4 Problems with Google Docs

1) Cursor displacement bug
Google recently changed the way page breaks work. Instead of one continuously scrolling page, you now see distinct predetermined page breaks. This feature is vital for competition with Word. It’s expected behavior for a word processor and it’s far more convenient than rendering a PDF every time you want to see where page breaks occur or placing them manually.  Unfortunately, this feature introduced an annoying bug that places text a line behind where the cursor should be.
Short term fix: avoid page breaks.

2) No tab leaders
Ever since high school debate I absolutely have to make my tables of contents with the rows of dots between the section names and page numbers. As far as I can tell, Google Docs doesn’t tab leaders, the standard way of doing this.
Short term fix: manually type out dots

3) No dashed lines in drawings
This is really a nitpick, but it would be nice to be able to draw dashed lines. I’ve created a couple diagrams where it would have been handy to delineate collections of components. The solid line doesn’t work well because it’s the same thickness as the arrow tails.
Short term fix: don’t worry about it

4) Weird collaboration behavior on presentations
When I last tried to collaboratively edit a presentation (April 2011), the editor was very sluggish when reflecting the changes of others and repeatedly threw errors about conflicting edits. The chat in the right sidebar did not correctly list others as viewing the document.
Short term fix: Temporarily designate one person as an editor for  a group slideshow

Whining aside, Google Docs is still my go-to solution. Real-time collaboration and universal access rock so hard that Word’s extra features aren’t alluring anymore.

One Reply to “4 Problems with Google Docs”

  1. Hello Nick.
    The best way I’ve found to do “tab leaders” or “dot leaders” using GoogleDocs is to type a bunch of dots, then hit tab, then type your page number. Once you’ve typed in the number, go back to your section of dots and keep entering dots until the number goes on to the next line, then delete a dot. Hope this helps!

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