3 Good Google Docs Alternatives for Student Researchers

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March , 2016
Google Docs is absolutely a powerful authoring tool to use for a variety of writing projects. The multiple features it provides especially with the recent  addition of  Outline feature makes Docs an ideal word processor for student researchers. However, if you are looking for fancier alternatives with more advanced features then the list below is a good place to start with. This is a collection of some of the best tools you can use when working on lengthy writing projects. These apps are a bit pricy but they are worth it.

1- Scrivener

This is absolutely one of the best softwares for writing lengthy documents. It provides you with a set of useful features to make the best of your writings. You can compose your text in different sets, view them individually or as a whole and combine the whole into a solid and coherent document. You can also record notes on the sidebar to use later on as footnotes or endnotes. Additionally, Scrivener provides pre-made templates for writing novels, essays, APA or MLA essays and many more. Other features included in this tool:

  • 'Import and refer to research files such as images and PDFs alongside your writing
  • Break up imported texts using the "Split at Selection" or "Import and Split" features
  • Set goals using project and document targets
  • "Snapshots" allow you to store earlier versions of texts and revert to them at any time
  • Automatic backups and auto-save
  • Associate a synopsis with any document in your project
  • A virtual corkboard lets you rearrange documents using their associated synopses
  • A fully-featured outliner provides complete control over a project's structure
  • Transcribe audio files
  • Export to popular formats such as .doc, .rtf, plain text, PDF, epub, Kindle files and many more'

2- iA Writer

While having less features than Scrivener but still this is a powerful writing editor. It provides you with a simple and intuitive writing environment to enhance your focus and keep your mind in the text. It also comes with an integrated document library  so you can easily save and access all of your files from a single place. iA Writer supports synchronized scrolling preview and provides you with awesome preview templates with curated fonts. Other features offered  by this app include:

  • 'Focus Mode fades all but the current sentence, for maximum concentration
  • Convert formatting to Microsoft® Word .docx, and back again
  • Also export formatting to HTML and beautifully styled PDF
  • Auto Markdown formats text on-screen
  • Night Mode
  • Real-time iCloud and Dropbox sync
  • Reading Time; plus sentence, word, and character count
  • Customized for Retina displays
  • Handoff support
  • Full screen for total immersion in the text'

3- Pages

Pages by Apple is another great word processor for writers. It provides you with a wide variety of pre-designed templates to create resumes, reports, and several other kinds of documents. Alternatively, you can use blank documents to compose and format your text. Everything created on Pages is automatically synced to your iCloud account so you can easily access it anywhere with Internet connection. Some other interesting features offered by this app include:

  • 'Import and edit Microsoft Word and plain text files using Mail, a WebDAV service, or iTunes File Sharing
  • Quickly browse your document using the page navigator and see a thumbnail preview of each page
  •  Easily add images and video to your document using the Media Browser
  • Use auto-text wrap to flow text around images
  • Animate data with new interactive column, bar, scatter, and bubble charts
  • Turn on change tracking to mark up a document as you edit it
  • Use comments and highlights to share ideas and feedback with others
  • Create footnotes and endnotes and view word counts with character, paragraph, and page counts
  • Access and edit your documents from a Mac or PC browser at www.icloud.com with Pages for iCloud
  •  Quickly and easily share a link to your work via Mail, Messages, Twitter, or Facebook 
  • Export your document in ePub, Microsoft Word, and PDF format.'