Why ONLYOFFICE is a better alternative to LibreOffice

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ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors

After years of using LibreOffice, I’ve now switched over to ONLYOFFICE and recommend it over any other office suite on Linux. Now I know a lot of FOSS enthusiasts will be unhappy about the idealistic part of the recommendation, but hear me out.

Top notch Microsoft Office compatibility

I’m a science writer who uses Linux because it just functions better for me than Windows or macOS and because I’m an open source enthusiast. Given my profession, I have to frequently collaborate with people on other operating systems who almost always use either Microsoft Office or Google Docs. After three years of trying, I can tell you that LibreOffice just doesn’t cut it. Either me or the other person will lose some formatting in the documents at some point. And as a document travels from one computer to another, things quickly become a mess.

That is when I found ONLYOFFICE. In over a year of using it, I’ve sent ONLYOFFICE created documents, spreadsheets and presentations to people using Microsoft Office, iWork, smartphone editors, Google Docs, etc., did multiple to and fro edits and it hasn’t broken a single thing! This is something I cannot ignore as a writer and my experience attests to ONLYOFFICE’s claim of top notch Microsoft Office compatibility.

More features

Beyond the excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office files, there are other features that make ONLYOFFICE a better alternative to LibreOffice, WPS or any other Linux office suite that I’ve used.

  • All documents open in the same window as multiple tabs and you can manipulate them just like you’d in a browser. This is amazing.
  • Can connect to Nextcloud or OwnCloud for online and collaborative features like Google Docs.
  • Unlike LibreOffice, ONLYOFFICE has adequately functional and maintained mobile & tablet apps on both Android and iOS.
  • Has Ribbon UI, so in my opinion things are easier to find on ONLYOFFICE compared to LibreOffice’s “Default” UI.
  • Open source, making it more trustworthy than WPS Office and other proprietary solutions on Linux.
  • Available on Windows and macOS too if you don’t want to use Microsoft Office or simply can’t afford its licensing fee.

Go get it

ONLYOFFICE is officially available to download on Linux as a Deb, RPM, Flatpak and a Snap package so you can use it on any Linux distro you like!

I hope I’ve convinced you to give ONLYOFFICE a shot and see if it solves your problems. If it doesn’t, you can file bugs and feature requests on their GitHub repository. In my experience, they’ve been very open to feature suggestions and prompt on bug fixes.

Closing thoughts

My ideals for FOSS dwindled swiftly when I had to make something work in the real world. Not everyone can use everything truly FOSS all the time. At least ONLYOFFICE is open source (AGPL-3.0, specifically) and not proprietary like Microsoft Office. Bottomline, ONLYOFFICE is a fantastic office suite that I hope more people discover.

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