Google docs or Office 365 or Word Online or Microsoft Office

This blog explains, the difference between Google docs or Office 365, Google docs vs word online, Google Docs vs Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Word Online and Google Docs are browser-based word processing apps, each part of larger office suites — Microsoft Office 365 module and Google G Suite app respectively.

Google docs or Office 365

Microsoft Office entered into the cloud with online versions that allow you to use online tools exclusively or the online tools along with the locally installed apps depending on your Office 365 subscription.

Google office apps were developed for the cloud, have no local counterparts, and are completely free of cost. With all of that being said, now the question comes, which is better? 

Let’s take a tour of the features, capabilities, and the differences between Google docs, word online, Microsoft Office, and Office 365.

Google docs vs word online

File Compatibility — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Word online lets you export the online documents as .docx, .pdf, and .odt files. If you want to open your Google Docs file in Word, you need to convert it first.
  • Google Docs has more options to download your documents with extensions such as .docx, .odt , .rtf, .pdf, .txt, .html, and .epub.

Links — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • In Word Online, you have the option to add a link to text using a standard hyperlink URL.
  • In Google Docs, apart from inserting a URL, the input field has a search function that suggests other documents from your Google Drive, web pages as well as pictures from the internet when entering the search terms to which you want to add a link.

Inserting images — Google docs Vs Word Online

You can insert images in Word Online in two ways:

  • Uploading from a device like a notebook
  • Searching online

Google docs stay ahead of the word online by providing the following variety of options to insert images.

  • Upload from your personal computer
  • Search from the web
  • Google drive
  • Google photos
  • Website URL
  • Take a photo on your webcam and save it directly to your document

Formatting images — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • In Word Online, you have edit options like scale, rotate, crop, position, and apply various image effects such as shadows.
  • In Google Docs, in addition to the image effects, you can re-color images and also adjust its transparency, brightness, and contrast.

Fonts, symbols, and Emoticons — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Word Online is enriched with a large online font library, symbols, and emoticons.
  • Coming to google docs, the default font tab has fewer fonts. But you can customize your online fonts library that could create a larger library than in Word Online. Google Docs offers a drawing field where you can trace a symbol to find if you don’t know its name. A cluster of emoticons is mixed among the other symbols.

Customized colors — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • In Word Online, you can use colors to highlight text. But unfortunately, there are fewer colors available in the highlighting palette than in the text color palette.
  • Google Docs offers robust color selection options for nailing the corporate company’s identity — customize colors. You can either choose the color mixer or a hexadecimal color code.

Draft mode — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Word Online’s default view displays pages as sheet roll called draft mode. You can’t find headers and footers in this draft mode. You need to activate either the read or print view which displays the individual pages with visible headers and footers.
  • The default view in Google Docs displays individual text pages with the header and footer representing the print view. You can also edit in the draft mode which is not supported by Word Online.

Comments — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Word Online and Google docs are quite similar in inserting comments and mentioning other users to receive an automatic notification and displaying comments on the right-hand side of the document.
  • Google docs have an extra feature of creating a link to a comment, which when someone follows the link, they will automatically scroll to that comment when they open the document.

Share documents — Google docs Vs Word Online

In Word Online, there are four different ways to share documents with viewing and editing permissions.

  • A link to provide access to the user who follows that link including external users.
  • An option to limit access to all employees within your organization.
  • Copy a link that is limited to those who have access at the moment.
  • Access to people via email by entering usernames or email addresses.

Google Docs gives you more precise controls over document permissions than Word Online like allowing comments, setting an expiration date for shared links, and specifying editing rights. Google Docs offers five different ways to share documents.

You can

  • Publish the document on the web and make it searchable using Google Search.
  • A link to provide access to the user who follows that link including external users.
  • Make the document searchable for all users who belong to your organization.
  • Allow access to all users who belong to your organization and who have followed the link.
  • Only allow access by email to specific people by entering their usernames or email addresses.

Quick edit toolbar — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Word Online has a quick edit toolbar to format your text simply and directly to save your effort for scrolling up.
  • Google Docs doesn’t have this pop-up editing toolbar. Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts, thereby also saving some scrolling.

Version history — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Word Online doesn’t have a version history to review your changes.
  • The entire history of a page is traceable and audit-proof with the version history option of Google docs. You can also restore earlier versions with google docs.

Explore content — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Google Docs makes it easier for you to find further content to supplement your document using the “Explore” function. Google displays relevant online content on similar topics that you have stored in your Drive in a convenient sidebar. Google’s integrated web search function enables fast search queries directly from Google Docs.
  • This exclusive feature is not supported by Word Online

Correction mode — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • Google Docs offers a correction mode that highlights changes and proposes a detailed explanation at the edge of the page. This feature is useful for collaborating among multiple authors and editors. You can accept or reject the proposed changes by various users. 
  • Word Online does not have this feature.

Interface — Google docs Vs Word Online

  • The interface of Word online is slightly exhausting since you have to navigate around the features looking for the one you need. 
  • Google Docs narrows down the layout and toolbar features to give users to offer a more streamlined experience.

To sum up, Word online and Google docs are functionally very similar. The online collaborating, tracking history and simple layout features make Google Docs ahead to Word Online.

