If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to Google Docs or Microsoft Office, you’ve found a decent option that’s definitely worth considering. ONLYOFFICE Docs is a great option for a free solution, especially when it comes to creating and editing online documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
What is ONLYOFFICE Docs?
ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open source online office suite available on GitHub. It includes editors for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, fillable forms, and a whole range of collaboration tools. Unlike Google Docs and Microsoft Office, ONLYOFFICE Docs is a self-hosted office suite, therefore very secure by design.
ONLYOFFICE Docs is also available in the cloud ONLYOFFICE workspace, an effective team management solution and online collaboration. Teams with a maximum of 5 users benefit from this solution for free. To get started, you need to register an ONLYOFFICE account and create a portal.
Why ONLYOFFICE is an alternative to Microsoft Office?
Interface. The suite’s interface is intuitive and very close to the latest editions of Microsoft Office. You’ll find all the editing and collaboration tools in the top toolbar, divided into tabs. If you are already familiar with the ribbon and other types of tabbed toolbars used in other office suites, migrating to ONLYOFFICE Docs will be a breeze.
ONLYOFFICE Docs comes with interface themes – Light Classic, Light, Dark and Dark Contrast. You can switch between themes at any time in the advanced settings. The dark theme is very convenient if you work at night or in a dark environment.
Format compatibility. What makes ONLYOFFICE Docs a decent alternative to Microsoft Office online is that it is fully compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. The office suite uses OOXML (DOCX, XLSX and PPTX) formats by default, so you can work with the most popular file extensions without problems. The list of other compatible formats includes ODT, ODP, ODS, DOC, XLS, PPT, EPUB, CSV, TXT, RTF, and HTML.
The built-in viewer allows you to open PDF and DjVu files and even convert them to DOCX.
Editing functionality. ONLYOFFICE Docs is equipped with a comprehensive suite of formatting and editing tools, which allows you to create a text document, spreadsheet, presentation or fillable form of any complexity and for any any use. You can easily apply different fonts and resize them, create and customize styles, insert various objects (tables, images, diagrams, shapes, headers, footers, etc.), analyze and visualize data using the conditional formatting in spreadsheets, create slides, and apply transitions or animations in presentations. If you also need academic formatting and navigation, ONLYOFFICE editors allow you to work with tables of contents, bookmarks and cross-references. Documents can also be exported in PDF format.
If the basic functionality of the editors is not enough for you, you can always extend it with third-party modules. For example, using Mendeley and Zotero plugins, you can quickly create a bibliography and apply the desired citation style with just a few clicks. The Google Translate and Deepl plugins allow you to translate texts into foreign languages. With Telegram and Jitsi, communication becomes much easier. You can also edit images and insert videos from YouTube.
Collaboration. The co-editing experience is something somewhat similar to what you get with Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online. Just share a document with other users and start editing it in real time. When you collaborate in Quick View, you instantly see changes made by your co-authors. You can also opt for Strict mode to lock a paragraph and the modifier to private – all changes will be visible after saving only.
What makes ONLYOFFICE Docs remarkable is the flexible access management. You can easily configure access to your documents by applying among edit, review, comment only, view and form fill modes.
Moreover, ONLYOFFICE Docs allows you to track changes undone by other co-authors as well as select and restore any previous version of a document with a single click. Leave comments, tag other users and communicate in real time via the integrated chat – all of this makes online collaboration as easy as possible.