Thoughts on Google Docs & Spreadsheets

As I mentioned in the open thread, I’ve started using Google Toolbar for Firefox again. It will automatically open .doc files in Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which is much more convenient than the hassle fo downloading it to my computer and reading it with OpenOffice. It is faster, and then if the file will be useful I merely leave it there in Google Docs & Sheets — then I can use it anywhere. Otherwise, it’s one click to delete.

A feature that Google is missing, however, is a plugin to Microsoft Office and OpenOffice that would allow one-click saving of documents to Google Docs & Spreadsheets (or, even better, automatic backup to Google DS even if the file is also saved on my computer). This would have been useful just yesterday, when I realized I had neglected to print out a copy of my statistics assignment. I ended up going down to the computer lab, booting my laptop, uploading my file to Google DS (or emailing it to myself), and then printing it out. The process would have been quicker if the file was just there.

Additionally, there should be a way to synchronize, or at least upload, local files with Google DS. Besides a number of files in My Documents, I have backups of stuff that I no longer work on — but do not want to throw away — all over the place. Some are on my laptop harddrive, some are on my backup USB drive, and stuff I’ll probably never need again is in some CD backup or the other. But if I could store the info with Google, it would be always available and always searchable — even if the worst happens to me locally.

(I’ve also taken to reading Google Operating System blog regularly, and at least for a time have been fixed of my live addiction.Google Operating System blog regularly, and at least for a time have been fixed of my live addiction.)

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Google Docs & Spreadsheets”

  1. Live Search is really bad. You can't afford to use a such a bad search engine. Yahoo is much better and, often, Yahoo's results are a permutation of Google's results. But the order is important.

  2. I tried to batch-upload by dragging-and-dropping files into firefox, which (through the google toolbar) should upload them to Google DS. No luck, though. Only about 50% of files seem to get through, making the toolbar worthless for batch uploading.

    As soon as google as a docs api I'm there, using it to backup my stuff. But for now, no luck.

  3. One of my main problems with Google Docs and Spreadsheets is in how it treats documents that contain footnotes. It turns them into end notes, and unless you know how to work Word like a pro, it's very difficult to convert them back. Other than that, it is great for backing up docs and writing blog posts.

  4. I've noticed formatting troubles too, when I upload odt files. I'm not sure why, but in my experience pages do not break in the same places. This makes google docs inappropriate for printing out my reaction papers for class, which are supposed to fit on one double-sided page.

  5. Raju,

    Thanks for stopping bye. It is great to have someone so involved with the Zoho project comment here at tdaxp!

    I think that three things will be a game-changer in the online wordprocessor space:

    a) an online api that allows uploading folders
    b) a plug-in for Microsoft Office
    c) a plug-in for OpenOffice

    From what I read zoho already has (a) and (b), though I am unable to find out which versions of Office are supported. I also hear that (c) will be coming out soon.

    I'm looking forward to it!

  6. Dan:

    Yes, we have (a) & (b). Our MS Office plugin works for office 2007, 2003 and its previous version (Hmm…now I dont remember what it was called).

    Regarding OpenOffice plugin, yes it is in the works.


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