of my word documents is 117,174 words and its now to the point where spellcheck stopped working lol! (I type fast and type A LOT without worrying about spelling. when the work is complete, I go back and correct spelling and grammar. spell check just cuts down on the amount of correcting I have to do, but oh well!)

    But sometimes I want to work on it during slow hours at work, and I can't.... but then I get a bad feeling about putting my longer works on Google Docs. It makes me nervous, so I only use Docs to jot down ideas to cut and paste into my Word doc when I get the chance.
     
  8. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Active Member

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    I've always used Microsoft Word because it's always been made available to me. But beyond that, I am the type of person who loves customizing the look of my writing, giving specific fonts and sizes and formatting for chapter titles and everything else, and Word gives a lot of good options. Plus, I can download free fonts from verified websites and they are completely compatible.

    I did use Apple's writing program back when there was a Mac computer around, but I remember not liking the look and feel of it even though it did the same stuff that Word does. I love my iPhone and iPod, but I'm a Microsoft girl when it comes to everything else. And I've never used Google Docs except for when doing a project with classmates in school, and I remember that being really clunky and weird.
     
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  9. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Active Member

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    I use neither.

    First point: I think it's worthwhile to take care of privacy/data mining, and both are doing it. People often say I am paranoid because I vehemently criticize in particular Microsoft/Word for it, but I think it's an underrated issue that's more serious than most people realize.

    For Google Docs, that's practically it. I'm a little hypocritical here, as I still use Google mail, knowing full well that it data mines, so if you are aware of it and think you can live with it, Google Docs a nice and easy to use package.

    For Word, there are other, bigger issues for me. I have used/was forced to use the then current version for years, and hated every moment of it. Sometime in the mid-90s, Microsoft has stopped caring about usability and workflow. They just dumped in new functions and features, but it was inelegant and overly complicated, and they stopped improving the workflow of already implemented functions. Using styles, for instance, was a pain. It also was incredibly buggy, could damage your document at any time if you worked for it for a long time, and/or reached a certain complexity level. Certain functions (like automatic lists) are so buggy that you should not use them at all (something that shouldn't happen on a software product you pay for). Sharing documents has a high probability of causing problem; unfortunately, sharing .doc/.docx has become the standard, even though the file format is completely unsuited for that. But we have to live with that for the time being. It was, and probably still is, a bad program. But most people don't realize that, because they are not aware or ever have experienced better alternatives. It's the standard, but not because it is the best. It's a standard because Microsoft pushed for it, sometimes with unethical or even illegal practices.

    It's possible that the recent version have improved things a bit. From what I read, some elements have been improved. But I also read that some improvements have been achieved by dropping functions altogether (with the reasoning that they are not used anyway; but I know that some things are not used because they are buggy, not because people do not want them), that some functions (styles) remain the same bad implementation they always have been, and that some bugs remain.

    I cannot be bothered to try it, though. Microsoft's recent business practices make me shudder. They push for subscription (which would give me apps and functions I don't want or need), the stand-alone version is quite expensive (Word/Office is one of the most expensive options anyway, no matter what you choose), and there's a mess of uncountable buying options that's not very transparent to navigate. They have expanded and codified their data mining practices in a sneaky way (IMO). I'm also on a Mac, and the Mac version is even more buggy and less featured than its Windows counterparts, despite being the same price. There's no trial version of the stand-alone version, only for the Office 365 subscription, which would mean to get an account and provide payment information. The T&C's for the Home/Student editions are horrible from a privacy protection standpoint (so much that I would not recommend them for paying work). For the stand-alone version, they do not provide T&C's at all, not telling me what it's licensed for. They really do not want me to have them or keep them as a customer.

    I could name alternatives, but that's a different discussion we already had. So I only give them (again) if there's interest.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  10. MikeyC

    MikeyC Active Member

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    I have tried both, and eventually stuck with MS Word synced on Google Drive.

    Main reason, Google Docs sync on change, which i found a right pain in the a**. I would make changes, didn't realise i deleted something by mistake. Lost it forever.

    Where as Word on Google drive, only synced when i saved the document. Far more convenient and haven't lost anything. Also can gain access from anywhere.


    Rgds
     
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  11. noobienieuw

    noobienieuw Banned

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    I dont use anything in the cloud. I have lost data trusting them to keep it safe. So have friends I know.

    For now I use word on my pc. And I separately back up my data on my flash drive that I keep in my possession to avoid risk of loss.

    I will be moving to libre office on a linux type box soon.
     
  12. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    I use Docs for a bunch of reasons but the biggest is that my files always look exactly the same whether I’m on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

    If you open the same file in the Windows and Mac versions of Word, they’re look very different. The typesetters are just so different from each other that it negatively affects formatting. I’m not sure if this is the case with regular ascii text but I noticed it mostly with formulas. And on Linux, forget about it. Not all of the features even work, even with the latest Wine and it crashes constantly. It just relies so heavily on the operating system that Wine doesn’t seem to have everything you need.

    Maybe they’ve fixed some of these issues since I’ve last used it but they always really bugged me as I switch OSs all the time.
     
  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn't use Google Docs because I want to be able to have my stuff on my own hard drive.

    I wouldn't use Word because I hate its interface with a fiery passion.
     
