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Switch from Microsoft Word to Google Docs

Learn the differences between Microsoft Word and Google Docs, and get best practices for collaboration at work or school.

What you'll need

15 minutes

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Note: The instructions in this guide are primarily web only. Get switching information for mobile devices

Comparison at a glance

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In Word... In Docs...*
Share your document using Microsoft SharePoint or OneDrive
Share your document from Docs
  1. On a computer, go to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
  2. Click the file you want to share.
  3. Click Share Share.


For more details, see Get started with Docs

Share your document with Word users

  1. From a document, click File > Email as attachment.
  2. Under Attach as, choose the format (Word, PDF, etc.).
  3. Enter the email address, subject, and message.
  4. Click Send.


For more details, see Work with Microsoft Office files.

Collaborate in real-time in Word Online
Collaborate in real-time in Docs

When you share a document, depending on their access, collaborators can edit documents, add comments, and assign tasks.

  • To track changes, at the top right, click the Down arrow Down arrow. From the menu, set the mode to Suggesting.
  • To add and assign a comment:
  1. On your computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
  2. Highlight the text, images, cells, or slides you want to comment on.
  3. To add a comment, in the toolbar, click Add comment Add comment.
  4. Type your comment.
  5. Click Comment.


Access version history in SharePoint or OneDrive
Access version history in Docs
  1. In Drive, open your file.
  2. Click Fileand thenVersion historyand thenSee version history.
  3. Click a timestamp to see a previous version of the file. Below the timestamp, you’ll see:
    • Names of people who edited the document.
    • A color next to each person’s name. The edits they made appear in that color.
  4. (Optional) To revert to this version, click Restore this version.

For more details, read See changes to your Drive files and folders.


Track changes in a document
Make suggestions and comments

Make suggestions in a document

1. In the top corner, make sure you’re in Suggesting mode, which may also appear as .
2. To suggest an edit, simply begin typing where you think the edit should be made in the document. Your suggestions appear in a new color, and text you mark to delete or replace is crossed out (but not actually deleted until the document owner approves the suggestion).

The document’s owner will receive an email with your suggestions. When they click any suggestion, they can Accept or Reject it.

Suggest edits.

Add and assign comments in a document

  1. In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select the text you'd like to comment on.
  2. Click Add comment .
  3. Enter your comment in the box.
  4. (Optional) To direct your task or comment to a specific person, enter a plus sign (+) followed by their email address. You can add as many people as you want. Each person will get an email with your comment and a link to the file.
  5. (Optional) To assign the comment to a specific person, check the Assign to box.
  6. Click Comment or Assign.

Note: If a file reaches the maximum number of comments, you can make a copy of the file without copying over any comments.

Open a Word document
Open a Word document
  1. In Drive, double-click a Word file.

    A preview of your file opens.

  2. At the top, click Open with Google Docs.

Any changes you make are saved to the original Microsoft Office file.

For more details, see Work with Microsoft Office files.


Access a document offline in OneDrive
Access a document offline in Drive
  1. Install the Google Docs Offline extension.
  2. In Drive, click Settings and thenSettings.
  3. In the Offline section, check the Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline box.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Right-click a file and turn on Available offline.

To learn how to access files offline from your desktop or mobile, see Access stored Drive files without the internet.

Save a document automatically in SharePoint or OneDrive or turn on AutoRecover
Save a document automatically in Drive
Your document saves automatically in Drive as you work, so you don’t need to click Save.
Insert pictures in your document
Add images to your document

You can drag and drop images from your computer into your document. Or, click Insertand thenImage and choose an image from Google Drive, Google Photos, the web, and more. With Docs, you can crop and recolor your images. Learn more about adding and editing images.

You can also add an image watermark to your document. For more details, see Add an image watermark.

Add an Excel chart to your document
Add a Sheets chart to your document
  1. In Sheets, select the chart you want to copy.
  2. At the top right, click More and thenCopy chart.
  3. In Docs, right-clickand thenPaste
  4. Click Paste.

For more details, see Insert and edit charts.

*  Note: The instructions in this guide are primarily web only. Get switching information for mobile devices

Related topics

To start using Docs, or get troubleshooting help, try these guides instead:


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