Google Docs is a free office productivity web application that lets users create and edit text, spreadsheets and presentation slides documents. It works in a web browser and is compatible with major operating systems and platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and more. For mobile devices, there are dedicated apps that provide a better user experience.

Today “Docs” truly designates the word processing part of the original Google Docs. The spreadsheets are now called “Sheets” and the slides, well… “Slides”. Google also has a Google Drawings web app, which is not really part of what people call Google Docs, although it lives under the same sub-domain (it’s often attached to Google Drive, which is also loosely connected to Google Docs).

Google Docs is free and lends itself very well to collaborative work because it handles having multiple users edit and comment the same document simultaneously. This historically provided it with a definitive edge on other free alternatives, although Office Online made some strides since, Google Docs is rightfully considered by most as being simple and “good enough” to get the job done.

Google Docs also keeps a near-realtime history of all changes that were made, so it is very unlikely that you will lose all your work due to a user error, or even critical computer event. The documents are stored on Google’s cloud infrastructure, which keeps multiple version of every file on several servers located in different regions.

It is possible to publish work as web pages, and of course, the documents can be exported to (and imported from) a variety of formats.

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