There may be some confusion on the difference between Google Drive and Google Docs. Google launched Google Drive to offer an alternative to other online shared document systems like Microsoft 365. Portions of the existing Google Docs platform, specifically the document storage system, were migrated to the new Google Drive service. So, what exactly do Google Docs and Google Drive do?
Google Docs is the web-based editing program that allows users to create, share and edit documents through a secure networked system. There are also offshoots called Google Sheets and Google Slides that allow users to create spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. The beauty of the Google Docs system is that users can upload Word or other text-based documents into the system and convert them to the online editing program. From there, multiple users can work on the same document in real time, adjusting margins, adding pictures, editing content and putting the finishing touches on documents from any location with internet access.
Docs also allows multiple versions of documents to be stored, allowing users to roll them back to previous incarnations without losing any information. Docs also allows the document owner to determine what privileges are given to each user. This means that you can have multiple viewers, editors and commenters on a single project. When the project is complete, it can be saved and transferred to a desktop in Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF or HTML format as well as having the option to be placed in a zipped file.
Google Drive is a cloud storage solution for storing files. If you are a highly mobile person or you work remotely with several collaborators, Google Drive is your personal file depository. Google Drive is set up to allow multiple users to have access to files and folders from any Internet connected device that supports the Google Drive application.
Google Drive is an extremely cost-effective way to store documents, presentations, music, pictures, videos or any other files that you can’t afford to lose. If your laptop, desktop or files storage system crashes, Google Drive is your insurance policy.
Another nice feature of Google Drive is the ability to open files in formats that aren’t supported by your computer. The files can be opened in a web browser and automatically search out and use the correct program to view the file.
If you are a legacy user of Google Docs, here are the major changes since the launch of Google Drive. Where you used to have a Google Documents List, you know all of your files will be saved directly in the Google Drive. The Google Docs folder on your desktop can easily be replaced with the new Google Drive folder and is used in exactly the same way to shared files to your online drive.
Google Drive has multiple ways to find, sort and view your files unlike the previous Google Documents List which was admittedly limited. One of the most impressive new features is the ability to search for text in picture files, something that can help you find exactly what you are looking for when everything is generically labeled image_0056, image_0057, etc.
While Google Docs and Google Drive are completely different applications, they work harmoniously together and can provide a very effective collaboration platform for users in any area of the world.
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