Google Docs Adds Custom Styles!

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The latest Google Docs update goes a long way towards making Google Docs a viable alternative to desktop software, at least for the adventurous.

Until now, my primary gripe about Google Docs has been the need to custom format everything. Now, you can set custom paragraph styles, which makes formatting much easier. I’d like to see further updates, including a custom document template (margins, etc.) and custom list styles, but this is a big step forwards.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s Office Live cloud software is still a few steps ahead of Google Docs, with web apps that closely replicate the desktop experience. Plus, since it is Office, it is easy to take advantage of the desktop as well as the cloud. Google has a few steps left to go on Google Docs.

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  • Guest

    Sam: I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR THIS BLOG! IT HAS GIVEN ME INFORMATION TO ORGANIZE MYSELF AND MY PRACTICE. On behalf of myself and my clients, thank you!

    I use Google Docs to organize myself. It works great. I don’t use Google’s version of word or excel though. I click a button that says “don’t convert the document” and it remains Microsoft.

    Hyperlinking has revolutionized my ability to stay organized. I use Word’s hyperlinking function to hyperlink the most sensitive information and keep it on my desk top. I keep the rest of my files on the cloud with Google Docs and hyperlink to those via my desktop Word document links.

    BTW, I just loaded and adapted your Get Things Done work plan template, and it is working great.

  • If you use google apps for business or gmail, then Google Docs is still a good way for cloud documents. I don’t use it as my client file storage, but if working on a draft document and want access from home/office/devices, I really like it. I agree with you Sam that the formatting is still lacking, but feature where you can share with other users rather than having to email or otherwise send them a copy is great.

  • In the post, I said Office Live is a few steps ahead of Google Docs. This is mostly true when it comes to editing documents. When it comes to reviewing, marking up, editing, and collaborating, though, Google Docs is still way ahead.

    I have to use Office Live to work with someone who lives in China, where Google Docs is apparently blocked. It works, but I especially miss the markup features of Google Docs.