Have you ever experienced the disappointing process of editing a text document, spreadsheet, or presentation via email with other people? Make some changes, email back the new version of the file and wait for the others to revise your changes and approve them, and then the cycle repeats itself again… Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, some excellent online collaboration tools make things easier and allow you to save a lot of time while editing documents with other users in real-time. In this post, we will tell you about the online office suite that eliminates all the frustrations of traditional document editing via email — ONLYOFFICE Docs.
What is ONLYOFFICE Docs?
ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source online office suite that is distributed under the terms of AGPLv3. It consists of web-based viewers and collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that can be deployed on a local server or private AWS cloud.
ONLYOFFICE Docs offers an intuitive user interface where all the editing and collaborative tools are grouped into functional tabs. If you already have some experience in using other office suites with tabbed toolbars, you might find it easy to navigate through the interface elements.
ONLYOFFICE comes with two light themes (Classic and Classic Light). There is also a dark theme, which is pretty convenient. If you work a lot at night or in a dark environment, switching to the Dark theme will help you prevent eye strain.
By default, ONLYOFFICE Docs uses OOXML (DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX), which guarantees full compatibility with the Microsoft Office Formats. Thus, the app opens and saves any Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files without compatibility issues.
ONLYOFFICE also allows you to work with other popular formats. For example, you can open and edit ODT, ODP, ODS, DOC, XLS, PPT, TXT, RTF, and HTML files. PDF and DJVU are available for viewing only.
In regard with this, you may like to read about: Unlock PDF Files-Remove PDF Passwords for Free
ONLYOFFICE Docs comes with a wide range of editing and formatting tools that any modern office suite is expected to have. The app allows you to create text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations of any kind. You can easily change fonts and headers, insert various objects (tables, images, charts, auto shapes, etc.), analyze and visualize data, apply transitions, and much more.
If the standard functionality is not enough for you, you can make the most of the collection of third-party plugins. You can even insert YouTube videos and perform quick text correction using Typograph.
Real-Time Collaborative Features
What makes ONLYOFFICE Docs unique is its online co-authoring functionality. To make it possible to seamlessly collaborate on documents with other users, the suite offers the following features:
- two different co-editing modes, Fast to see all edits right after input and Strict to display changes made by others only after clicking the Save button;
- various access permissions (editing, reviewing, commenting only, viewing, form filling, and the Sheet view mode for spreadsheets);
- track changes;
- version history;
- built-in chat.
All these tools make online collaboration as easy as possible. You just share a document with other people granting them the required access right and start editing it at the same time on different devices, even if you are miles away from each other.
If security and data privacy means a lot to you, ONLYOFFICE Docs won’t let you down. First of all, it’s a self-hosted solution that provides you with full control over your personal information. No data is stored on ONLYOFFICE servers, and everything is kept within your network.
Moreover, ONLYOFFICE Docs is open-source, so you are welcome to check its source code listed on GitHub. If you have enough knowledge in programming, you can always make sure that the software has no backdoors or vulnerabilities.
To protect your documents from unauthorized access, ONLYOFFICE Docs uses JSON Web Token. The HTTPS protocol encrypts your traffic in transit. You can also restrict the copy, download, and print options for documents for more security.
The Private Room feature allows you to work and collaborate on encrypted documents, which guarantees additional protection. A Private Room is a space where you can store, edit and share documents using the unbreakable AES-256 encryption algorithm. All you need to do is connect ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors and start editing documents like you usually do on the desktop. There is no need to create and memorize ant passwords, as all actions are performed automatically.
ONLYOFFICE Docs works well in combination with file&sync platforms and document management systems. Currently, there are more than 30 available integration options that are connected via ready-to-use connectors. The most popular solutions for ONLYOFFICE Docs are ONLYOFFCE Workspace, Nextcloud, ownCloud, Plone, Seafile, Alfresco, Confluence, Nuxeo, Seafile, SharePoint, Moodle, etc.
Starting from version 6.4, ONLYOFFICE Docs supports the WOPI protocol, so it’s possible to connect any software that is compatible with WOPI.
Mobile and Desktop Apps
If you prefer working on documents offline, you can download the free ONLYOFFICE desktop app. It has official clients for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The desktop editors are built on the same engine as the online editors, so they offer the same editing functionality and user interface. In fact, you will hardly find any difference between the desktop version and the online one.
For those who are always on the run, there are official mobile apps for Android and iOS. They can be downloaded from the official app stores. The mobile apps are absolutely free and have no ads or in-app purchases.
What’s New in ONLYOFFICE Docs 6.4
The latest version of ONLYOFFICE Docs has brought a lot of useful features and made the software more accessible:
- 125% and 175% scaling options;
- new color-blind-friendly chart styles;
- Conditional formatting;
- sparklines to show trends in a series of values;
- data import from text and CSV files;
- new autocorrection option to automatically replace links and local paths with hyperlinks;
- deleting or resolving comments in a couple of clicks;
- text to table conversion and vice versa;
- auto-capitalization of the first letter in a sentence and much more.
ONLYOFFICE Docs is a good choice for those who would like to have the editing functionality of Microsoft Office and the online collaborative capabilities of Google Docs in one app. It comes with some limitations but allows you to take advantage of the main features without paying anything.
If you need professional technical support, regular updates, and access to the pro features (for example, document comparison and content controls), you can try a commercial version. It offers a free 30-day trial, so you can decide if the software fits your needs. For home use, a lifetime license costs $149. For commercial use, prices start from $1,200 per server.
For developers, there is a special edition of ONLYOFFICE Docs that lets them distribute the editors as part of their own solutions. In this case, prices start from $1,500 per server.