With plenty of office suites out there, you might be wondering if ONLYOFFICE Docs is a decent alternative to the tried-and-tested software solutions, like Microsoft 365 and Google Docs. To help you decide if it’s the right choice for real-time document collaboration, we have put together this comprehensive review of the office suite. We will take a detailed look at the main features of ONLYOFFICE Docs, so you can come to a decision if it’s what your team needs to boost its productivity.
ONLYOFFICE Docs: What Is It?
To cut it short, ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source office package that comes with all the required tools to work with any office files, whether they are text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, fillable forms or PDFs.
By design, ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source software application that is distributed under the terms of AGPLv3. The suite consists of web-based viewers and editors that can be deployed on a local server or in the cloud.
ONLYOFFICE Docs easily integrates with e-learning platforms, DMS and CMS solutions and cloud storage systems allowing you to create a unique collaborative environment with document editing and co-authoring capabilities.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes ONLYOFFICE worthy of special attention.
As a modern office suite, ONLYOFFICE Docs has an intuitive and simple user interface that the average user might find familiar. In ONLYOFFICE Docs, all the editing and collaborative features are located on the top toolbar, divided into functional tabs. By switching from tab to tab, you can easily find the tools you need.
The ONLYOFFICE interface has two light themes, two dark themes (Dark and Contrast Dark) and various configuration settings that make it possible to minimize the UI by hiding certain elements, such as the top toolbar, the rulers or the status bar.
Formats Supported By ONLYOFFICE Docs
ONLYOFFICE Docs is natively compatible with the OOXML (DOCX, XLSX and PPTX) file extensions. That’s why the suite can open any Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without problems.
Other popular formats are supported through conversion to OOXML. For example, you can easily work with ODT, ODP, ODS, DOC, XLS, PPT, TXT, RTF and HTML files.
ONLYOFFICE Docs can be also used to open and view PDF and DjVu files. There is an option to convert such files to editable formats, like DOCX.
When it comes to editing and formatting tools, ONLYOFFICE Docs has all the necessary features, allowing you to create text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and fillable forms of any kind. You can easily apply different fonts and insert headers, add various objects (tables, images, charts, SmartArt, autoshapes, etc.), visualize data with pivot tables and conditional formatting in Excel sheets, and choose from multiple transitions and animation effects in slides and much more.
What makes ONLYOFFICE Docs really user-friendly and powerful is its built-in plugins marketplace. The Plugin Manager contains a collection of plugins that allow you to connect third-party services or add on new features. Each plugin can be installed or deleted with a few clicks.
Using ONLYOFFICE plugins, you can create bibliographies with Zotero and Mendeley, translate words with Google Translate and Deepl, insert YouTube videos, have video and audio calls with Zoom and Jitsi, and even interact with ChatGPT right in the suite’s interface.
ONLYOFFICE Docs is the right choice for those users who need a reliable tool for real-time collaboration. The suite lets you share documents and co-edit them in real time together with other users. This is possible due to the following features:
- Two co-editing modes, Fast and Strict, that you can switch to at any moment;
- Flexible access permissions (editing, reviewing, commenting, viewing, form filling and a special option for spreadsheets, Custom Filter);
- Track changes;
- Version history and control;
- Document comparison;
- User mentions;
- Built-in chat for text messages;
- Real-time communication through the Telegram, Zoom, Jitsi and Rainbow plugins.
ONLYOFFICE Docs is a self-hosted solution. You deploy it on your personal server, which gives you total control over your personal information. Everything is kept within your network, so you don’t have to worry about the privacy of your documents.
Besides, ONLYOFFICE Docs is 100% open-source, so its source code is publicly available on GitHub. No backdoors are guaranteed.
ONLYOFFICE Docs also uses the JSON Web Token technology to prevent unauthorized access. The HTTPS protocol is another protective measure. It allows you to encrypt your traffic in transit.
Additional protection is possible due to the ability to restrict the copy, download and print options for documents. You can also apply watermarks in confidential files and add passwords so that nobody can access your files in your absence.
Integration With Business Platforms
At the moment, there are more than 30 integration options for ONLYOFFICE Docs. You can integrate the office suite with the most popular business platforms and e-learning environments, such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Plone, WordPress, Seafile, Alfresco, Confluence, Nuxeo, Seafile, Redmine, SharePoint, Moodle, etc.
Additionally, ONLYOFFICE Docs provides open API, so you can embed it into any web-based application. In some cases, integration with ONLYOFFICE Docs works via the WOPI protocol.
Free Mobile And Desktop Apps
In addition to the web-based version of the suite, ONLYOFFICE Docs comes with clients for Windows, macOS and Linux. The desktop app offers the same editing functionality and UI. ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors is a free program that easily runs on the most popular OS.
The developers of ONLYOFFICE Docs also rolled out official mobile apps for Android and iOS. They can be installed from the official app marketplaces, Google Play and App Store respectively. The ONLYOFFICE mobile apps are absolutely free and have no ads or in-app purchases.
ONLYOFFICE Docs is a reliable alternative for those who are tired of Google Docs and Microsoft 365 but would like to have the same editing and collaborative features. The suite provides a more secure way to co-edit documents in real time on web, desktop and mobile platforms. It can be used in a variety of scenarios, from personal use to commercial use in large enterprises and software development companies. You can get ONLYOFFICE Docs from the official website.