Do you want to download and create a backup of all Google Docs documents to a local folder on the hard drive? Or are you looking to edit your Google Docs offline using Microsoft Word and then automatically sync changes when you are online.
If you said yes to any of the above questions, what you really need is Syncplicity, a file backup and synchronization service like DropBox but one that also works with your Google Docs account. Let’s see how:
Create a free account and then install a 2 MB Sync client on the desktop. The Syncplicity client is available for both Windows and Mac computers.
The next step is to configure a “watch folder” on your computer that Syncplicity will use to download and store files from Google Docs. The default is the “My Documents” folder but I prefer create a separate folder called “Google Docs” in the root c: drive.
Sync a local document folder with Google Docs
Next go to your online dashboard at my.syncplicity.com and click on ‘Google Docs’ to associate your Google Docs Account with Syncplicity. The service uses OAuth and you therefore don’t need to share your Google Account credentials anywhere.
Once authenticated, Syncplicity will download all documents (no spreadsheets or presentations) from Google Docs to that c:\Google Docs folder.
The process may take some time depending on the size and number of documents. You can see the detailed status of initial synchronization by right clicking the Syncplicity icon in your system tray.
Once that initial sync process between Google Docs and your local Office document folder is over, you can edit any document locally using Microsoft Office Word or OpenOffice and Syncplicity will automatically upload the updated version of the document on to Google Docs.
This is very handy if you need to edit documents offline (like in a plane or a taxi) without requiring a browser with Google Gears.
Second, if you create a new document in your Google Docs account, a copy of that document will get downloaded to the local folder so you always have access to the document even without internet.
Google Docs file browser
There’s another advantage of using Syncplicity with Google Docs – it will backup all your local Microsoft Office files and Google Docs documents on to the cloud and can be accessed from any other computer via the online Syncplicity browser.