Visit the Office category on any Linux distro that organizes software into categories, such as ones with the XFCE or Cinnamon interfaces, and the applications that compose LibreOffice will be found. The suite is the most popular for Linux users, and many Mac and Windows users also have installed it on their systems.
LibreOffice is not the only alternative to Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac that is available to Linux users, however. There is another that has several capabilities that LibreOffice and Microsoft Office 365 don’t have.
OnlyOffice has had desktop applications, packaged as an integrated suite, for most Linux distros, as well as Windows and Mac OS that is free to download and install. Users also can access the same applications through any Web browser on any computer, as long as they or the organization they work for has a cloud service account. The price for an account is free, and there are business and vip tiers that organizations can subscribe to on a monthly or annual basis.
OnlyOffice doesn’t have as many settings and features as the well-known office suites, but it is more flexible than they are. This article will compare it with LibreOffice and Microsoft Office, as well as give an overview of its user interface and the file formats it can handle.
Many Linux users may believe they only have one choice when it comes to an office suite. LibreOffice is the only one they know about. It also is an office suite that those who are new to Linux can try on Windows or Mac before switching.
OnlyOffice is another office suite that works equally on these operating systems. It consists of three application that are common to any office suite: word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation. Like LibreOffice, the applications work offline. They have the features to create and edit professional documents, but they are not as powerful as LibreOffice’s applications.
OnlyOffice also doesn’t work on 32-bit systems or ARM processors, like LibreOffice can.
However, OnlyOffice is a much better tool for collaborating with others. Linux users can collaborate with colleagues using Mac or Windows computers through the editors, seeing changes as someone else types them. LibreOffice users can’t work on documents with other LibreOffice users like this.
The reason why is that it is more than a set of applications that can be installed on an operating system. The applications also have versions that can be accessed through the cloud. Individuals and organizations can access them by signing up for OnlyOffice accounts or by installing them on servers they control.
These server applications can be accessed through any Web browser, on any operating system. The online version of OnlyOffice offers more applications than the three that can be installed on desktops. Click here to learn more about OnlyOffice.
The office suite that can be installed on operating systems, known as desktop-editors, can connect to those OnlyOffice accounts. They also can connect to ownCloud and Nextcloud accounts. Users can access documents stored in these accounts and work on them with others inside the desktop editors.
OnlyOffice is only available on computers with Intel or AMD processors, but users can install it on just about any computer built in the past 20 years, with just about any operating systems. It also is available through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
There are multiple versions of the desktop editors. The current version is 6.0.2, and it works on most operating systems. Older versions are also available. Several of them can be downloaded from the desktop-editors download page.
The page has two downloads. One is for 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. There is also one for older versions of Windows.
Version 6.0.2 is available for Windows 7 and later. For those who still have Windows XP or Vista, OnlyOffice has an up-to-date version of the suite. Version 4.8.7 that was updated in November 2020 is available
Version 6.0.2 is available for 10.11 and later.
For Linux, there are several different ways to install OnlyOffice. The office suite can be installed on just about Linux distro that is running on a computer with an Intel or AMD processor that is 64-bit.
Snap and Flathub
Most Linux distros have access to the Snap Store or Flathub Store. One or both of them is preinstalled on several of them. It is also easy to install either one by entering a few commands in a Terminal application on distros that don’t come with them.
Ubuntu, Zorin, and several Ubuntu-based operating systems sponsored by Canonical, the organization behind Ubuntu, come with Snap as part of their software centers. Zorin, Linux Mint, and Elementary OS are a few distros with FlatHub preinstalled.
Click here to learn how to install Flathub on various operating systems. Most distros not on this list have pages explaining what commands will install Flathub. For example, here it is how to install it on Manjaro.
Click here to learn how to install the Snap Store.
The Snap and Flathub stores have the latest version of the desktop editors, currently version 6.0.2. The Snap store also contains version 5.4 that can be installed on servers.
In addition to these two stores, DEB and RPM packages can be downloaded and installed from the OnlyOffice desktop editor page. There are two versions for DEB, which what Debian and Ubuntu-based systems use. One version is for Debian 8 and Ubuntu 14.04 and later. The other is for Debian 7 and Ubuntu 12.04.
The third package is for CentOS 7 and other systems that use the RPM package manager.
OnlyOffice is also offered in the AppImage format. An AppImage is different from the other formats discussed above because it does not need to be installed to be run. There is no need to install a package or install an entire store before installing an application.
Version 5.6.4, an older version of the suite, is available as an AppImage.
Here are the steps for setting up the OnlyOffice AppImage:
Download OnlyOffice by clicking the download for the AppImage on this page.
