Switching to Docs from Microsoft Word

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In the past, you might have used the consumer version of Microsoft Word outside of work. Now that you have Google Docs, here are some tips to begin using it as your new word processor.

Get Docs: docs.google.com | Android app | iOS app


Note: Comparisons are based on Microsoft Office versions 2010, 2013 and 2016.

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. From a document, click Share.
  2. Under People, enter the email address of the person or group with which you want to share.
  3. Click Edit "" and choose the access level.
  4. Click Send.


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, collaborators can edit documents, add comments and assign tasks, depending on their access.

  • 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. Select the text that you want to comment on.
  2. Click Add comment "".
  3. To assign a comment to someone, enter + and the person’s email.
  4. Enter your comment, then click Comment.


Access version history in SharePoint or OneDrive
Access version history in Docs
  1. Select Fileand thenVersion historyand thenSee version history.
  2. Click a time stamp to see a previous version of the file.
  3. (Optional) Do any of the following:
    • To make a previous version the active version, at the top, click Restore this version.
    • To name a previous version, click More ""and thenName this version.
    • To make a copy of a previous version, click More ""and thenMake a copy.

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 At the top corner, make sure that 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 colour, and text that you mark to delete or replace is crossed out (but not actually deleted until the document owner approves the suggestion).

The owner of the document will receive an email with your suggestions. When they click any suggestion, they can Accept Checkmark or Reject Close it.

Suggest edits

Add and assign comments in a document

  1. In Docs, Sheets or Slides, select the text that 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, tick the Assign to box.
  6. Click Comment or Assign.
Open a Word document
Open a Word document
  1. In Drive, double-click a Word file.

    A preview of your file will open.

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

Any changes that 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, tick the Create, open and edit your recent Google files 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 recolour your images, or get suggestions for images using the Explore tool. 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 that 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.

*These instructions are primarily web only.


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