At first sight, it looks like Google Docs and SMASHDOCs have similar functions and possibilities. But take a closer look, and you can recognize enormous differences.

Google Docs automatically creates new versions of your documents after a certain time. Unfortunately, you don’t have any influence at what time Google Docs does this. So, with the time dozens, sometimes hundreds of document versions are created.

So if you want to recover specific changes, e.g.:

  • who changed something in a text section or table
  • which pre-versions of an image are available

you have to click through many different versions, because Google Docs cannot tell you exactly in which version, for instance, an image has been changed.

In SMASHDOCs every section of your document has its own history.

If a section has been changed, you see on the right side the history icon. Just click on it and you see:

  • for text sections and tables: all reviews, thus who changed what in which way
  • for images: all versions of an image and who uploaded a version at which time

If you activate the function “suggest” in Google Docs, all changes get included as change suggestions. That is useful, but unfortunately, each user can decide by himself, if he wants to use the function or not – or switch it off in the meantime. Thus you can never be sure, that all changes are highlighted as change suggestions in your document.

In SMASHDOCs all changes are highlighted as change suggestions fundamentally. The function cannot be disabled arbitrary, so you can always be sure that all changes are highlighted as change suggestions.

A change suggestion in Google Docs, which consists of multiple consecutive words, is self-contained. That means that other users can write something within the change suggestion, which is also displayed but is not considered effectively. That is quite confusing and unflexible.

On the other hand, SMASHDOCs does not arrange mulitple consecutive words to a change suggestion but treats every single word separately as a change suggestion. That means, you can insert easily and extremely flexible, for instance, a new change suggestion within an existing one or delete specific words in a suggestion.

In Google Docs you can create comments and if needed, mark certain parts of the text.

Comments in Google Docs are visible for everyone, but that is not always sensible. You cannot create notes only for yourself or discuss something with selected persons confidentially. That is only possible outside the document, e.g. in mails or chats, which quickly gets confusing because information concerning the content is spread across various systems.


In SMASHDOCs, of course, you can also comment and if needed, mark certain parts of the text. But while creating the new comment, SMASHDOCs copies the current status of the section with markings in the comment. Thereby the comment remains, even if the marked text is deleted.

Furthermore, you can select for each comment the persons who can see it:

  • everyone or
  • only you (thereby you can create private notes only you can see) or
  • selected persons (thereby you can discuss confidentially)


With SMASHDOCs you don’t need handwritten notes or parallel emails anymore because you can, if needed, simply create private notes and confidential discussions in your document.


Deleting comments

In Google Docs comments can be deleted as easy as can be, without notifying the creator. A comment also is deleted if it refers to a certain text part which was deleted. Valuable information gets lost without informing the participants.

In SMASHDOCs, such things don’t happen. You always can be 100% sure that comments are not deleted that easily.

In Google Docs there are three roles:

  • Read
  • Comment
  • Edit (= Creating change suggestions and deciding upon them)


Thus with the role “edit” everyone can suggest changes and accept or reject them. Unfortunately this ends up in chaos very quickly.

However, in SMASHDOcs you can control if a user can only suggest changes or if he is also allowed to decide upon them. This way you can control much better what happens with the changes in your document.

In Google Docs the document owner can only regulate for all “editors” if they can change the roles and rights of other users and invite new people to the document. That is not always very useful.

However, in SMASHDOCs, you can determine individually for each user if he can invite new users. So when required you ensure that your document won’t be shared with users you don’t want to work with.

Additionally, you can regulate for each user if he is allowed to see the change sequences of sections or not. So you can control at any time, how many historical information you want to share with a user. In Google Docs that is not possible at all.


In Google Docs users with the role “edit” can suggest changes and also decide upon them. That is not always useful.

In SMASHDOCs you can regulate for each user individually if he can only suggest changes or also decide upon them. This way you can control much better what happens with the change suggestions in your document.

If a change suggestion consists of mulitple consecutive words, in Google Docs it cannot be complemented by other users and only accepted or rejected as a whole. That is extremely unflexilbe and impractical.

In SMASHDOCs every word is a separated change suggestion so that users can suggest changes at every desired point. Furthermore, you can decide individually upon every word, which was suggested as an insertion or a deletion if you want to accept or reject it.

In Google Docs a user can only create a table of content, that has to be inserted in a certain part of the document. A table of content “alongside” the document, for navigating through the document at any time, no matter at which part you work at the moment, is not available by default. At least we found an Add-On which is actually not from Google but provides the described functionality.

In both cases, the table of content does not update automatically. This has to be done manually by the user.

However, SMASHDOCs does not only create table of contents automatically, but also

  • a list of figures,
  • a list of tables
  • a list of footnotes and
  • a list of hyperlinks

All lists are updated automatically as soon as there are relevant changes in the document.

Managing changesPer sectionIn endless versions of your document
Automatically saving changes per sectionYesNo
Seeing all reviews of a text section with one clickYesNo
Seeing all pre-versions of an image with one clickYesNo
Seeing all reviews of a table with one clickYesNo
Automatically highlighting changes which are new to the userYesNo
Accepting or rejecting a single word from a change suggestion which consits of multiple wordsYesNo
Decisions (final deleting or acceptance) are tracked comprehensiblyYesNo

Comments remain even if the commented words are deletedYesNo
Random deletion of comments is not possibleYesNo
Private notes only visible to youYesNo
Private discussions visible only for selected usersYesNo
Seeing all comments (open and closed) per section with one click - incl. all answers and the state of the section at the time the comment was createdYesNo

Simultaneous editingSMASHDOCsGoogleDocs
Getting immediately notified when another user creates a change suggestion, a new comment or a new answer somewhere in the documentYesNo
New changes and comments or answers to comments are immediately comprehensibleYesNo

Automatically created listsSMASHDOCsGoogleDocs
Table of contentsYesyes but only with Add-On (not from Google) and not automatically
List of figuresYesNo
List of tablesYesNo
List of footnotesYesNo
List of weblinksYesNo
Automatic updates of all listsYesNo

Cross-referencesSMASHDOCsGoogleDocs an imageYesNo a tableYesNo
Preview of the linked image by clicking on the cross-referenceYesNo
Preview of the linked table by clicking on the cross-referenceYesNo
Updating the numbering of all cross-references after structural changesYesNo

Unique notification per mail when there are new changes in a documentYesNo
Seeing with one click all documents with new changesYesNo
Seeing immediately in the document if there are new changes and comments to an user - when opening it as well as when working simultaneouslyYesNo

The design is created only when exporting the document (writing "without design")YesNo
Exporting your document with one click into a Word document with completely different designs from any number of individual formatsYesNo
Creating every desired file format and data structureYesNo

Creating a report with one click which contains all previous changes and commentsYesNo
Creating a report with one click which highlights all new changes and new comments/answers which are new to an userYesNo
Creating a report with one click which contains only all open commentsYesNo

API for integration as new content type in other applicationsYesNo
API for integration as new collaborative content type in other applicationsYesNo
Settings for roles and rights are operated by the main applicationYesNo

Correcting automatically illogical numberingYesNo
Drag&Drop of images, tables and text in the documentYesNo
Creating hyperlinks in specific sectionsYesNo
Personal section bookmarksYesNo
Tags for documentsYesNo
Search for document via tags, whereby automatically more tags are added for a better search which are combined with the previous chosen tag combinationYesNo

Service / InstallationSMASHDOCsGoogleDocs
In your personal Privat Cloud of your providerYesNo
Private Cloud in a German data centerYesNo
On your very own serverYesNo