Collaborative online office solutions

Many Cooks


Google Docs can handle various file formats. In addition to RTF, these include ODT and DOCX for word processing, XLSX and ODS for spreadsheets, and PPTX and ODP for presentations. Docs also supports PDF files, and users can also save individual slides of a presentation as JPG, BMP, or PNG images.

The formats can be imported and exported. In some cases, however, this requires manual reworking of the document, because Google Docs, like other office packages, does not support all attributes of the third-party formats.

Because the suite stores all the data in the Google Cloud, users need to store files to be imported in the cloud using the File | Open | Upload menu. To download a file in progress in a specific format to a local workstation, access the File | Download dialog. Then select the desired target format and destination in a selection box.


Google Docs also offers users a version history, which is available in all modules in the File | Version History menu. In this submenu, you can save the current version of the document, to which you then assign a meaningful version name in an overlapping window.

To access the version history, select the View version history option. On the right side of the window, a tabular column shows the saved versions of the document. Then select an entry from this list. Google Docs displays the corresponding version on the left side of the browser window and visually highlights changes to the document compared to the previous version. In this way, users can see at a glance what changes have been made.


Onlyoffice [5], developed by Latvia's Ascensio System SIA, is an extremely flexible office package that adapts to almost any requirement profile. The Onlyoffice Online Editors variant runs both on on-premise servers in the enterprise and in a cloud environment as part of a third-party-hosted SaaS solution. There are also integrations with traditional cloud storage systems, such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Pydio, and Seafile, as well as with LMS systems, such as Moodle, or various content and process management platforms, such as Alfresco, Plone, or Agorum.

Onlyoffice Online Editors run in the web browser; a native client is not required. This makes the software ideally suited for heterogeneous infrastructures with clients running different operating systems.

In the form of Onlyoffice Desktop Editors [6], the package also offers a competitor to the conventional locally installed office suites. It shares a uniform interface with the browser-based online package and can also be connected to on-premise servers. Thus, users receive a similar range of functions in the locally installed version to that of the browser-based version.

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