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?

Google docs vs Microsoft word

In this blog, we aim to give you a detailed comparison, including the merits and demerits of both Google Docs and Microsoft Word, to help you make an informed choice.

Google Docs And Microsoft Word

google docs vs microsoft word

Cost Effectiveness

Google Docs come free with your Google account. This means that 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 is part of a package that includes other software such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, 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.

Multiple plans are available for home and business use. However, these plans are expensive 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 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 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 a long time, way before Google Docs. Hence, it is expected that Word is superior in terms of editing options and other functionality 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.

According to a survey, about 80-90% of users find that Google Docs’s word processing capacity is sufficient to ‘get their job done’. For some, the advanced features offered by Microsoft Word are significant.

Editing and Formatting options

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

google docs or microsoft word

In Google Docs, you do not have many options when it comes to the font of the text you type. The drop-down menu provides only a limited number of options regarding the overall height and weight of the text. Along with these, there are a few fonts available. However, the options are limited 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 underlining and Italics. The text color can be changed in both programs, but Microsoft Word has more options compared to Google Docs, which has limited options.

Page numbering and organizing are also easier in Microsoft Word, as there are more templates compared to Google Docs.

A document’s overall look and feel using Word are far more advanced in 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 it’s plain text with minimal formatting that needs to be shared and edited faster, you can choose Google Docs.


This section reviews the availability of documents in Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word saves documents on the computer, so they are available whenever you require them. You could carry them around on a pen drive or other portable storage device, 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, require an internet connection. You can edit and view documents, but the edits will only be visible to your collaborators once you have an 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 need to click File > Share; a shortcut is next to your profile picture.

Once you click on Share, you’ll see a drop-down menu 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

Click the Share button for collaborations in Microsoft Word. The only catch is that you need to upload the document to an online platform called OneDrive, which is online cloud storage like Google Drive. After uploading the file, you can add the names of the people you want to share it with.

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.

Google Docs vs Word Online

Google Docs and Word Online are both browser-based word-processing applications. They have many similarities, but there are also many differences. Let’s discuss a few key differences between Google Docs and Word Online.

Google DocsWord Online
Google Docs is a part of Google’s Office application or a Google G Suite app.Word Online is a part of the Microsoft Office 365 module.
In terms of Collaboration or comments, Google docs use “suggestions” or allows the users to Edit.Word Online uses the “Track Changes” feature in terms of collaboration or comments.
You can insert images from Google Photos, searching online, via image URL, and most importantly from Google Drive.You can able to insert images by searching online, via some devices. But it’s not possible to upload images from OneDrive.
In terms of Linking, Google Docs provides you more options like linking to other documents in Google drive, provides search functionality that helps you to link different images from the internet, etc.Here, in terms of linking, you can use a standard hyperlink or URL to link a text.
In terms of colors, you can customize the different colors option for coloring your text by using the hexadecimal color code or color mixer. It provides excellent color selection options as compared to word online.A few color selection options available compared to Google Docs. You can use the default color palette to color your text.
There is no provision to use the quick edit toolbar in Google Docs. Instead, you can use a few keyboard shortcuts.You can use the quick edit toolbar to do some quick changes.
Google Docs Provides the version history of each document where you can able to see the changes made by whom with the time stamp.Word online doesn’t provide a version history capability.

These are some key differences between Word Online and Google Docs.


Is Google Docs as good as Microsoft Word?

As of now, Microsoft Word provides more features than Google Docs. However, you have to pay for licensing. However, if you want to work with some manageable features, Google Docs is free of cost. Now, the choice is yours.

What is the Microsoft equivalent of Google Docs?

Google provides you with Google Docs, an online word processor. Similarly, Microsoft provides you with Word Online, an online word processor.

Is Google Docs compatible with Office?

Yes. Google Docs is compatible with Office.

Is Google Docs secure?

Yes, your data or content is absolutely secure with Google.

Is Google Docs Free

Yes, Google Docs is free to use.

Is Google Docs Free For Business Use

Yes, Google Docs is absolutely free for a small business. In case you need any additional features, you need to pay $6 /month/user. In the case of Business Starter, For Business Standard, you need to pay $12/user/month, and for Business Plus, you need to pay $18/user/month.

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 for 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.