After it is downloaded, go to the folder where it is stored.
Right-click on the application icon.
In the window that appears, click the Permissions tab.
In the Permissions tab, click all the Access drop-down menus and select Read and Write in the menus that appear.
Put a check in the Execute checkbox.
Close the window.
Double-click the icon to launch the application.
This is one of the easiest ways to run OnlyOffice. The application works best when it is installed directly on the drive the operating system is installed on. It is more difficult to change the permissions when the application is downloaded to a USB stick or other external drive.
OnlyOffice comes preinstalled on several different distros:
While OnlyOffice doesn’t have as many features as LibreOffice, one of the most popular cross-platform suites on the market, it does collaboration much better. It gives Linux users, Mac users, and Windows users the capability to collaborate with each other on documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Users can’t do this in LibreOffice.
OnlyOffice works offline as well. It is available on just about any operating system that can run on a 64-bit Inter or AMD processor.
A college student in 1981 is sitting in front of a typewriter working on a term paper for a course in Western Civilization realizes that a lengthy quote he just typed would work great in the paper he is writing for a philosophy course. At this point in history, he has to retype it.
Four years later that student is working in the computer lab on his senior thesis. The Macintosh he is sitting in front of allows him to copy and paste quotes and other passages from one document to another.
The clipboard built into modern operating system and applications has become common place. People use the feature billions of times per day. Typically they copy one passage of text, graphic, or other object at a time. Then they paste it immediately.
More advanced users like to paste several different items in a clipboard, so they can paste different ones later.
The clipboard is an advantage Microsoft Office has over LibreOffice. It comes with a feature that allows up to 24 items to be copied and pasted when the user desires. LibreOffice’s clipboard only allows one item to be pasted at a time.
Modern office suites allow you to add graphics to any type of document. This includes pre-packaged graphics that comes with the suite.
LibreOffice and Microsoft Office have a series of graphics that are available to any document, regardless of whether it is a text document, spreadsheet, or presentation. Both suites have dialogs that allow for easy insertion of a desired graphic.
LibreOffice has 13 categories by default, and it allows you to create new categories as well as add more graphics. The section is called the Gallery.
In Microsoft Office, the dialog is called Icons. The graphics in this collection are all black and divided into 26 categories. No more can be added to the library, however. The icons are available in the Windows and Mac versions of Office.
One of the most downloaded and shared file formats is PDF. The format that was developed by Adobe in the 1990s and released as ISO 32000 in 2008, is the key format to share reports, books, and many other types of documents. It looks the same regardless of the operating system and application that it is being viewed with. The documents also cannot easily be edited.
Most office suite applications have the ability to save a document or export it as a PDF. This includes Microsoft Office and LibreOffice. Both suites allow users to control the over the exportation that is more than just low or high quality.
For Microsoft Office, the conversion options differ from application to application. Word’s options differ from Excel’s and PowerPoint’s.
For LibreOffice’s applications, the same dialog with the same settings will appear when Export as PDF is clicked in Writer, Calc, Impress, or Draw. There is one setting that is unique to Impress.
Due to the differences from Microsoft application to application, this article will compare Word’s PDF option dialog to LibreOffice’s dialog. Microsoft Office has a PDFMaker add in that enhances its PDF-making capabilities. If you purchase Acrobat Standard or Pro, you will have PDFMaker.
Without PDFMaker, Microsoft Office does not have as many PDF export features as LibreOffice. This article compares the out-of-box versions.
Office suites are almost as old as the personal computer, and like the personal computer, they have evolved over the decades. Modern office suites can open and edit universal formats and directly connect to the Internet.
Two of the most popular office suites are free for everyone and work well with each other: LibreOffice and Google Drive. Both are compatible with almost every operating system.
LibreOffice was designed to work equally well on Windows, Mac, Linux distros, and several other operating systems. Google Drive can be interacted with most Web browsers. It officially supports FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Explorer, and Edge. Firefox and Chrome have versions for the previously mentioned operating systems.
User interfaces for office applications have evolved over the past few decades. Microsoft has transitioned its popular office applications from drop-down menus to a ribbon user interface. The Document Foundation, on the other hand, has added to LibreOffice’s toolbars and menus over the years.
This article will compare the two word processors: Word 2016 and Writer.The Mac and Windows versions of Word will be discussed separately because there are differences in their menus and ribbons. LibreOffice has the same menus and toolbars, regardless of the operating system it is installed on. Therefore, it can be presented in one section.
All three applications have similar user interfaces as the other applications in their suites. However, each word processor has unique menus and ribbons, so it is important to discuss each one individually.