I’ve been using Google Docs to work on some documents with other collaborators. This was my first real test of Google Docs, and I have to say, while most of the application works quite well and online collaboration really is a new paradigm, some fundamental elements of the application really SUCK. Here’s my top ten list of sucky things about Google Docs:

  1. Sloooowwww to load, especially revision pages. What happened to Google’s famous devotion to speed?
  2. No find/replace function (although an “experimental” version was just introduced — “Undo does not work with this feature, so be sure what you do!”) — for me, this was like launching without a WYSIWYG editor.
  3. Impossible to match printed version to browser version, even by narrowing the browser view, which makes matching up edits made on paper (yes, this is still an effective way to edit!) to the onscreen version a HUGE hassle.
  4. Automatic numbering function is VERY buggy — can’t Google afford to hire more QA folks?
  5. Can’t make edits on pages that show revisions — so if you don’t like someone’s revisions, you have to go back to the edit screen (slow to load!), find the place, and make the change. MS Word track changes, annoying as it is, is far superior.
  6. The underline/bold/italics function is buggy — hello, QA?
  7. No offline access.
  8. No offline access.
  9. No offline access.
  10. No offline access.

I couldn’t come up with more than seven things that suck at the moment, and needed to get this off my chest, but no offline accesses is SO annoying, especially if you like to work on a plane, that it can fill out the list of ten for now.

Is there anything else that bugs you about Google Docs? I’ll gladly update the list with your gripes.

Let me cavaet by saying that I really HATE Microsoft software — it’s brought me lots of misery over the years. But there have been times working with Google Docs that I’ve longed for the security of MS Word — I’m just one user, but this is exactly the reaction that Google needs to avoid at all costs if it really wants to go mano-a-mano with Microsoft.