Do you know that you can replace Microsoft Office with Google Docs for free? This guide shows you why you should and how to do that.
In the first section of this guide, I will share 5 reasons you should replace Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Then, in the second section, you’ll learn how to replace all the Microsft productivity apps with their Google equivalents. This section teaches you how to install Google Drive, uninstall Microsoft Office and perform some other tasks as part of the switch.
After that, you can read my FAQ section, where I answer other common questions regarding this topic.
Why Replace Microsoft Office With Google Docs
Google Docs Is Free
Unlike Microsoft Office, Google Docs is free. This, I believe, is the biggest reason and motivation to replace Microsoft Office with Google Docs.
When you consider that you can replace – Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, respectively, for free – you wonder why you should pay $69.99/year!
Well, you do not need to be paying for that.
Google Docs Is Better For Collaboration
Unlike Microsoft productivity apps that have had to adapt, Google productivity apps were built for the cloud. So, Google Docs is better for collaboration.
For example, unlike working on a Microsoft Word document on your computer, Google Docs is online. So, multiple people can be working on one document at the same time.
Additionally, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have the option for collaborators to chat within the document and in real-time. You even get to check versions and can restore previous versions as well.
Not only that, but Google productivity apps have the Google Meet icon right on the top right of the document. So, you can join a meeting or start one with no effort.
I admit that Microsoft has improved its productivity apps since its launch some years ago and made it more of a cloud-based (online) app. However, from my experience using both of them, Google Docs is better for collaborators.
Google Docs Has Equivalents Of All Microsoft Office Apps
As I have been hinting in this article, Google Docs has equivalent apps for all Microsoft productivity apps. Specifically, you can use Google Docs to replace Micorost Word and Google Sheets to replace Microsoft Excel.
Interestingly, even though Google productivity apps are free, they have features comparable to their Microsoft productivity apps equivalents. Also, the Google apps menus are easy to understand.
So, when you switch, you’re not likely to need a long time to get used to how to use them.
You Can Make Google Docs Documents Available Offline
In the last subsection, I hinted that Google Docs productivity apps have great features compared to Microsoft productivity apps. One feature of Google Docs worth noting is that you can make Google Docs documents available offline.
Why is this important?
It is important because most people would argue that since Google Docs are 100% cloud-based, it is a major disadvantage. So, being able to make Google Docs available offline puts a crack on that argument.
Just to be clear, when you make a Google Docs document offline, you can edit the document without needing an internet connection.
Google Docs Documents On Your PC Auto Syncs Changes To And Grom Drive Online
This is yet another reason to replace Microsoft Office with Google Docs. You may not be aware, but Google Docs documents save on your Google Drive.
By default, you can only access Google Drive via a browser.
However, Google Drive has an App that allows you to sync your documents from Drive online to your PC and vice versa. When you install the Google Drive app on a Windows PC, it creates a “drive” called “Google Drive (G).”
Google Drive (online) automatically syncs all your files to your computer’s Google Drive (G). Also, when you make changes to any document saved on your computer, the app automatically syncs those changes to the same document saved online.
Additionally, when you make changes to documents saved on Google Drive (online), the app syncs to your computer automatically.
Steps To Replace Microsoft Office With Google Docs
In the last section, I discussed five reasons to replace Microsoft Office with Google Docs. In this section, you can follow the steps in the various subsections to perform the tasks to switch from Microsoft Office apps to Google Docs.
Step 1: Install Google Drive For Windows (Required)
The first step to switching from Microsoft Office to Google Docs is to install the Google Drive apps for Windows. Follow the steps below to download and install the Google Drive app for Windows.
- Click the Google Drive Download link. Then, on the middle left of the page, click the Download Drive for the desktop link.
- Then, when the file downloads, click it to initiate Google Drive installation.
- Google Drive will display a pre-installation dialogue box. Ensure that you check the two checkboxes, then click Install.
Then, wait for the installation to complete – see the second screenshot below.
- When the Google Drive app installs, it adds Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides shortcuts to your desktop.
You can use these shortcuts to access the Google Drive apps. More on this later.
Additionally, the Google Drive app displays a window requesting you to sign in to your Google account. Click the Sign in through your browser button.
- Then, on the Google Drive sign-in page, enter your Gmail email address and click Next. On the password page, enter the password for your Gmail account and click Next.
- Finally, when you sign in to your Google account successfully, Google may display a warning message similar to the one shown in the screenshot below. Click the Sign in button.
When you click Sign in, your browser displays a message confirming that you have successfully signed in to Google Drive. Close the browser.
Then, close the Google Drive installation confirmation window – see the second screenshot below.
