Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word

In recent years, Microsoft Word and Google Docs have been inaudibly waging war for the title of the best word processor. While most of us have been using Word for decades to draft everything from school essays to resumes to relevant work documents, the Google Docs web-based platform is a total game-changer because it adds a whole new level of connectivity by seamlessly integrating the editing and sharing of documents.


So which is better? That depends entirely on what you demand from a word processing application.


One of the biggest cons of Microsoft Word is that you cannot buy it as a standalone program. It comes as a section of the Microsoft Office 365 package, which involves other programs like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access. Once you obtain this suite, you can only install Word on a select number of computers, depending on the plan level you chose.


So if you install Word on your desktop, you’ll need to bump up your plan to get a copy for your laptop, which can get pricey. It wasn’t until 2010 that Microsoft eventually launched Word Online, a version of Word that had online compatibilities similar to those of Google Docs, as part of its Office 365 package. Though Word Online possesses enough features for casual users, it is not the full version of Word by any means. 


Select ribbons and toolbars were removed from the online version to help it load and run faster. It offers a more modernized experience though it leaves others wanting more.


For instance, Word Online isn’t able to undertake large or more elaborate documents, and users find it clunkier to work around these bugs than just using their regular Word program from the start. Google does not work like this.


As an internet-based company, Google Docs started as a cross-platform word processor that works solely online. You don’t have to download any software or buy a suite of programs you don’t want/need to use.  You can log into your Google account from any browser and go to That’s it.


Unlike Microsoft Word, which can only be installed on Windows and OS X computers, you can use Google Docs from any computer or browser, including Linux and Chrome OS.


You can access the full version of Google Docs, with all its features, from any browser and OS. You have to purchase the entire Microsoft 365 software package to receive a full version of Word. And the online version of Word lacks certain features that may render it useless for you. So it is up to you to decide which best fits you.