Stop the version chaos in Google Docs!

  • Posted by Vesela Bodurova
  • On February 3, 2017

When various people work together on one document, many versions of it compile quickly. And the longer the document gets, the more people work on it – the more changes they make, the more the number of versions increases.

For decades we tracked changes and comments spread in countless versions of one and the same document. But isn’t this a completely inefficient method, which makes you lose more and more overview and control with every new version?

Let’s assume that you work together with others on a document consisting of 30 pages. Maybe a contract, an offer, a technical concept, a marketing concept, a business plan or a small manual…

If you change just a single word and then click the save button, you create a copy of the whole document. 30 pages full of text, images and tables. All identical. Except for a single word, which has been changed. Isn’t that complete nonsense?!

Now you may argue, that maybe Microsoft Word does this, but not Google Docs. You are mistaken! Google Docs works exactly in the same way. And even worse.

Google Docs is a version spinner!

Google Docs decides arbitrarily when to create a new version of your document. At an earlier stage, in MS Word you had at least the control when a new version of your document was created, by deciding it by yourself when clicking on the save button. In Google Docs you completely lose this control.

When working in Google Docs, countless versions of your document are created in the background in minimum time – without letting you know. That is great, you might think now. But no, it is not. Absolutely not. This way, everything gets even worse.

To get informed about the review history of your document in Google Docs, click on file –> revision history, and Google Docs shows you all versions of your document on the right side.

Have a closer look! Google Docs sometimes creates new versions of your document in a minute cycle. No reasonable person would do this. But Google Docs does. And thus even more version chaos is caused than just clicking on the save button by yourself.

Google Docs automated versioning makes everything worse

Those who think that the large number of versions makes everything easier are making a mistake. How would you know in which version the text of a section has been changed, an image swapped or a table edited?

Google Docs does not tell you exactly this but throws you dozens, sometimes hundres of versions of your document at your feet. You have to figure out all by yourself in a painstaking way – through time-consuming and annoying testing, in which version the change was made.

Have a look at the following video. Here you can see the procedure in comparison to a SMASHDOC, e.g. if you want to see the pre-version of an image. It shows you, how senseless the automated versioning of Google Docs actually is.

Google Docs basically does nothing else than what we do with files for decades – spreading changes in versions of one and the same document. The fact that it works automatically now, is a lot – but there is no actual progress or improvement.

SMASHDOCs revolutionizes managing changes

We from smartwork solutions realized that the existing method of managing changes is the root of all evil. That’s why we created a whole new concept how to manage content changes in a document intelligently.

Therefore, the content of a document in SMASHDOCs is divided into the smallest parts possible (text sections, images and tables) and every section is managed separately in a database. The database is what brings intelligence to the document.

Thus, no versions of the whole document are created when there are changes in a SMASHDOCs document, but only of the relevant section.

This revolutionary concept for managing changes is by far superior to out-of-date versioning.

You want to know, which changes were made in a text section, an image or a table? Nothing could be easier! Just click on the version number of the section, and you can immediately see the complete section history. All changes in a text section. All pre-versions of an image. And all changes in a table. See by yourself….

Version control á la Google Docs doesn’t solve the problem

Try reproducing or (partially) restoring changes in a document – you won’t have much fun with Google Docs.

Dozens, sometimes hundreds automatically created versions of your document can be impressive at first glance, but basically, won’t work, because you never know, which changes are made in which version. The consequence – painstaking, annoying and time-consuming testing.

It works in a totally different way with SMASHDOCs. Thanks to its revolutionary, intelligent way of managing changes, SMASHDOCs knows exactly which changes were made in a text section, image or table in your document. Thus it can show you at any time the complete history at a touch of a bottom. This is how version control works today in an easy and efficient way!

Best regards from Munich,

Christian Marchsreiter

CEO smartwork solutions GmbH – inventor of the intelligent document



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