Google docs vs Microsoft word

Keeping up with ever-changing technological trends is hard but choosing which bandwagon to hop on to is even harder. Most of us face a similar dilemma when it comes to choosing word processing programs. Google Docs or Microsoft Word which is the better one?

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Google docs vs Microsoft word

In this blog, we aim at giving you a detailed comparison including, merits as well as demerits of both Google Docs as well as Microsoft Word, to help you make an informed choice.  

google docs vs microsoft word

Cost Effectiveness

Google docs come free with your Google account. This means if you want to use Google docs all you need to do is set up a google account and start using Google Docs.

To know all about setting up, check a tutorial on Google Docs.

Microsoft Word, on the other hand, is not free software. It comes as part of a package that includes other software like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, One Note, Publisher, and Access.

Once the Microsoft Office Package is purchased it can be used only on a fixed number of devices, depending on the plan you choose. For other devices, you need to purchase another plan. You can find a detailed list of the prices here.

There are multiple plans available for home and businesses use. But none the less these plans are expensive when compared to the free services of Google docs which can be used on multiple devices.

So, in terms of cost effectiveness we see that Google Docs is one up over Microsoft Word.


Microsoft Word can be installed on Windows and Mac OS X computers. On the other hand, Google Docs can be accessed from any browser on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux or Chrome OS computers.

If only computer or laptop compatibility is considered, Google docs is more convenient as it can be used without worrying about the operating system of devices.

These days we use our phones more than our computers, hence it is important that our documents are available and editable on our phones as well. Google Docs is available for both iOS and Android devices – but not on Windows based phones.

Microsoft Word on the other hand comes preinstalled on Windows devices and is available as a free app for both Android and iOS phones. This app might not have all the features as it consists of the bare minimum. To avail of all the benefits and features you will need to buy the Microsoft Office pack.  


Microsoft has been in the market for long, way before Google Docs. Hence it is expected that Word more superior in terms of the editing options and other functionality as compared to Google Docs.

Judging by the features alone we can say that Microsoft word is superior as compared to Google Docs. But this depends mainly on the user and his/ her usage.

As per a survey for about 80-90% of users, the word processing capacity of Google Docs is sufficient to ‘get their job done’ so to say. For some the advance features offered by Microsoft Word are significant.

Editing and Formatting options

The formatting options in Microsoft word are far more superior as compared to Google Docs.

google docs or microsoft word

In google docs you do not have too many options when it comes to the font of the text you type. The drop-down menu provides only a limited number of options with regard to the overall height and weight of the text. Along with these there are a few fonts that are available. The options however are limited as compared to the ones available with Microsoft Word.

google docs vs word

In word on the other hand you have more editing and formatting options in terms of the font style, its style and the overall look and feel of the text.

microsoft word vs google docs
similarities between word and google docs

Both Google Docs and Microsoft word have options for Bold Underline and Italics. The text colour can be changed in both programs but Microsoft Word has more options as compared to Google Docs where the options are limited.

Page numbering and organising is also easier in Microsoft Word as there are more templates as compare to Google Docs.

The overall look and feel of a document using Word are far more advanced in terms of adding borders or other images. But again, it depends on what you are using the word processor for.

If it’s for a formal project or assignment that requires a lot of formatting Microsoft Word is the software to work on. If its plain text with minimal formatting that needs to be shared and edited faster you can choose Google Docs.


This section aims at reviewing availability of documents in Google Docs vs Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word saves documents on the computer. Hence they are available whenever you require them. You could carry them around on a pen drive or other portable storage devices and it works just fine.

Here the document is available but it may be difficult to co-author or edit the document on the go unless you have the Microsoft Office pack or you are carrying a laptop.

i6 google docs offline

Google documents on the other hand requires internet connection. You can edit and view documents but the edits will only be visible to your collaborators once you have internet connection. To access offline accessibility for Google docs simply go to file > Make available offline


how are google docs and microsoft word similar

Sharing files on Docs is very convenient. You simply need to click File > Share there is also a shortcut next to your profile picture.

Once you click on the Share it gives you a drop down with how you want people to collaborate. From there you can edit who can edit the document, who can view it and who can comment on it.

You can share Google Docs by either sending a link or personal emails.

google docs vs word for writers

Simply click the Share button for collaborations in Microsoft Word. The only catch is you need to upload the document to an online platform called OneDrive. Which is an online cloud storage just like Google Drive. You can add names of the people you want to share the file with after uploading the file.

Unlike Google Docs where you can give file access to a large number of people; giving access to files is a bit restrictive with Microsoft Word. Here you can collaborate only with specific people, making it difficult to work with a lot of people at once.

Our Verdict on Google docs vs Microsoft word

According to us both word processing programs are good in their own way. The need of the users would determine its utility.

Microsoft word is the best option when it comes to formatting and editing as there are more options available. But if you are looking to collaborate without being particular about formatting Google docs is a good option.

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