Google docs or Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office has long been considered the default option for a while for any business since employees are comfortable using Office, IT admins find it easy to handle large scale deployments. The standard word processor has always been useful in the world of computing.

The rise of Google Apps and Google Docs has made organizations rethink this strategy because of the comprehensive feature set that takes care of nearly all IT requirements from cloud storage to the integration with third-party sales & marketing tools. Google Docs attempted to change the way you edit and share your document in this era and attain success with its attempt.

So here comes the question “Who wins?”—Microsoft Office or Google Docs

Use and Access — Microsoft Office vs Google Docs 

  • You can’t buy the Microsoft Office tool as standalone software. It is a package of applications such as Microsoft Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, Access, and OneNote. You can only install Microsoft Word on a select number of PCs on the basis of the plan you opt for. To compete with Google docs, Microsoft launched Word Online. The online version eliminates the toolbars and ribbons to make it run and load much faster. Word Online struggles to possess the ability of handling complex and large documents. 
  • Google Docs is a cross-platform word processor that works completely online that does not require to buy or download a suite of programs. To access Google Docs, all you have to do is logging in to your Google Account. Google Docs can be accessed from any operating system, any device like Android and iOS devices except windows-based smartphones such as blackberry. Google Docs is collaborative, accessible, and flexible, and this collaborative feature is what makes it powerful than Word. You can also access Google Docs anytime, anywhere, making any last-minute edits effective and straightforward which is mot possible in Microsoft office.

Third-party app integration—Microsoft Office or Google Docs

  • Microsoft Office supports third-party app integration through the Office Store. But the selection of apps that works flawlessly with your Office subscription is limited.
  • Google docs support third-party apps from CRM systems and project management modules to label merge tools and contact update plugins that make it to the fore.

Cloud Service—Microsoft Office or Google Docs

  • Google Docs is a cloud-based service that ensures your docs are updated and saved instantly irrespective of where you open or write them. The documents are stored on your Google Drive is absolutely free with your Google account. 
  • Microsoft Office 365 also boasts editing and cloud storage capabilities on its One Drive. Google Docs can download the document to your local hard drive for additional editing, allow you to edit in offline mode without the need of using another word processor such as Word to open. Microsoft Office cloudless abilities require you to install the program on your PC’s hard drive and then boot it up when you need to write something that is off the cloud. 

Cloud storage—Microsoft Office or Google Docs

Microsoft has integrated its OneDrive cloud offering into its suite, whereas Google docs have Google Drive. 

  • OneDrive is integrated into Microsoft Windows. But Google Drive has to be installed separately.
  • Microsoft Office gives each user 1TB of space. Google Apps for Business gives 30 GB. If you have more than 4 users, Google Apps Unlimited provides unlimited storage.

Offline capabilities—Microsoft Office or Google Docs

  • Google Docs possess an offline ability but you will be required to set the option before going offline, and you can only access docs you accessed recently while online. 
  • Microsoft office does not need an online connection. You can get your work done without worrying about preparing docs for offline usage. 

Collaboration & real-time editing—Microsoft Office or Google Docs

  • Google docs can be used online mode only.
  • But Microsoft Office stays ahead by offering real-time collaboration through its desktop apps as well.


  • To get access to online versions of Office along with 1TB cloud storage on OneDrive, Business Essential package starts at $5 per user per month. To get access to offline versions of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote, the basic costs $8.25 a month and Business Premium will cost you $12.50 per user per month with a maximum of 300 users.
  • Google’s pricing is very simple. It is completely free for online and offline versions that offer unlimited cloud storage and advanced features.

Google docs or Office 365

Google docs perform well as much as Office 365 from Microsoft has a bundle of apps for all the business needs. So how to choose Google docs or Office 365?

Document Creation—Google docs or Office 365

Advanced document formatting is better retained in Office 365 than Google docs while moving an offline document back and forth between a desktop and the cloud.

Document Collaboration—Google docs or Office 365

Google docs have excellent collaborating tools that help your organization to better communicate and collaborate. But when compared with Office 365, it is less efficient.

Document collaboration or the ability to simultaneously work on a particular document by various members of a team is better handled by SharePoint of office 365 suite.

Google Docs also provides you the collaboration experience that tends you and your colleagues work on the same document simultaneously and keep an eye on who’s viewing and who edited last, all without the need of accessing another platform.

System Requirements—Google docs or Office 365

  • Google docs just use your browser as a medium and everything you need to do is done within the browser from email, document creation, and collaboration. There is no need for any additional software to be installed, and you can simply work from any device that is connected to the internet.
  • Coming to Office 365, you have to install software plug-ins and the .NET framework. If you want to use the offline features of Office 365, you just need to install Microsoft Office on your desktop or laptop too. Even though Office 365 inherently has more scalability and is an asset for rapidly growing businesses, Office 365 setup is slightly more complicated when compared with google docs

User Interface —Google docs or Office 365

  • Office 365 provides the widest range of applications with a bunch of features set to meet your company and individual needs. Fonts, templates, and formatting styles of Office 365 resemble the desktop versions of Microsoft office.
  • The look and feel of Google docs are simple but more powerful.

Both Google Docs and Office 365 are excellent for basic use. The difference with experience you can encounter is Office 365 is more streamlined and more familiar, whereas Google offers affordability and easy accessibility.