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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5 Reasons Why You Might Not Like Google Docs

I love Google Docs but there are just some things this cloud app doesn't have yet that many MS Word users easily take for granted. And while most of these missing features don't really bother me much, I don't think I'd be speaking for the millions of word processor users out there.

So if you want to know what unpleasant things to expect before you dive right in, here are five things you might not like in Google Docs that I think you ought to know:

1. No Print Layout View - This is easily the first problem that really left me scratching my head ... and still does. If you want to have an idea how your page will look the moment it gets printed, there's no way but to constantly check via Print Preview (and even this is said to be unreliable). This is a total waste of time. I know Google wants to promote a paperless world but the world's not there yet.

2. Extremely limited of fonts - I'm quite content with Verdana, Arial and Times New Roman, but I'm pretty sure many of you out there already find Calibri, Cambria, and a host of other fonts more appealing.

3. Limited image insertion options - All in all, Google Docs lacks a lot of layouting options. The most noticeable is the placement of images. The only options are Left, Right, and Center Alignment. Sure you can wrap text around, but that's it. What if you want a small image positioned a quarter of the way from the left or from the right?

4. No grammar checker - If you're hard up and aspiring to make a living as a freelance article writer, but aren't that good with English grammar (but still want to try just the same), Google Docs isn't the right tool for you. Unlike MS Word, it doesn't have a grammar checker that reminds you if there's something wrong with your sentence.

5. Can't work if you're offline - I know there's the Google Gears feature but it still has a lot of quirks. I tried to sync once but it kept on generating errors. Must have had something to do with the number of files I have in my Google Docs folder. Still, I think that's something the people of Google has to improve on.

So that's it. If you value these features so much, then maybe you should wait a while until these issues are resolved. As for me, I dived right in and have never looked back since then.


Larry Vincent said...

Cloud apps like Google docs really have a lot of limitations. I just consider this apps for the most basic to-do tasks. Maybe this is one reason why Office Live didn't go into a full blown online application since the features for offline word processors are somehow complex to be included online and limitations may end up users disappointed. Though for me, its too early to tell because cloud apps are still new and growing. We can expect something good in newer versions. :)

johnV said...

I agree, Lar. It's too early to tell. Perhaps further increases in bandwidth might motivate cloud-based apps service providers to raise the bar, so to speak. As of now, bandwidth limitations in countries like ours might just present bottlenecks in what might otherwise be a fully-featured product.