Step 2: Uninstall Microsoft Office And Cancel Your Office Subscription (Recommended)
Once you have installed Google Drive, the next step to replace Microsoft Office with Google Docs is to uninstall Microsoft Office.
Although uninstalling Microsoft Office is an optional step, canceling your Microsoft 365 subscription is a recommended step. After all, you do not want to keep paying for what you no longer need!
Follow the steps in our guide – How To Debloat Windows 11 – to uninstall Microsoft Office. Although the guide is for Windows 11, the steps work for Windows 10.
Step 3: Open Microsoft Office Documents With Google Docs (Required)
Now that you have installed Google Drive, uninstalled Microsoft Office, and canceled your Microsoft 365 subscription (if you had one), it is time for the next task.
The next task is to open Microsoft Office app documents – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – with Google Docs.
Follow the steps below to copy your Microsoft Office docs to Google Drive on your computer. Then, open the document on Google Drive (online) to complete the conversion.
- Copy the Microsoft Office document to Google Drive on your PC. To do this, copy the file. In this example, I will copy the file, Victor_Ashiedu_CV_AD.docx to my Google Drive.
- After you have copied the file, right-click the Windows Start menu and click File Explorer.
- Then, when File Explorer opens, click This PC, then select Google Drive (G).
- When Google Drive (G) opens, open “My Drive” and paste the file into any folder. Then, wait for a few seconds for the file to sync to Google Drive (online) before you proceed to step 5 below.
- Open Drive.Google.com and sign in if you were not signed in. Then, navigate to the location you copied your Word file.
Next. right-click the file, point to Open with, and select Preview.
- Then, to replace the app that opens Microsoft Office Word with Google Docs, click the Open with drop-down and select Google Docs.
- From now, any changes you make will be saved in the original office document. However, you can convert the document to a Google Docs document by clicking File => Save as Google Docs.
This creates a Google Docs document with the same name. Then, it saves the file in the same location on Google Drive.
Now, if you open Google Drive (G) on your PC, the files will have synched to your PC. Isn’t that amazing?
To differentiate the two documents, look at the file type column. The Google Docs document will display as a Google Docs document.
You can open the file and work on it as normal.
Step 4: Create New Google Docs Documents From File Explorer (Recommended)
Once you have installed the Google Drive app on your Windows 10/11 PC, you can work with Google Docs like normal Windows apps.
For example, you can create a new Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides document directly from File Explorer. Although you can create any of these Google Docs documents in any folder, it is recommended to create them in the Google Drive (G) drive.
When you create documents in Google Drive (G) drive, Google Drive syncs your files to Google Drive (online).
Follow the steps below to create Google Docs documents from Windows File Explorer.
- Open File Explorer by right-clicking Start, then selecting File Explorer.
- Then, click “This PC” on the left pane. Next, click Google Drive (G).
- When Google Drive (G) opens, click My Drive.
- Finally, to create a Google Docs document from File Explorer, right-click an empty space, point to New and select Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
Frequently Asked Questions About Replacing Microsoft Office With Google Docs
Yes, you can convert your existing Microsoft Word document into Google Docs. To do that, upload the Word document to Drive.Google.com.
Then, right-click the document and select Preview. Next, click the Open with drop-down and select Google Docs.
Finally, to convert the Word document to Google Docs, click clicking File on the top left of Google Docs, then select Save as Google Docs.
No, you do not need Microsoft Office if you use Google Docs. Actually, you can replace Micorost Office with Google Docs apps.
Yes, you can open Excel with the Google Docs app called Google Sheets. However, to do that, you must upload the Excel document to your Google Drive (online) – Drive.Google.com.
Then, right-click the Excel file in Google Drive (online) and select Preview. Finally, click the Open with drop-down and select Google Sheets.
Google Docs offers a set of productivity app alternatives to Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Specifically, you can use the Google Docs app to replace Microsoft Word and Google Sheets to replace Microsoft Excel. Similarly, Google Slides can replace PowerPoint.
Google Docs is available for free, but if you want to use it for business, you may want to pay for Google Workspace.
My Final Thoughts About Replacing Microsoft Office With Google Docs
Microsoft Office has been around for as long as most of us can remember. Then, when everything started going cloud, Microsoft moved quickly to make Office subscription-based.
However, with all the dominance of Microsoft Office apps, Google Docs has managed to gain popularity. No wonder people are looking to learn how to replace Microsoft Office with Google Docs and Google Pixel Slate M3.
That was my focus in this guide – to show you to switch from Microsoft Office to Google Docs – and I hope I succeeded!
If this guide helped you switch successfully and saved you some money, kindly let us know by replying to this article’s topic at Techbable Community Forum.
Finally, to learn more about Google and Google productivity tools, visit our Google How-To Guides – Google Sheets, Docs page.