The latest point release of Onlyoffice, a free Microsoft Office compatible suite, is here with several small improvements and better support for Asian and African writing systems.
Despite Microsoft’s seemingly unassailable hegemony, Office still has other rivals than Google Docs. There’s more than one free and open source productivity suite out there. Onlyoffice has some points for itself, and the new version 7.2 increases its attractiveness.
Onlyoffice 7 came out earlier this year and this is the second point release. This version has improved font support, particularly for handling ligatures – the combined characters made by joining two (or more) letters together. In English, that’s not a big deal; It is useful for some words of Latin origin, such as anesthesia. However, for some alphabets where most or all letters are connected, support is crucial, which means Onlyoffice 7.2 now has much better support for Bengali (বাংলা বর্ণমালা) and N’Ko (ালা), among others.
There is an improved specification of data entry fields in forms. Spreadsheets can be inserted into other documents as OLE objects, which means they stay live and can be edited and updated. The suite’s user interface can now be viewed in Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Basque, Malay and Armenian. There is also an updated plugin manager.
Not only does it have a dark mode, but now it has a dark contrast view. There are also other, smaller UI improvements around selecting, cutting, pasting, pasting content and linking charts to their source data range in spreadsheets. The navigation pane has been renamed Headings, and there are new options for sharing documents, listing co-authors, and more. In addition to the normal edit mode, there is also a comment and view mode, and the view mode can now show other contributors’ changes live in real time.
Native builds are available for free for Linux, Windows, and macOS, as well as mobile versions for Android and iOS, or view the AGPL 3.0 licensed source here.
canvas Element, Onlyoffice can also be run in a web browser. You can sign up for a demo online, and the company’s hosted version is free for up to five users. You can also host your own version, either directly on a Linux server, in Docker or in a cloud VM, and this edition can interact with files stored in NextCloud, OwnCloud, Confluence, SharePoint and various other online file storage solutions . In this mode, the suite competes with the cloud-based Collabora Online suite.
Therefore, its competitive position over the other free office suites is that Onlyoffice has a more modern ribbon-based interface and claims the best compatibility with Microsoft Office files. The modern interface and strong compatibility with Microsoft Office also apply to Kingsoft’s WPS Office – but while that’s free for personal use and even comes pre-installed in some Linux distributions like Ubuntu Kylin Pro, it’s not open source.
Onlyoffice developers pay for all of this through their commercial Docs Enterprise and Workspace offerings. Workspace adds significantly more functionality to the suite, including email, calendaring, customer relationship management, and project management.
Here further The registry FOSS Desk we actually prefer the old-fashioned menu-driven interface of LibreOffice and its kin, but if you prefer something that looks more like Office 365, and maybe has slightly better file compatibility with it, Onlyoffice is evolving strongly. ®
PS: Yes, we know it’s called ONLYOFFICE. But we didn’t feel like SHOUTING the whole ARTICLE TODAY.
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