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What is Google Docs?
Google Docs is a free, web-based application that lets you create, share, and manage documents, or docs. If you've ever used a productivity suite like Microsoft Office, some things about Google Docs might seem familiar. For instance, the types of docs you can work with resemble files that can be created with various Microsoft Office programs.
These are the types of docs you can create and share with Google Docs:
- Documents: For composing letters, flyers, essays, and other text-based files (similar to Microsoft Word documents).
- Spreadsheets: For storing and organizing information (similar to Microsoft Excel worksheets).
- Presentations: For creating and presenting slides (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows).
- Forms: For collecting and organizing data.
- Drawings: For creating simple vector graphics or diagrams.
Learn more about each doc type and try a live demo at the Google Docs Demo page.
Why Use Google Docs?
There are several reasons many people find Google Docs useful. You can access it anywhere, and it's easy to share and collaborate on docs. Google Docs lets you decide exactly who you want to see your docs by offering three sharing settings. You can choose to:
- Keep a doc private
- Share it with a few people
- Make it public on the web
You can also customize these settings to allow others to edit your doc. This can be extremely useful if you're working on a doc with a group of people. Instead of sending multiple versions of a document back and forth as you each make edits, you will all be able to make comments and edit the same file in real time.
Before Google Drive, Google Docs existed as its own service. If you are already familiar with Google Docs and would like to learn what will change by upgrading to Google Drive, check out this video from Google on Exploring Google Drive.