Classic office suites first appeared in the early days of the personal computer and were designed to boost individual productivity. Their capability has increased dramatically over time, but despite semiannual updates, Microsoft’s main apps have shown little innovation in recent years.
Collaboration with Microsoft Office is mainly limited to saving documents on a shared drive or sharing them via email in today’s connected world. In larger teams, the latter, in particular, frequently leads to version conflicts. However, using Microsoft Office or Google Workspace services can get monotonous and users often feel the need to try out something new and equally capable.
That being said, while there are many alternatives for Microsoft Office in the market right now, perhaps the best among them is Ascensio System’s ONLYOFFICE. So in this post, we will give you a comprehensive review of this new office suite and how it can be a game-changer for your official document management work.
ONLYOFFICE is an office document editing and management tool designed from the bottom up to be used by teams working on a paper, spreadsheet, presentation, or fillable form at the same time. A full collection of must-have features, such as AutoSave, Version History, Version Control, Track Changes, comments, user tagging, messaging, and even two co-editing modes, Fast and Strict, make collaborative work simple.
This makes it an excellent option for any company seeking a low-cost online office suite. Because we’re talking about ONLYOFFICE Docs, the word online is a crucial distinction. That is, rather than utilizing the desktop software for Windows, macOS, or Linux, you access it through a web browser, similar to Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online.
What can you do with ONLYOFFICE?
Getting Started with ONLYOFFICE
Signing up for a 30-day trial of OnlyOffice’s cloud edition is the first step. You obtain access to document storage, online document editors, mail, calendar, contacts, and chat after completing the registration process. You can also use more advanced business features like customer relationship management (CRM) and project management.
Administrators should probably begin by adding users and groups, which can be done by importing people from Gmail or Yahoo contacts, or by importing a properly formatted CSV file. After creating an account, users can link their social media accounts, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to use their current (and easy-to-remember) credentials for authentication.
ONLYOFFICE Fillable Forms
ONLYOFFICE Forms are made to make working with electronic documents as simple as possible. You may create, amend, and co-edit fillable-field documents online or locally, then submit them to others to complete. It decreases process time and helps to avoid repetitive data entry and associated errors by eliminating the costs of printing, storing, and distributing papers.
With ONLYOFFICE, you will be able to use the following types of fillable forms:
- Human resources
- Legal documents
To learn more about ONLYOFFICE fillable forms and how to create one, simply visit their official blog for a step-by-step guide.
The desktop applications of ONLYOFFICE are stand-alone programs that must be installed via the platform’s unique methods. This is an EXE installer in the case of Windows. The desktop editors don’t require a server and may be used locally just like any other office suite.
However, only when these tools are connected to a collaborative server in the back end, such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, or ONLYOFFICE Workspace, do they exhibit their entire potential. Only then are capabilities like real-time document co-editing, versioning, and conversations available.
The web version is best for situations when you don’t want to install local apps, such as BYOD or extranets where you collaborate with clients or partners. It’s available in a variety of formats, including Docker containers, and can be installed on Linux and Windows servers.
Installing Erlang, PostgreSQL, and RabbitMQ, before installing the web suite on a Windows Server is required. An EXE installer is included with ONLYOFFICE. Without a server for storage and collaboration, online apps are useless. They do, however, come with a basic sample service that allows you to create or upload documents and then save them locally.
ONLYOFFICE apps are available for mobile devices running Android or iOS in addition to the desktop and web versions. Smartphones are largely built for consuming rather than producing content due to their form nature.
ONLYOFFICE takes this into account by limiting the number of functionalities available on the mobile app. Even in real-time collaborative spaces, documents can be modified. Furthermore, comments can be added.
ONLYOFFICE Docs 7.0
ONLYOFFICE has been regularly upgrading its tools frequently and their most recent Docs 7.0 update is quite advanced and competitive. The most recent version of the open-source office suite has a slew of new capabilities, including the ability to create fillable documents and forms, password-protect workbooks and sheets, and increase usability and collaboration.
- Create fillable forms
Fillable forms can now be created online easily using ONLYOFFICE. This new feature allows you to seamlessly automate your entire electronic documentation and workflow, allowing you to produce and fill out a variety of documents, such as contracts, legal agreements, admission forms, questionnaires, reports, and more.
