When someone mentions a “free office suite”, probably the first name would be the famous LibreOffice. Which is – indeed – one of the best free office suites out there. However, there are a lot of other alternatives which you can try.
OnlyOffice is another cross-platform office suite which offers solutions to create, edit and view many different documents formats. It’s free and licensed under the AGPL 3.0 license. Check the code on GitHub.
OnlyOffice provides a lot of different versions targeting different platforms: Cloud, desktop, server and mobile. The desktop and server versions are distributed among two releases: A community edition and an enterprise edition. First one is free and the second one is paid.
There are a lot of featured presentations made by the company behind the project which shows you why it’s better than the other available office suites and platforms. You can check them from their official website.
We downloaded the latest version (188.8.131.52) and reviewed the software. This was our experience so far.
After installation, this is the welcoming screen for OnlyOffice. Offering you to craete a free account on the cloud to sync and manage your documents if you want:
There are 3 sub-programs for OnlyOffice: Document, Spreadsheet and Presentation. Clearly, the first one can open a lot of document formats like DOCX, ODT and PDF. While the second one is an alternative for Microsoft Excel. The last one can open presentation files formats like PPTX and ODP.
This is the main interface for the documents writer:
We can notice a very simple graphical user interface. One of the main features we liked was the tabs feature you see on top. Instead of opening too many different windows for many documents, you just need one containing your needed tabs. The good thing is that those tabs don’t have to be from the same type; You can open PDF, HTML, PPTX and ODT files in the same window as tabs.
Aside from that, the interface is a little bit similar to Microsoft Office. But very much simpler.
You have many options for inserting charts:
If you choose one of them, another window will be opened to allow adjusting values of charts:
This is it running a demo DOCX file. Worked very well. No glitches seen in it:
However, the program doesn’t seem to be supporting some other languages (like Arabic, Persian..). It shows undefined symbols in its place:
All the other normal functionalities like inserting tables, images, footnotes, texts and formulas.. All of them exist in OnlyOffice. Also page settings and options (paddings, styles, edges, borders..) are available as well. Just like what any office suite would provide.
This is the spreadsheets program, not very much different from its previous brother:
A lot of functions can be used easily. A list of supported ones are here:
Running an XLSX file doesn’t seem buggy here too:
Say hello to presentations processor:
There are 10 different styles for presentations by default. That’s a really small number comparing it to Microsoft Office or even LibreOffice. But still not bad to start:
As in other office suites, you can select different hierarchy for each slide:
However, there’s a number of different color schemes which you can apply on any template:
Opening a demo PPTX file didn’t show any glitches or bugs too:
Those are the general settings for the program. Not very much customizable:
Comparing between LibreOffice and OnlyOffice running the same file shows some difference. OnlyOffice is using around 210 MB of RAM, while LibreOffice uses 115 MB of RAM.
Until now, all the review was about OnlyOffice for Linux desktop. However, OnlyOffice is more than just a desktop program. It also provides server and cloud solutions. You can install OnlyOffice on your server in order to manage and share documents online. You can even use it to mange your email, community and projects (images via onlyoffice.com):
The latest version of the desktop edition for OnlyOffice can be downloaded from below links. Multiple packages exist for Red Hat & Debian based distributions.
To download the server edition of OnlyOffice (or as a Docker image):
Additionally, OnlyOffice is available as a Snap package.
OnlyOffice is a nice office suite for Linux desktop. It’s free and licensed under the AGPL. All their source code (even for community server) is released on their GitHub repository. The software they provide is maintained and being updated from time to time. And can run most of the formats correctly.
Aside from small bugs in some areas and high RAM usage. Nothing really skimmed our experience with OnlyOffice. Also, providing those advanced solutions for servers and cloud is really a nice thing to have. Especially when the code is free.