I finally got an invitation to try out DocSyncer, a service that allows you to automatically synchronize Microsoft Office files in your PC—documents, presentations, and spreadsheets—with your Google Docs account.
The service is still in beta but DocSyncer holds a lot of promise. I tried it out for close to two hours last night and found that it’s not quite ready for daily use. It is, after all, still in beta or testing phase.
What’s evident when you try the service is the lack of user control over such things as designating which directories to synchronize and refreshing the list of files due for synchronization.
When I first ran the software that you download to work with the service, it immediately synchronized all Power Point files, Word documents in .doc format, and Excel files contained in My Documents folder as well as the desktop. It did not ask me to specify which folder to synchronize with my Google Docs account. (This has changed in the latest DocSyncer update)
As a result, documents I did not intend to be uploaded into my account got uploaded. The documents I had wanted to be sent there were not. This is because many of my important documents are in .txt format. DocSyncer, in my test, synchronizes only documents in .doc format, not .txt, .rtf or even the recent .docx formats.
NO CONTROL. DocSyncer does not offer the user control on which directories to synchronize or files to upload.
When I added a new document (in the correct .doc format) in my desktop, the software could not detect the addition. I also had no way of letting the system check the folder again for files to synchronize. Even when I restarted the application, it still couldn’t detect the added file.
In synchronizing documents, DocSyncer was quick. It took less than half an hour for the Power Point presentations I didn’t know were still in my PC to be sent to my Google Docs account.
While I won’t depend on DocSyncer to synchronize my files right now, I will be keeping my eyes peeled for updates to the service. DocSyncer is a service that will be useful to someone like me, someone who works in multiple computers with different operating systems.
The software currently works only with Windows 2000/XP and Vista. The team, however, promises a Mac OS X version soon. I hope they will also release a Linux version as well as extend support for Open Office. Now that would really be useful.
I don’t know how difficult it will be but I wish someone can release a similar program but with shell integration, similar to what TortoiseSVN does in Windows.
GRANTING ACCESS. When you first run the DocSyncer application, it will ask you to grant it access to your Google Docs account.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
Leave a Reply