You can develop forms from the beginning or use a previous DOCX document as a starting point, update them in real-time, and collaborate with other users for editing. You can save a fillable form as a conventional OFORM file or PDF file to share and fill it online.
- Protect your sheets & workbooks with passwords
You may make your spreadsheet work more secure using ONLYOFFICE Docs v7.0. Password protection for specific sheets and workbooks is now possible in the latest edition.
- Spreadsheets Query Tables
Query tables are now supported in Docs v7.0. A query table combines data from one or multiple tables in a spreadsheet to prepare data for reporting and analysis. You can now open and save spreadsheets having query tables without losing data.
- Animations and Transitions in presentations
The New Transitions tab in Docs v7.0 will now make it much easier for users to add and edit animations and transitions in PPT slides. On the new Transitions tab, you’ll find everything you need in one location. With a few clicks, you may switch between several transition styles and alter their characteristics and settings without being distracted by other slide properties.
- Seamless collaboration capabilities
ONLYOFFICE Docs v7.0 includes a new Version History feature in spreadsheets that allows users to go back and forth between prior draughts and restore them if necessary. When the final user closes the spreadsheet, each draft is saved as a version by default.
- Completely Open Source
ONLYOFFICE has made the source code of professional editing tools including document comparison, content controls, and spreadsheet sheet views available in all solutions. Previously, all of these features were only available to paying customers. Their source code is now publicly available on GitHub.
How much does ONLYOFFICE cost?
OnlyOffice is a capable, business-grade document management system that is available in both cloud and on-premises versions. You can use it as a cloud application or install it on your own servers on your company’s network. Each choice has its own set of advantages and drawbacks.
- Ascensio System OnlyOffice’s cloud version is simple and quick to set up. On a monthly, yearly, or three-year basis, it is charged per user. It costs $5 a month, $2 a month, and $1 a month for each user, accordingly. Its monthly rate, however, is only offered to customers with at least six users.
- Customers with even larger user pools will save much more money and gain access to more storage space. Storage capacity is available in increments of 8 GB for 1-2 users, 20 GB for 3-5 users, and 40 GB for 6-10 users and higher.
- Businesses interested in Ascensio System OnlyOffice’s on-premises variants can start with the free Community Edition, which allows up to 20 simultaneous connections and is open source.
- The 3 Enterprise Editions (Start, Standard, and Standard+) cost $900, $1,800, and $3,600 per server, respectively, for a lifetime license. Customers in the nonprofit and educational sectors have more alternatives, such as free cloud licenses and significant discounts on the on-premises solution for qualifying institutions.
How is ONLYOFFICE different from others?
When it comes to application deployment, ONLYOFFICE already stands out from Microsoft and Google. The software can be deployed on your own server as well as being provided as an online service.
Through connectors, you can link the programs not only with ONLYOFFICE Workspace, a Latvian collaboration server but also with a variety of conventional CMS and collaboration systems. Alfresco, Confluence, Nextcloud, ownCloud, SharePoint, and several others are among them.
When it comes to supporting numerous platforms, including offline work, ONLYOFFICE takes a different strategy than Google or Microsoft. The three apps, which include a word processor, a spreadsheet, and presentation graphics, have the same appearance and feel as online or desktop apps and provide the same set of features.
Because the web version is compatible with all major client operating systems, it’s only natural to provide offline-capable desktop versions for the most popular platforms. These locally installed ONLYOFFICE programs also have the same appearance and feel across all operating systems (macOS, Windows, and Linux), so users don’t have to adjust their workflow.
ONLYOFFICE is available for download and testing right now at onlyoffice.com. If you’re looking for a desktop program for Windows or Mac, you can get it here: If you have an older device, the apps support Windows XP and macOS 10.11, but they also support the most recent versions, including Windows 11 and macOS Big Sur.
Verdict – ONLYOFFICE Review 2023
ONLYOFFICE as mentioned earlier is a fresh new alternative to Microsoft Office and other rivals already being used by the majority of people. Considering that it is competing in an already dominated niche, nothing really offered by them is overdue or anything less.
The developers of ONLYOFFICE know exactly what the audiences need, and have worked on creating a fresh solution to it. If you are bored of the monotonous vibe of MS Office and want a fresh document creation and editing experience, then ONLYOFFICE is definitely worth a try!