Thursday, December 4, 2014

Legacy Formatting - Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office

Many years ago, I decided not to use Microsoft Office any more. Yeah me! But what if you have to use both Microsoft Office and Google Documents? Well, you can.
BUT... it seems that all formatting done in Google Docs IS supported by Microsoft Office while Microsoft Office formatting can be horribly scrambled by Google Docs. Nothing is more annoying than perfecting form in Excel or Word and having Google Docs screw up the formatting.
The obvious and horrendous option is to rewrite the whole document in Google Docs. My answer to that is "Heck no."
The better option is to make sure Google Docs does not try to convert Microsoft Documents when they are upload. There is a trick to this. Google Docs doesn't let you do this. Why? All Google Docs are stored in or on your Google Drive. That is where the setting is.
Annoying, I know.
Go to Google Drive and click the gear.
Click settings. The window that opens has exact four options. Uncheck the first item called "Convert uploads".
Once this is done, you will have your Microsoft Office Format preserved. There is a minor cost for doing this - You may not edit the document. On the other hand, the document has a preview mode available, a conversion option, sharing and email choices, and printing options. Usually this is good enough for most users.
I made a choice not to use Microsoft Office, but do you know why Office exists? Because some people like it and continue to use what they know best. As it should be.
When you need to keep your workflow moving and have all kinds of new tools available glitches happen. I hate it when a new product like Drive or Docs comes a long and breaks old files, forcing you to rework them.
If you find yourself in this set of circumstances, you really should pick one software product and use it exclusively. If you end up picking drive. you will eventually need to rework and reformat your files. But don't let your software dictate when you need to do this.