Author Topic: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite  (Read 82 times)

Offline Jason Wallwork

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OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« on: November 09, 2019, 01:58:48 pm »
I'm not sure if this cross-platform office suite available for Windows, Linux and the Mac has been covered before. I just found out about it. There's even a portable version that I assume you can run from a flash drive.

https://www.onlyoffice.com/download-desktop.aspx
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 06:42:57 pm »
Thanks for posting about this, Jason.  I have never heard or seen anything about it.
Looks like it is only a Word Processor and does not have any Spreadsheet or Draw function. It is free though, for personal use.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 07:30:57 pm »
How did you see this, Bill?

My understanding is that's a full suite - the term editor is being used to refer to a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. I admit that's a strange use of the word since it's usually used to mean editing words only. See here and here for why I think it's a full suite, even the free version. Not sure about drawing, though - I don't think that's offered except maybe as an option within those programs.

They also have an online version you can install it on a server for a local network although there are some limitations. It's also open source; you fork their code on Github and make your own suite from it. i guess they're expecting to make money by hosting more users in the cloud (the free version for the server is limited to the number of connections to it).
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Offline fox

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 10:12:32 pm »
It is definitely a full suite. I downloaded the desktop app for Ubuntu and am looking at a Powerpoint presentation on it. On their website, they claim to be 100% compatible with MS Office. That's something I've been after for a long time. I've looked at LibreOffice, WPS Office and Softmaker Office. Each is better at rendering some aspect of MS formats better than the other, but none of them is 100% compatible. So far, OnlyOffice looks good for the presentation, and it was the only one of the three that got all of the text spacing right in that presentation. However, I just opened a Word document and it blew the spacing on the first page, which none of the other three did. I next tried opening up a multi-tabbed Excel spreadsheet with graphs in it. All four appeared to have done that one flawlessly.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 10:34:35 pm by fox »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 12:01:26 pm »
Maybe it's actually 99.5% compatible and they rounded off  ;D But seriously, as soon as a suite goes 100% compatible now, I go, yeah, right. Maybe compatible with Office 2000. Office is changing all the time and the format is still not an open format from what I understand so it has to be reverse engineered which isn't easy to do.

But at least it's another alternative in the office suite space to Microsoft and probably the only one other than Google Docs when you look at just online.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 02:22:35 pm by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline fox

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 12:24:31 pm »
Ironically, Microsoft Office itself has online apps that work in a browser in pretty much any format, but I think you need a MS account to edit the files, and the online version isn't full-featured.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 02:24:12 pm »
Ironically, Microsoft Office itself has online apps that work in a browser in pretty much any format, but I think you need a MS account to edit the files, and the online version isn't full-featured.

Yeah, I meant besides Microsoft but updated my post to make that clear. I wish that people could just get away from closed-formats like Microsoft. They don't seem to realize that using those formats lock them into costly upgrades into the future. Well, costly, unless you're an educator or student. But for students, it's like giving away cocaine for free just to hook them later.
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Offline fox

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 02:41:38 pm »
I totally agree. I wouldn't be using it if I didn't have to maintain 100% with colleagues I publish with.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2019, 02:46:24 pm »
Do you use another office suite and then correct the errors before sending them to colleagues or do you send them as is?

I suspect the former but the reason I ask is I wonder if colleagues, other than say research papers, actually care about the minor formatting issues. Not saying it's not a stickler for you, but just wondered what others make out of it, say if a file is imported into LibreOffice.
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Offline fox

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2019, 07:08:51 am »
Do you use another office suite and then correct the errors before sending them to colleagues or do you send them as is?
...
No I don't. When working with colleagues on manuscripts, I use MS Word 2010. I can't afford the time to go through something produced in another app and find and correct the errors. However, if I'm working on something simple without a lot of formatting, I'll use LibreOffice Write or Softmaker TextMaker 2018, or the equivalent spreadsheets. For simple things, these translate perfectly.

Last night I gave a public presentation using PowerPoint on my iPad. But I had some doubts about whether this would work properly on the equipment, so I brought my xps 13 as a backup. I set it up in Ubuntu and opened it up in LibreOffice Impress. It looked perfect. I would have given it that way had the iPad not worked.

FYI, OnlyOffice is now available as a Flatpack on Flathub. (See this).
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 07:13:06 am by fox »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2019, 09:51:27 am »
I wasn't asking if it was a problem for you. I was asking if you had ever just sent anything out without going over it to just to see how much other people care about the formatting issues. They sound minor, mostly, from what you've mentioned in the past, if I read correctly what you've said.
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Offline fox

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2019, 10:07:24 am »
They are minor, but for the collaborative documents, anyone I work with would definitely care; whether what I sent had formatting problems or whether changes I made using another application caused formatting problems on the revision.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2019, 02:22:23 pm »
Thanks - that's what I was wondering about. Are they editing the documents they receive? If they're just looking at them, exporting to PDF would let you use one of the free office suites and not have formatting issues.
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Offline fox

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2019, 02:47:03 pm »
The whole thing is that these are collaborative documents. There is a draft. Someone makes changes. New version is reviewed. More changes requested and/or made. And so on. There will typically be 5-10 revisions. Then a submission to a journal. The submission format is xml, not pdf.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: OnlyOffice cross-platform office suite
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2019, 03:05:52 pm »
XML, really? That's interesting. The journal must need it to be organized like a database to pull out titles, sections, and so on for online viewing. XML is a document format that combines formatting with the ability to encode arbitrary data structures. And unlike doc or docx it's actually open.

LibreOffice can export and import with xml and there should be no formatting issues (because it's an open format) but I can't say I've tried it. I would bet that MS Word can also do that. Then you could share docs in xml format without any formatting issues and you could each still use the word processor you prefer, instead of using docx and then converting to xml as the final step, at least, in theory.
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