Google Docs has officially thrown open its data doors, allowing users to back up all their documents to whatever formats they choose and compressed into a ZIP file. It's serious peace of mind for those concerned about the cloud.
The feature seemed to arrive very recently without any official blog post or explanation, but it seems to be working for more than just a select few testers. The only catch to using it is selecting all your files, as the Google Operating System blog explains. I frequently "hide" (or basically archive) documents I'm not using frequently, so I only had to head to the "Hidden" view in the left-hand view selector — those with more complex filing schemes should try the "All Items" view, or a wildcard asterisk search to pin down what they want.
Once you've selected or searched for what you want to export, you'll have to scroll all the way down until all the documents are exposed, then hit the checkmark box to select them all. Finally, right-click somewhere in your selected docs, choose "Export", and tell Google how to export your word, spreadsheet and PDF files.
While you're securing your Docs data somewhere other than on Google's servers, take a peek at other free tools to back up online accounts — you'll feel a bit less tethered to the whims of various server administrators and account security representatives.