I love Google products. I use GMail, Calendar, Feedburner, Analytics and Webmaster Tools every day.
Use Google Documents as your word processor. Google “Docs” includes programs to create a document, spreadsheet, presentation, etc. Today, we are limiting our reference to the word processor on Google “Docs.”
(You can create your free account by beginning at gmail.com. It’s free!)
Google Products are Server Based
Choosing a server based platform means that my work is automatically saved on a server, not the hard drive of my own laptop or PC. This means that my work is always accessible from any Internet device….any.
In contrast, use of Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, requires use of the same PC/laptop to continue working because both files and the software reside on your hard drive.
If it’s a laptop, that laptop must travel with you. If it’s a PC, you can only work on your project when sitting at that specific unit be it home or office.
Server based products allow you the freedom to always have access to your work because the word processor program (in this case) and your files are on a remote server (in this case Google’s).
For instance, I may start an article at home and finish at the office or on the road on a kids’ hockey trip. I don’t have to save my work to a flashdrive, email myself or pack up a laptop. I don’t even have to remember to save my work…it’s done automatically.
Server based utilities allow you to work when you want to work.
Text Editor Similar to Microsoft’s “Word”
Creating a document is very similar to Word, yet is easier to use. When creating your content, you really have few requirements of your word processing; text editing, creating links, tables and adding images. Pretty basic stuff for any program.
Google’s Docs is pretty versatile, too. You can upload in various formats (including MS Word) and download in various formats (including .pdf).
Best of all, “Docs” allows you to work and save in HTML. HTML is the universal language or standard for creating hyperlinks, text, tables and manipulating images.
Google Docs is Web Friendly, “Word” is Not
The web, and your website, publishes content generated in HTML. “Word” based documents do not always translate well into HTML (ever see the little “Word” icon with a clipboard on the toolbar of your text editor?).
For instance, simply copying and pasting your Word document into your website most likely will cause interruptions in your hyperlinks, table formatting and image editing…..all that work lost!
Creating your work directly onto your website is possible and with time, preferable. Using Google Docs is a great way to save and backup your work.
If you are writing an article, however, for someone else to publish or edit, write using HTML. I often “guest post,” and send the article to the editor in HTML format. I have no fear that my precious links (backlinks) will be saved and remain accurate.
Files created on server based Google documents can be shared with and viewed by anyone of your choice. With a simple click, the format of the article can be sent in various formats (Word, pdf, HTML) and quantities. They can be sent as attachments, embedded in an email or simply shared via a link. Your friends and associates don’t even have to own a Google account!
To Your Growth And Success!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization