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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office

The Problem

Have you ever received a file with a "doc", "docx", or "xls" extension and couldn't open it?  It's most likely because it's a Microsoft Office document.  In the old days you would either have to buy Microsoft Office (for PC or Mac) or download and install the open source program, Open Office.  Nothing against Open Office or Microsoft Office, it's just that both take time to install (and money for Microsoft), both take time to open, and both will only open files on your computer.

I recently bought a Apple Macbook (and I have never owned an Apple computer before) and it could not open any Microsoft Office files.  My sister, who's a long time Apple user, buys the Mac version of MS Office so she can open files from Windows users.

The Solution
Instead of installing software on my computer on my precious space using up my resources, I use Google Docs. It's web-based, so nothing needs to be installed, nothing needs to be updated, and it's free.  It just requires a Google Account, which is also free.  It can open PDFs, Microsoft Excel (xls, xlsx), Word (doc, docx), Adobe files (psd, ai), and much more.

One of the neat little features is how Google Docs can open any file on the web.  Just go to the Google Docs Viewer and enter in a URL to read.

The Convenience
There are a bunch of support to open Google Docs even quicker than opening a web page.

With the Open IT Online plugin for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, you can open your document or image online.

In Chrome, there's another plugin called Ultimate Google Docs Viewer.  This also lets you right click on a link and open it online instead of downloading it.

1 comment:

  1. I also prefer to use Google Docs than Microsoft office, because the best thing is I can access my docs from anywhere