  14. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Active Member

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    The formatting difference is inherent to Word – it's not only between Word:Mac and Word:Win, but also between different Word:Win installations (even if everything is the same – printer, printer driver, Windows version, Word version etc., doesn't matter, the document can appear very different). The file format was developed to run on one machine and its attached printers, and this hardware dependence remains. It's one of the reasons the file format is unsuited for document sharing or submission, even though it is used and standardised for that purpose a lot.

    The latest Word versions I worked with were of the 2013 version vintage. There was not much more difference between Word:Mac and Word:Win as there once had been, as long as you maintained to use the Windows standard fonts, but you cannot escape the frequent formatting hiccups when sharing Word files.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    You can have it on your own drive as well, with Google Docs. Not saying you should use it just for that reason, just clarifying.
     
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  16. Adenosine Triphosphate

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    I like the formatting tools on Word more, but Docs is a little easier (and less expensive) to use when you’re working between multiple devices.
     
  17. saxonslav

    saxonslav Member

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    OpenOffice.

    Oh, but Doc is good for uploading your work, as long as it's not so complicated the formatting melts and makes a sad noise.
     
  18. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Active Member

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    While you CAN work offline, as far as I understand, it's rather difficult, if not impossible, to keep it from syncing to the cloud if you are online again. That's why I don't use it – I have a deep seated mistrust in anything running in a browser (there's no dedicated app on a PC or Mac – you have to use Google Chrome with the proper extension to work offline), or going to the cloud unless I specifically tell it to. At least it's upfront about how it is, and uses it as a selling point.

    I distrust Word for the same reason (among more important others), except that Microsoft was/is somewhat sneaky in handling its data mining. It's somewhat better if you use business editions of Office 365, but after what they do on Win10 (where privacy and other settings, installed apps etc. get changed with each major update) my already low trust in Microsoft has hit a new bottom.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes, it's going to be synced to the cloud as well as your local drive. I find that a benefit, personally, and don't get the paranoia around it. I only use Google Docs on occasion these days, however. It is a perfectly good service, but I have software on my Mac that syncs into iCloud instead, or into Microsoft's cloud if it is work-related (since my firm uses Microsoft's cloud services for such things). I do agree, however, that companies should be open about their use of data.
     
  20. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Active Member

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    It's not only paranoia about data mining. I was wary of Google's approach from the very beginning because of data safety and reliability to access my files, at a time when I cared a lot less about privacy. I find their "cloud first, devices (and PC=device) second" philosophy a lot less reliable to keep my data. I feel they throw up too many additional obstacles that could, possibly, deny access to my data. I prefer a "my Mac first, cloud second if needed" philosophy. I see the cloud as a tool to sync data to devices, or to share with others – both of which are often not needed by me – but not as the primary residing place, which is what Google does.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  21. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    I use Docs. I write a lot at work (my job is essentially glorified babysitting of adults...I'm a corrections officer, lol) so there's a lot of sitting around between security rounds. But that also means I'm at a different duty station (and a different computer) each day. I used to write in Word and email myself my latest draft at the end of each day, but it wasn't the best solution. I switched to Docs and love it. I like that I can highlight areas and put a note in the margins to come back to later. I like that I have shared it with my sister and she can highlight and make suggestions too. And every once in a while, I download the whole thing and save it offline, to be sure. I'm at 57k words and haven't had an issue.
     
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  22. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    I use Word. I have never had a problem with word, and I prefer working offline. You need an internet connection for Docs, right? Before I used Word, I used Apple's Pages simply for the fact that I have an iPhone and I could write or edit at school. At home I don't always have a good internet connection and a few times the internet went out and my work was erased.
    Also, I'm Word certified. I took a class on Word in high school and passed the certification test. So I know my way around Word, and I know all of its features pretty well.
     
  23. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Active Member

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    I'm a scriv user, but I would like to note that google docs is brilliant if you're sharing critique chapters live.
     
  24. Xander17

    Xander17 Member Supporter

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    Best argument?
    I'll share my reasons though.
    Why I don't use Word...Microsoft.
    Why I don't use Google Docs. I stay clear of companies that try to condition folks to be internet dependent. There's no way I'm saving my work on a stranger's HD.

    I use Mobisystems OfficeSuite on my Tablet, and Apache OpenOffice on my Puta.
    Before the OpenOffice variants I used Sun Microsystems StarOffice V5.1.

    Someone has ported OpenOffice to Android, but it's still far, far too glitchy to be of any use.
    And I just found StarOffice has been revived. Versions 6 & 7 are free, and 8 & 9 are as cheap as free.
    ˜nostalgic feels˜ Gonna grab 7 and try it out.
     
  25. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Both of mine are 'why I don't use'.

    Google Docs - Have you seen the film The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson? That's how I feel about Google in general. I find it funny that a few years before the rise of Google, droves of people were losing their ever-loving shit about Apple for the same reason, fearing that Apple was going to consume everything. Welcome to United States of Apple, Planet Apple. And then Google came along and actually did what they feared Apple would do, but instead of running for the hills, they dropped trou and bent over. :bigmeh:

    MS Word - I use it. I have to for my work-work. It's an ungainly, beastly thing. I work on Mac where it's even worse. Look-up function doesn't function without internet? And you have the gall to call that "smart look-up"? My Mac has several built-in dictionaries that every app can access. Why can't you just use that? Because... no? So you're going to be slow and crappy and persnickety after you made me wait a full two minutes for you to load your giant bloated self into my lap? Taking the piss? It "works", but so does a dump truck. And a dump truck isn't what I want to use to take a ride out in the country.

    Scrivener for me, thanks.
     
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