Microsoft Word vs Google Docs: Difference and Comparison

With technological advancements, documents are a major part of every working system. It is simply easier and more practical than keeping hard copies of important data.

While there are many software and tools to create, edit, and modify documents, Microsoft Word and Google Docs are two of the most famous platforms to do so.

Key Takeaways

  1. Microsoft Word is a standalone desktop application, while Google Docs is a web-based platform.
  2. Google Docs supports real-time collaboration, whereas Microsoft Word requires file sharing for collaboration.
  3. Microsoft Word offers more advanced features and formatting options, while Google Docs provides simplicity and accessibility.

Microsoft Word vs Google Docs

The difference between Microsoft Word and Google Docs is that Microsoft Word is an offline word-processing software developed by Microsoft, whereas Google Docs is an online word-processing tool developed by Google. Microsoft Word and Google Docs differ in almost everything, such as interface, compatibility, file formats, etc.

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Microsoft Word is a document editing tool developed by Microsoft in 1983. Microsoft Word is a component tool of Microsoft Office.

It was originally released for Windows Operating System only but is now available on OS X operating systems as well.

Additionally, Microsoft Word is available for devices supporting Android Oreo and later and iOS devices supporting iOS 13 and later.

Google Docs is a document editing tool developed by Google in 2006. It is a component tool of the Google Docs Editor suite that includes Google Slides, Sheets, and Drawings.

Google Docs are compatible with all operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, etc., that have a browser to futuristic compatibility.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMicrosoft WordGoogle Docs
DevelopersIt was introduced by Microsoft.It was introduced by Google.
CompatibilityIt is compatible with Windows and OS X only.It is compatible with all operating systems.
PlatformIt is offline-based.It is online-based.
File FormatIt supports limited file formats.It supports many file formats.
Add-onsIt doesn’t allow third-party integrations.It supports third-party integrations.

What is Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is a document editing tool developed by Microsoft in 1983. Microsoft Word is a component tool of Microsoft Office.

It was originally released for Windows Operating System only but is now available on OS X operating systems as well.

Additionally, Microsoft Word is available for devices supporting Android Oreo and later and iOS devices supporting iOS 13 and later.

Microsoft Word documents have a file format of .doc or .docx. Microsoft Word is rich in features. Some common features include customized templates, a built-in spell checker, a dictionary, word art, etc.

One area where Microsoft Word goes ahead is its availability to use even without an internet connection. The Word files can be saved offline, edited without disturbances, transferred through portable disks, etc.

Nevertheless, this feature has a major drawback. In case the file is accidentally closed by mistake or during a power cut, the unsaved data is immediately lost.

The user needs to manually save the data at regular intervals to avoid such situations.

Furthermore, for data privacy, Microsoft allows its users to set various types of passwords to the document. As a result, the file cannot be opened, modified, or edited without consent.

When it comes to customer support, Microsoft offers one of the best services to its users.

microsoft word

What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a document editing tool developed by Google in 2006. It is a component tool of the Google Docs Editor suite that includes Google Slides, Sheets, and Drawings.

Google Docs are compatible with all operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, etc., that have a browser to futuristic compatibility. Google Docs is also available as a mobile application on Android and iOS.

Google Docs supports various file formats, including Microsoft Word, Rich Text Document, Zipped HTML, etc.

Google Docs is a more open and modern software with many additional unique features, including Google’s highly optimized voice-typing, autosave feature, better collaboration, etc.

One area where Google Docs goes ahead is its versatility and ease to use. User data is uploaded on Google Drive so it can be accessed from other systems or smartphones using the user’s account.

Thus, there is no need to carry the data in portable drives or separately upload it on Google Drive. Furthermore, Google Docs autosaves the data every second without losing data, even if the system suddenly shuts.

Data Safety is also not a concern as it can only be accessed with the user’s account and password. Google’s customer support is also excellent, accompanied by positive ratings.

google docs

Main Differences Between Microsoft Word and Google Docs

  1. Microsoft Word is an offline-based word platform, whereas Google Docs is online-based.
  2. Microsoft Word doesn’t save the data automatically, whereas Google Docs has the autosave feature.
  3. Microsoft Word is compatible with fewer operating systems as compared to Google Docs.
  4. Even though Microsoft Word is rich in features, it doesn’t allow additional integrations. On the other hand, Google Docs allows third-party integrations concerning the needs.
  5. Microsoft Word is highly functional but can be difficult for a non-technical user to navigate. Google Docs, on the other hand, has an easy-to-use interface.
Difference Between Microsoft Word and Google Docs
References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=a4SpmzkUT3YC&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=microsoft+word&ots=EZf7PX8o-7&sig=lGfphA4LOPyKpJtHsQqNehQM4Qs
  2. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1000688

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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