Monday, April 22, 2024

OnlyOffice 8.0 provides a slick, yet lightweight, alternative to Microsoft Office and LibreOffice

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Does the world need another alternative to the almost ubiquitous Microsoft Office? While LibreOffice is its most recognizable rival, it does suffer a little from a dated user interface. Enter, stage left, OnlyOffice 8.0, an open-source rival to both that offers enough unique functionality to make it stand apart.

OnlyOffice’s first unique feature is that it contains its main features — document editor, spreadsheet, presentations, PDF viewer/annotator and recently added forms creator — within a single, streamlined app.

This keeps everything uncluttered and neat by utilizing a tabbed-based interface, which means you keep all your documents, spreadsheets, PDFs and presentations within a single window (but if you hate this, you can change it via Settings > Open file). Copying and pasting between different document types was never so easy.

It’s also notable how OnlyOffice consumes fewer system resources compared to its rivals. This suitability for older and less powerful machines is backed up by a wide range of builds being released — not just the latest iterations of macOS, Windows and Linux, but older legacy OSes too, including Windows XP and Vista.

In terms of functionality, there’s no doubt OnlyOffice falls short of both Office and LibreOffice, particularly with its spreadsheet tool. Nevertheless, all the core functionality is there, and there are some nifty tools for collaboration, including an option to plug directly into various open-source cloud services, including Nextcloud and OnlyOffice’s own online cloud ecosystem.

There’s also support for plugins, with a surprisingly wide range of powerful add-ons from known sources like Zotero, DeepL, WordPress and ChatGPT all available.

For those who like online editing on the go, OnlyOffice offers a free Community Edition of its online Workspace iteration, which can be installed natively on Windows Server, Linux or via Docker.

OnlyOffice 8.0.1 is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows, macOS and Linux. The app also offers various paid-for online services via its parent website.

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