Honestly, I had never felt that Linux platform has a deficiency of quality Office tools up until recently. Working on an important project, I had to experience the dreaded MS Office – LibreOffice compatibility issue. That was when I started looking around for more. Abhishek suggested I check out OnlyOffice. Now it is the only office on my computer.
Before we take a detailed look at the review of OnlyOffice Linux version, let’s take a brief look at all the variants in OnlyOffice roster. OnlyOffice issues its software in 3 forms.
- OnlyOffice on your private network
- OnlyOffice for developers
- OnlyOffice desktop editors
OnlyOffice for your private network provides a great office solution for corporations, government offices, schools and colleges. This version of OnlyOffice is to be deployed on your own servers.
OnlyOffice for your servers comes with no adware, spyware or such any piece of software that allows developers or any 3rd part any kind of access to your installation. Security and privacy are given a high priority here.
Now, this harmony and an undisturbed environment are a huge perk you get with OnlyOffice considering its price. They have a free community edition too. But the features available with the paid editions are a great proposition I must say. Check out OnlyOffice for server deployment here.
OnlyOffice provides a flexible variant of its web-based editors for developers who seek to integrate OnlyOffice with their services. Of course under your own brand name. OnlyOffice again provides a couple of choices here. Check out more details about it here.
OnlyOffice Desktop Editors
OnlyOffice belongs to a new breed of software which aims at providing optimal functionality while maintaining the most simple and usable interface. Think Google apps. I should make it clear that OnlyOffice is much more than just a cross-platform document editor. It is something that is capable of running your business, organization, library, school and projects completely from one place.
OnlyOffice is comprised of the whole office package. That is, it can handle a number of popular document formats, spreadsheets and presentations. OnlyOffice also brings a lot of goodies for power users which we will see a tad bit later.
Did I mention that OnlyOffice Desktop Editors is completely open source?
The landing screen of the software strikes the spot where it gives you a minimal yet a functional interface. It’s clean, elegant and it all together looks a little “Windows”y.
The work area is tabbed. All the docs you are working are tabbed on the top so you can quickly switch tabs, the browser way. Similar menus, ribbon type top bar and some innovative ‘small things’ are all set to give your productivity a boost on OnlyOffice.
First impression of OnlyOffice
OnlyOffice had impressed me enough for me to start writing my next article on it. There is no learning curve involved as OnlyOffice adheres to standards employed by major Office Software. If you’ve used any office software before, then you’ll have no issue migrating to OnlyOffice. By using the word ‘migrate’, maybe I’m even exaggerating the process. If you do not have an experience with any office suite, then OnlyOffice is downright usable too. It’s just that accessible.
As a matter of fact, OnlyOffice is much more usable than others due to its simplicity and design. With quick templates for applications given at your fingertips, starting a new doc or mixing things around in the document is made so effortless. An enhanced shortcuts roster, contemporary quick templates and a familiar work area does provide an amazing work experience. It’s fast, modern, and simply a better experience.
The document editor part of an office suite is something that has to offer a high accessibility, considering the fact that it will be used by people of a diverse intellectual and ethnographic background. Almost everybody uses a document editor now and then. On OnlyOffice, formatting and design has been taken care of in such a way that even persons of the least technical knowledge will be comfortable working here.
It also offers collaboration and other features offered by its non-free counterparts. I especially recommend it to students. It is free. But it offers quality that is worth paying for.
I did feel that the top of the work area was a little too cluttery in the spreadsheet. The cell template box must have been ditched in order to provide bigger icons. This is done maybe to maintain a uniformity across the whole software.
The spreadsheet has the icons absolutely consistent with those used by other top suits. This is a plus point for trained professionals looking forward to switching to OnlyOffice as they won’t be facing any drop in their productivity. The whole thing is pretty intuitive.
Even if you casually use spreadsheets for some accounts keeping, OnlyOffice provides a good environment for some number crunching. And comparing to other free solutions, which look like an ancient version of MS Excel, OnlyOffice is the obvious choice.
I really liked the Presentation, which I tend to use more than often. I usually spend a lot of time in setting up the theme for my presentation. OnlyOffice provides a diverse set of themes, which you can quickly transform to suit your style by just altering the parameters on the right side of the work area. Mix and match.
There is a slight regression in the compatibility factor between MS Office and LibreOffice. But it is enough to really annoy you. Especially when you are in the middle of a presentation. I was not going to recommend OnlyOffice to anybody (for presentation) without making sure it produced no such undesired changes.
I think you must try your next presentation on OnlyOffice. Definitely.
More than just a document editor
OnlyOffice offers cloud office solution, collaboration tool, project management tools, in-house work chat and mail. The Customer relationship management system that OnlyOffice offers as one of its prime attributes has pretty good reviews by users. All in all, I must say OnlyOffice is a big league player. These are beyond the scope of this article, but I felt they are too cool to be excluded from the article and they are even providing a month of free trial. I suggest you make it a point to check out this awesome offer.
Any Office solution is of commercial value to the user (even if it’s free of cost) for obvious reasons. This means they should assure stability, efficiency, universal usability and above all dependability. OnlyOffice stands up to these principles. And considering the absence of a price tag (For the desktop editor), I’d say OnlyOffice is something you must absolutely try.
Compatibility with Open Document and Microsoft Formats
One main thing I wanted to check out was its stability when dealing with a doc produced by MS Office. I have very often faced these cross-compatibility issues on other Office suites. When even the premier office solution for desktop Linux gives some issues, I did expect to see some zig zag lines. But, OnlyOffice did not give me much to to complain here. All was butter smooth with word documents.
The presentation slides however, had some compatibility issues. Not a lot but noticeable enough.
OnlyOffice is (mostly) compatible with Microsoft Office formats as well as OpenOffice formats. This adaptability is invaluable when you know that your computer will be able to handle any document created on any platform without any performance issues.
OnlyOffice provides packages for all major Linux distributions. Both DEB (for Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary OS and other derivatives) and RPM (For Fedora, openSUSE and derivatives) packages can be downloaded for free from the link below;
And for Arch Linux, Manjaro and other derivatives, the latest version of OnlyOffice desktop editor is present on the amazing Arch User repository. Fetch it by using the following commands.
OnlyOffice is logged under the name ‘Desktop editors’ in your menu. Click on it to launch OnlyOffice.
OnlyOffice is a mature product. As I said before it belongs to a new breed of software that are made for today, ’nuff said. Do give OnlyOffice a try and share your opinion with us. Don’t forget to share the article. Cheers.