Hi aspiring writers writing coach
Stefanie Newell and this is The Life Of A Writer channel. Today’s video Google
Docs vs Microsoft Word which software is the best for writers? In this
video I will be comparing the two based on price and functionality. If you want
to connect with readers and sell more books make sure to subscribe as I post
new content every Tuesday. So when it comes to writing books the software you
choose is a very important decision as the ease and functionality of the
software can make a huge difference in how smooth the writing process goes.
Google Docs and Microsoft Word are very popular software among writers. I’ve used
both and I like them for very different reasons. To keep it simple and to help
you to make an informed decision on which software will work for you
I will be comparing pricing, the need for Internet access, the save features,
add-ons and the collaboration and edit features. I will also look at some of the
most common functions writers use such as header and footer, page setup, spell
and grammar check, word count and formatting for a book. So let’s jump over
to my computer and compare the two. Let’s talk about pricing first since for some
writers this is going to be a major deciding factor. Microsoft Word Online
requires a subscription to Office 365 which will give you access to all of
their office apps including Word. The pricing is $6.99 per month for one
person and includes one terabyte of cloud storage. If you go with a $9.99 per
month version that supports up to six people you can get a one-month free
trial now for those of you who are already familiar with Microsoft Word. I
want you to keep in mind that this is a simplified version of the desktop
version. If you’re using Microsoft Office Online and working on a file you can
choose to work on the same file in the desktop version if you have a copy
installed and are using the same login. And it will save the changes in the
online version of the file so you can work between the online and desktop
versions so long as your file is saved in One Drive which is their cloud storage.
In comparison Google Docs is completely free you’ll just need to sign up for
a Google account which is also free and once you have an account you will have
access to their entire suite which includes Google Docs.
Both Google Docs and Word do require Internet access to some degree. So for
example Internet access is required to install and activate Office but not to
use Office applications such as Word. Once you have these fully installed on
your computer you can use multiple devices including PCs, Macs, phones and
tablets. You will also need Internet access for Google Docs. It too can be
accessed anywhere on any device and you can also access it offline but only in
the Chrome browser. Google Docs gets high praise from users on its save
capabilities as all your changes are automatically saved as you type you can
even use revision history to see old versions of the same document sorted by
date and who made the change. Word Online also takes away the Save button because
they too automatically save changes to their cloud storage One Drive. Add-ons is
a feature that will take your writing experience up a notch and provides
features like voice to text while both Word and Docs in my opinion can stand to
improve in the area of add-ons I give the edge to Google Docs hands down.
Collaboration is something that writers will find useful when working with
writing partners beta readers, writing coaches, and editors. Both can handle the
task. Word allows users to collaborate and share in real time and the
collaborators don’t need Office 365 just an Internet connection. Google Docs
provides the same collaboration with their share button as well. Making edits
is another important function for writers as editors will need to add
comments or edits when reviewing your document. Word makes it fairly simple but
to be honest as someone who uses this feature frequently when doing manuscript
critiques for my clients, I much prefer the desktop version. With that being said
comparing Google Docs vs Microsoft Word Online I would say that both
software handles the editing feature the same. Ok now that we’ve gotten some of
the most functional elements of the software compared let’s look at some of
the more basic options writers will need to use once
they begin formatting their manuscript. And if you haven’t seen my previous
formatting videos for Google Docs or Microsoft Word make sure to check out
the description box as I’ll have it linked there. Let’s start with the header
and footer. Both Docs and Word makes using the header and footer simple, as
should be expected. Now when it comes to page setup I’m gonna have to give this
one to Word, only because they lay their page formatting out in their classic
ribbon format which means that all of the options for changing features are
right across the top. When comparing the spell and grammar check both Google Docs
and Word handle the function relatively easy.
Although upon initially looking for spell and grammar check I found it
easier to find it in Docs as it was under tools where I’m used to finding it.
With that being said I did find a really cool function in Word that reminded me
of Grammarly and that’s its ideas function where it provides ideas on clarity,
conciseness, formality, and more. Word count is another feature that writers
would need to access easily and both Google Docs and Word makes it easy to
find the word count for a document. For the sake of this conversation remember
we’re talking about writing your manuscript in either Google Docs or
Microsoft Word. When it comes to formatting your book and for clarity I’m
talking about the formatting for the print and Kindle version of your book,
another thing to consider is the ease at which the formatting can be done in
either software. So once your manuscript is complete and you’re ready to publish
to Amazon that will require a different type of formatting than what was done
for the manuscript and that’s so it can look like an actual book and not just a
document. For example, personally I like Microsoft Word as I’m able to format the
paperback and Kindle version of my book by using various templates that are
available on the Internet when I did a search on Google for Google Docs
templates I wasn’t able to easily find a variety of templates as I could for Word. As
a matter of fact I wasn’t able to find any templates and this could be because
the formatting would be lost once converted to one of the other file
formats. Google Docs does offer a few download options such as ePub, HTML, and
PDF which Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP for short does allow. However if you go directly to KDP’s help section,
they say for the best results they recommend a Microsoft Word DOC/DOCX or
a KPF file created with Kindle Create. So as an alternative you could download
your Google Docs file as a Microsoft Word document and format your book in
Kindle Create which is a free tool that Amazon offers. So when it comes down to
it, Google Docs vs Microsoft Word, which software share writers use? Each
writer should look at budget, functionality, their own skill set, the
device they’re using, and which software will work long-term for their needs.
Because writing your first book is for most authors at least a year-long project, you
want to give consideration to all of these factors as software that’s
confusing, not able to perform in the way you want, can all affect the consistency
in which you write. Remember the writing process should be fun and creative and
you definitely want to make it as easy as possible!
So while ultimately I have my favorite, the decision will be yours. So let’s talk
about some of the differences between the two. Word offers tech support via
chat or phone and you can use your fingerprint, face or pin as an extra
layer of protection on One Drive which is a bonus.
Whereas with Docs I love that it picks up the formatting in documents and
creates an outline. That feature alone is one that is very valuable for writers.
Google Docs also has a trash bin in case of accidental deletion. If you’ve ever
lost a document you can only imagine how much this will come in handy. As I’ve
stated before I’ve used both software but have long preferred Word mainly for its
tracking features and offline performance and because I have the
desktop version that has way more features. However after comparing the two,
I am quite impressed with Docs as it really holds up in terms of features in
comparison to Word. If the price is a huge consideration, I would honestly go
with Docs because a lot of writers find it much easier to use and most of all
it’s free. With that being said I must mention some of the cons that have been
shared among writers who use Docs exclusively. Those includes slow load
times for larger manuscripts of 70,000 words or more and the fact that
some editors including myself prefer Word. To Google Docs credit you can
convert Google Docs to Word files and vice versa. Lastly because KDP favors
Word files some may find it easier to just write and format their book in
Microsoft Word as the formatting and conversions may become confusing for
some first-time authors. Down in the comment section share with me which
software you plan on using and why? And don’t forget I do have a series playlist where
I’ll walk you through the process of writing a book in Google Docs or
Microsoft Word. As always all of my social media links will be in the
description box below. If you’re looking to hire me as your writing coach you
will find that information there as well and I look forward to talking with you
in my next video!

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