Anton Lindstrom (about, @twitter, @github)

Docs and Google Docs

Published:

I have a certain loath for Microsoft Word, not because it is Microsoft software but more because it is so expensive and does not support open standards. Word uses its .doc and .docx formats which is pretty much proprietary and is expected to be some sort of industry standard. If you get a document from someone you can be at least 80% sure that it is a .doc or .docx format. The software does not support .odt which is an open format for these types of documents.

So, does that mean I love OpenOffice.org (OO.org)? No, it does not. I dislike OO.org just as much. Not because of the lack of support for open formats, that is working great. It is because of the time it takes to load a document and then process it. On a Mac it is pretty sluggish and I feel like it is a nightmare to use.

As I often write short texts and want to be able to quickly go into the text, write a few more words and then close it, it gets pretty slow. I do not want to have a program that I do not regularly use, in the background. Especially when it is not optimized (as OO.org is not) for my computer. I have a program that is almost always running, my web browser.

Google Docs is a word processor that is optimized for the web and has had a rewrite just a couple of days ago. I thought I would write what differs from the old code base.

First of all, my workflow is destroyed. The shortcuts has been edited, the text formats is one example. Also some functions have been moved and it feels like it is more practical and smarter now. There is now a ruler which controls your indents better and it might be a few more tools added. The most important thing is that everything is so much faster! Before it was a little bit slow and sluggish and I complained a lot about it but now it is really, really improved.

There are many things that Google Docs does not have, like support for templates etc. So I have to write texts in the desktop word processors for essays and reports at the University but would like to see that Docs became even better so I can use it for work as well.