ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source office suite for real-time document collaboration. In this ONLYOFFICE Docs review, you’ll learn more about this Google Docs alternative and how you can harness its many document-editing features for your home and office needs. Read on to see why ONLYOFFICE Docs is a great option, especially when it comes to creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online.
ONLYOFFICE Docs Review and Features
Here are the many things ONLYOFFICE Docs can do for you and/or your business, along with its cloud collaboration tool and features:
ONLYOFFICE Docs is a web-based open-source office suite developed by Ascensio System SIA, a Latvia-based software company. It includes three editors which allow you to work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in your browser without having to install any additional clients.
The editors’ tabbed interface offers a seamless user experience. All editing, formatting, and collaborative tools are grouped into tabs, and you will definitely find it easy to navigate through them. If you are already familiar with Ribbon and other types of tabbed toolbars used in other office suites, migrating to ONLYOFFICE Docs will be a piece of cake.
The only drawback concerning the interface is the absence of a Dark Theme. However, the developers promise to add this feature in one of the next releases.
Compatibility is probably one of the most important criteria to take into account when choosing an office suite. ONLYOFFICE Docs uses the OOXML (Docx, Xlsx, and Pptx) as its native formats, which guarantees complete compatibility with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. The solution also supports other popular formats, such as the ODF (odt, odp, and ods), doc, Xls, ppt, pdf, txt, rtf, and html.
When it comes to editing, ONLYOFFICE Docs offers a full set of tools and features to create text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations of any type and complexity. Fonts, styles, headers, footers, inserted objects (images, charts, autoshapes, tables, diagrams, etc.) — all these elements can de added and adjusted with ease. If you also need academic formatting and navigation, the ONLYOFFICE editors allow you to work with tables of contents, bookmarks, and cross-references.
If the editors’ basic functionality is not enough for you, you are always welcome to expand it via third-party plugins. For example, you can use the Mendeley and Zotero plugins for creating bibliographies, Google Translate for translating the text into different languages right in the editor, Telegram for secure communication, and Typograph for quick text correction. You can even insert YouTube Videos, edit images and run macros for routine tasks.
Real-time document collaboration
ONLYOFFICE Docs is all about online co-authoring. When editing a document in real-time, you can switch between two different co-editing modes. If you choose the Fast mode and someone is working on the document, you’ll see their presence and all the changes they’re making. You can also opt for the Strict mode to lock any paragraph and edit it privately — all edits will be visible after saving only.
What makes ONLYOFFICE Docs great is flexible access management. You can easily set up access to your documents by choosing from the edit, review, comment only, view, and form filling modes.
Moreover, ONLYOFFICE Docs allows you to track changes made by other co-authors as well as select and restore any previous version of a document with a simple click. Leaving comments, tagging other users, and real-time communication via the built-in chat — all this makes online collaboration as easy as possible.
As a self-hosted solution, ONLYOFFCIE Docs provides you with full control over your data. On top of that, the source code of the solution is open to everyone and listed on GitHub. If you have enough knowledge and expertise, you can always check it for vulnerabilities on your own.
ONLYOFFICE Docs uses JSON Web Token to protect documents from unauthorized access. Enabling the HTTPS protocol allows you to encrypt your traffic in transit for more security. Restricting the copy, download, and print options for documents is also possible.
If you work with confidential documents, you will certainly like the Private Room feature. It is a secure space where you can store, edit and share documents in an encrypted form using the unbreakable AES-256 algorithm. You don’t need to invent, send or enter any passwords: they are generated automatically and transferred in an encrypted form when sharing a document with other users.
ONLYOFFICE Docs is pretty flexible and can be integrated into more than 30 file&sync platforms and storages via ready-to-use connectors. The most popular solutions for integration are ONLYOFFCE Workspace, Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, Alfresco, Confluence, Nuxeo, Seafile, SharePoint, etc. You can even add document editing and collaborative capabilities to your own file sharing platform or DMS using the detailed API documentation.
Mobile and desktop apps
ONLYOFFICE Docs is not only about document editing in the browser. If you prefer working offline, you can download the free desktop app. It offers clients for Windows, macOS, and various Linux distributions which are built on the same engine as the online editors.
ONLYOFFICE mobile apps for Android and iOS allow you to edit documents on the go. Available on the official app stores, they are absolutely free and contain no ads or in-app purchases.
ONLYOFFICE Docs 6.2 New Features
The latest version of ONLYOFFICE Docs (released recently) has brought many new features to make it easier to work with data in spreadsheets and some useful updates for text documents and presentations:
- Data validation: This helps to control what data can be entered into a cell;
- Slicers for pivot tables: Used to indicate the current filtering state;
- Custom number format: For changing how a number should look like;
- New functions: GROWTH, TREND, LOGEST, UNIQUE, MUNIT, and RANDARRAY;
- Table of Figures to organize all the document objects with captions;
- New proofing options in presentations: For choosing where to use autocorrect as you type;
- New interface languages: Belarusian, Catalan, Greek, Lao, and Romanian.
You can watch a brief overview of ONLYOFFICE Docs 6.2 in the video below:
Wrapping it Up:
If you want to try ONLYOFFICE Docs, it can be a good idea to download and install the free community version. It has certain limitations and is available without some professional editing features (e.g. document comparison, content controls, and sheet views). If you need professional technical support, regular updates, and access to professional functionality, you might need the commercial version.