I hope you enjoyed the last two reviews of Google Docs. There’s a lot more to this service/software and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface. For the features remaining, the song largely remains the same, but I feel like a good wrap up is in order.
As a clone to presentation software like Power Point or Keynote, Google offers up Presentation. I know, the name says is all. Google didn’t spend any time coming up with a snazzy title for any of these tools. They just work. As with Documents, Spreadsheets, and Forms, you have the ability to easily share and embed your content. If you already have a Powerpoint presentation created, it’s easy to upload and convert it to a Google Docs format and vice versa. Any Presentation can be downloaded as a Powerpoint, a PDF, or text.
Perhaps the most useful feature of this part of Google’s service is when you actually go to present something. Clicking “Start Presentation” opens what you’ve put together in a new browser window.
From there you can share a link to it by clicking View Together, allowing an audience to not only view the show but to chat. They will also have the option to download it in various formats, print it, create a copy of it, or view the speaker notes all with a click of the Actions button. There are certainly services you could pay for that would allow you to do the same thing, but none of them are free.
That’s about all there is to Presentations. If you’ve used Powerpoint, you see what’s on offer. There’s more to Docs than just these four things though. If you take one step outside of the individual services that fall under Google Docs’ banner, you’ll see a very useful content management service. It enables you to sort and view all documents by type and how visible they are. Folders, called Collections by Google, can be created, sorted, and shared.
Particularly useful is the ability to download an entire collection into the appropriate MS Office/Open Office formats, or into individual PDFs. For those that are a little paranoid about losing something that’s “in the cloud”, that gives you a local collection that you can then back up as part of your regular process. You do have a regular backup process at home right? Hmmm, that’s another post for another day.
Google Docs is really a one stop resource people like me who enjoy having content creation and management at their fingertips, regardless of what computer or OS they happen to be using. The templates, organizational tools, and features will by no means replace traditional office suites any time soon, but they are a great supplement to more powerful, feature rich options. I’m not sure that I can foresee using Docs as my only choice, although I readily admit these days it is my first choice. That would take them having an off line version. Until then, I highly recommend that you get under the hood of this great service and see if it will serve you as well as it has me.