Freeware Files: Five Apps to Make Google Docs Rock!


It's hard to deny the power of Google Docs, especially if you don't have the cash (or the wherewithal) to shell out for Microsoft Office.  Sure, you could grab, but you would trade away the ability to edit your documents from any Internet-equipped location-one of Google Doc's important, Cloud-based features... as well as its ability to allow multiple users to simultaneously edit a document.  You just can't get this kind of stuff in an offline word processor!

Of course, that's not to say that you can't use Google Docs offline.  Nor are applications like Microsoft Word completely removed from the Internet-there's Microsoft Office Live for that, if you're so inclined.

Anyway, the point of this Freeware Files is not to confuse you in feature-lists or semantics.  I'm here to show you just how easy it is to set up your system to use both offline and online word processing tools.  Provided you're ready to jump into the wide world of Google Docs, all of the freeware and open-source applications listed below will do much to help integrate online editing and storage into your traditional offline type-type-typing.

Let's begin!


The first step toward using both offline and online word processors is to somehow merge these two worlds together.  It's super-easy to dump all of your Google Docs... documents... from the online service to the offline world.  Going the other way usually requires you to pull up the Google Docs website and upload away.  GDocsUploader is akin to a simplified shortcut for this process.  This Adobe Air-based application lets you drag-and-drop your files directly off your desktop and straight into Google Docs-no site uploading process to fuss with on this one!   A handy little progress bar will let you know how much time you have left on your uploads and inform you if any uploads botched on the way over.

Download it here !


Want to open up your everyday Windows Notepad to the power of the cloud?  Nocs is your ticket.  This little quasi-replacement for one of Windows' most basic applications allows you to enter text and save it just like any other barebones word processor.  The fun starts after that.  For you aren't saving your little .txt files to your desktop or a folder on your hard drive-you'll be saving them directly to your Google Docs account.  As well, you can even organize your notes into different folders on your Google Docs hub.  Taking notes just got ten times more fun.

Download it here !


Although you can use Google's built-in export feature to dump your online Docs into an offline format, GDocBackup is a little application that allows you to perform this task from the comfort of your desktop.  The premise is simple: GDocBackup looks at every file in your Google Docs account and compares it to the versions on your disk drive.  If the file doesn't exist-or if it has a different date attached to it-then GDocBackup grabs a (presumably) new version from your Google Docs account.  You can select the specific file extensions you want to back up as well, which is a nice touch for customized data dumps.

Download it here !


If you're a big Microsoft Office fan, you'll want to grab the free (and premium, if you so desire) add-on OffiSync.  With but one additional toolbar added to your conventional Office display, you'll have instant access to all the files currently located on your Google Docs account.  You can not only open these directly into Office, but you can save your changes as well!  An integrated search features allows you to scan your online files for whatever parameters you want, and you can delete and move files around your Google Docs account as if you had the Web page sitting directly in front of you.

Download it here !


Lordy, that is a name.  Anyway, if it's not obvious by now, this is the add-on that allows you to perform a similar activity as OffiSync, but using the open-source instead of Microsoft Office.  You can export and import your documents from your local storage to your online Google Docs account just as well as any other.  You don't get the neat searching features of OffiSync, however-this add-on was built for one thing and one thing only, and that's accessing Google Documents via an offline program.  Enjoy!

Download it here !

David Murphy (@ Acererak) is a technology journalist and former Maximum PC editor. He writes weekly columns about the wide world of open-source as well as weekly roundups of awesome, freebie software. Befriend him on Twitter, especially if you have an awesome app or game you're dying to recommend!

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