Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. Google Docs combines the features of two services, Writely and Spreadsheets, which were merged into a single product on October 10, 2006. A third product for presentations, including technology designed by Tonic Systems, was released on September 17, 2007.
Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can be created within the application itself, imported through the web interface, or sent via email. They can also be saved to the user's computer in a variety of formats. By default, they are saved to Google's servers. Open documents are automatically saved to prevent data loss. Documents can be tagged and archived for organizational purposes.
Collaboration between users is also a feature of Google Docs. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time. In the case of spreadsheets, users can be notified of changes to any specified regions via e-mail.
The application supports popular Office file types such as .doc or .xls. It also includes support for the OpenDocument format.
© 2011 Richard Culatta