Office has always been known for being a little pricey, but it’s also industry standard software.
The price is probably completely justified by the plethora of features included with the famous Word, PowerPoint, Excel software packages, but some aren’t willing to pay the $119.99 (Australian) a year premium. Is there a solution? Yes. And it’s called Google Docs.
If you’re a student, Microsoft already has you covered. Assuming your school supports the Office for Education program, your school gives you access to the full version of Office 365 for free. But if you’re not a student, or if your school doesn’t support the program, read on.
Google Docs has incredibly powerful collaboration features. Whenever a group project or assignment needs to be completed, Google Docs is my medium of choice as opposed to Office. All edits and changes are live and the editing history feature shows who made changes to the document — this means you don’t have to worry about one of those people who find destroying documents and presentations entertaining.
If you’ve ever used Docs, you may notice there’s no ‘save’ button anywhere in the toolbar. That’s because everything is automatically saved in the cloud. You also don’t have to worry about making a huge mistake and never being able to undo your changes, because Google Docs remembers everything you’ve done since the creation of your document.
What does this also mean? It means all your documents can be accessed on any device with internet. All you need is your Google account.
So what if the internet goes down? That doesn’t even matter — there’s an offline mode for Chrome users. Google has your back.
Google Docs’ simplified user interface means you don’t have to fiddle around with complicated menus and settings to get the document the way you want. As a compromise, Docs has nowhere near the amount of features as Office, but that might actually be a good thing. With less features, Docs is lighter on resource usage and less time is wasted trying to use some complex features.
If you have the money or opportunity to get Microsoft Office, just do it.
Office is still really good. It’s also catching up to Google — OneDrive integration means documents can be uploaded to the cloud too, collaboration is possible (but through the web browser with limited features) and Office just has way more features. But if you prefer value over features, just use Google Docs. It’s incredible.