Proton Docs is the privacy-focused answer to Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

Proton Documents It seems a lot Like Google Docs: blank pages, a formatting toolbar at the top, live indicators that show who’s in the document with their name attached to a cursor, the whole thing. This isn’t particularly surprising, for two reasons. First, Google Docs is incredibly popular, and there are only limited ways to style a document editor anyway. Second, Proton Docs pretty much exists to be all the great things about Google Docs — just without Google in the mix.

Documents are Launching today Inside Proton Drive, the latest app in Proton’s suite of privacy-focused work tools. The company that started out as an email client now also includes a calendar, a file storage system, a password manager, and more. Adding Docs to the ecosystem makes sense for Proton as it tries to compete with Microsoft Office and Google Workspace, and it seems likely to come shortly after Proton acquired Standard Notes in April. However, Proton’s PR manager Will Moore tells me that Standard Notes isn’t going away — it’s just Docs borrowing some features.

The first version of Proton Docs seems to have most of what you’d expect from a document editor: rich text options, real-time collaborative editing, and multimedia support. (If Proton can handle image embedding better than Google, it could be a big hit in that regard.) It’s web-only and desktop-optimized for now, though Moore tells me it will eventually come to other platforms. “Everything Google has is on our roadmap,” he says.

Imagine Google Docs…that’s it. You know what Proton Docs looks like.
Image: Proton

Since this is a Proton product, security is everything: The company says every document, keystroke, and even cursor movement is encrypted end-to-end in real time. Proton has long promised not to sell or otherwise use user data, which may appeal to more people than ever now that there are so many questions about how your documents and information are used to train AI models. (For what it’s worth, Google says It also doesn’t use your content to train its models.)

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Proton is just one of a number of companies trying to offer privacy-focused alternatives to Google and Microsoft, and so far none have succeeded in making any dent in their dominance. But Proton’s products have improved a lot in the past few years, and they’re getting closer to offering everything some users might want to switch. (There’s just one thing missing: spreadsheets. Good luck killing Excel, Proton.)

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