Tools for collaborative office work

Desktop Editors

The installable OnlyOffice Desktop Editors [7] version is a useful alternative, especially where users are not allowed to work with online editors. The suite offers a very similar interface to the online editors, which minimizes the training overhead.

Like their online counterparts, the Desktop Editors contain a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation program. The individual modules also contain a Collaboration tab. A cloud connection can be established from the start window, with options for Nextcloud, ownCloud, and the OnlyOffice cloud.

This variety of connections enables an exchange of data and collaborative work even with the locally installed version; ideally you would be hosting the Nextcloud and ownCloud environments on-premises. The desktop version offers the same plugin-based convenience features as the online editors.

Unlike the online versions, the installed solution supports encryption of documents. This option is available in all three modules and lets you create a password that is required to open the document.


Collabora and OnlyOffice have many functions that will support collaborative work and do not pose users any problems for standard correspondence, conventional body text, and even more demanding documents with embedded graphics and images. Provided that the correct fonts are available, documents can also largely be converted without any problems. The back ends are similar. Both support the common cloud platforms as well as groupware packages, in which they can be integrated as additional applications if required.

The differences are in the details. While Collabora draws on LibreOffice's enormous feature set, OnlyOffice focuses more strongly on efficient editing of office documents and therefore offers a number of less common functions. Both packages are very flexible when it comes to platform independence ranging from in-house desktop apps, through cloud-based web applications, to desktop editors and apps for mobile devices.


  1. Collabora Productivity:
  2. Collabora Office pricing models:
  3. EGroupware:
  4. Integration of Collabora in EGroupware:
  5. OnlyOffice:
  6. Overview of OnlyOffice online editors:
  7. OnlyOffice Desktop Editors:

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