Ribbons and Tabs Give OnlyOffice Suite a Fresh Look | Reviews
By Jack M. Germain
Jul 10, 2018 nine:56 AM PT
Ascensio System SIA not too long ago launched its loose place of work suite improve —
OnlyOffice Desktop Editors — with a ribbon and tab interface plus a large number of up to date options. The refresh makes model five.1 a doable choice to Web variations of the Microsoft Office suite and Google Docs for Linux customers.
The three-module set of OnlyOffice Desktop Editors has an outstanding choice of equipment aimed at person shoppers and small places of work. It supplies most of the conveniences to be had when the use of MS Word or Google G-Suite apps.
However, the true place of job advantages of participating on information thru cloud garage come at an add-on price as soon as the free-trial duration ends. Still, the core capability — phrase processor, spreadsheet and slide displays — stays loose and installs in the community as standalone apps in Linux distributions that use .DEB, .RPM and Snap instrument applications.
The OnlyOffice Desktop Editors have a new tabbed and ribbon-style interface with a large number of up to date options.
The utterly reorganized interface of the loose model of OnlyOffice now suits that of the OnlyOffice industrial on-line suite. Its different advantages come with a near-seamless connection to the Web-based OnlyOffice packages for collaboration equipment that come with two co-editing modes (speedy and strict), commenting, integrated chat, monitoring adjustments and model historical past. (But extra in a while how seamless isn’t at all times all that it sort of feels.)
The loose and the industrial variations of OnlyOffice on Linux be offering a commonplace look and equipment arranged into tabs by way of their functions: File, Home, Insert, Layout, References, Collaboration and Plugins. OnlyOffice additionally provides customers the power to increase the totally useful place of work suite with ready-to-use add-ons akin to macros, WordPress, Translator and YouTube.
Whether the mostly-free options will win out over the paid add-on collaboration equipment is dependent only for your workflow. I exploit the Google Doc apps handiest every so often, having discovered over time that the open supply LibreOffice has met or exceeded my private and skilled place of work suite wishes. I even run LibreOffice on my Windows laptop as an alternative of MS Office.
So for the aim of this evaluate, I used my hands-on familiarity with LibreOffice, MS Word and Google Docs as a baseline for comparisons. In maximum classes, OnlyOffice confirmed it used to be as much as the duty.
OnlyOffice is a loose open supply place of work suite this is well-tuned, and it reads and writes Microsoft Office report codecs reliably. It additionally helps different mainstream report codecs, making it a excellent contender on your laptop’s onerous pressure.
LibreOffice builders were gradual to supply a ribbon-style consumer interface. So, this is a great new characteristic in OnlyOffice, even if it takes some being used to. Having open paperwork in tabs is a nice design this is very helpful.
OnlyOffice Desktop Editors use OOXML as a local layout. The developer claims this gives higher beef up for MS Office codecs than some other place of work suite, permitting customers to paintings with all well-liked codecs: DOC, DOCX, ODT, RTF, TXT, PDF, HTML, EPUB, XPS, DjVu, XLS, XLSX, ODS, CSV, PPT, PPTX, ODP.
This wide selection of report codecs is a excellent combine for customers who’ve to replace a number of report varieties created by way of lots of the well-liked textual content and graphics introduction packages. This skill is very important for the use of open supply instrument for sure paintings duties. While I’ve a few gripes about different sides of OnlyOffice, report interoperability isn’t one in all them.
Modern Interface Options
One of the most important consumer options that units OnlyOffice except for different place of work suites is the tabbed interface. It brings the similar comfort of transferring amongst open paperwork that tabbed pages convey to browsing in a Web browser.
Writing and researching require that I leap round a number of internet sites continuously. I typically use Geany IDE or gEdit textual content editors to take notes or write in a couple of information when file formatting isn’t required. Those two textual content editors use tabs for open paperwork.
So I will use OnlyOffice as an all-in-one textual content editor and phrase processor. OpenOffice provides me integrated get entry to to spreadsheets and slide presentations the use of the similar interface and different options. LibreOffice and different place of work suites for Linux — even MS Office on line — don’t be offering a tabbed interface. So pairing tabs for open paperwork with a ribbon genre interface is a nice productiveness mixture.
Work within the Cloud
I frequently paintings with a couple of computer systems in different place of work places. Cloud garage is extra than simply a comfort for my paintings drift. It is a necessity. My number one cloud garage answer has been Dropbox, which has great integration with different Linux distros that I exploit.
OnlyOffice blends get entry to to its personal on-line garage and its on-line place of work provider from the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors. That cloud get entry to and the provision of collaboration equipment, even with an add-on worth — give me that very same stage of flexibleness.
The OnlyAccess cloud server is very similar to Google Docs with its computerized garage on Google Drive. When you put in OnlyOffice Desktop Editors, you are also brought about to arrange a loose account at the OnlyOffice cloud provider related to its standalone desktop place of work suite.
OnlyOffice Desktop Editors provide you with cast efficiency and a number of causes to modify out of your recent Linux place of work instrument — however it’s not a highest answer but. This software has a number of quirks.
The spell test characteristic is lively by way of default. You shouldn’t have so as to add the rest. However, you’ll be able to no longer upload phrases to a private dictionary. Your handiest possibility is to forget about phrases flagged as mistakes.
OnlyOffice is lacking two essential elements for any place of work instrument suite. It has no glossary or possibility so as to add one. Ditto for a grammar-checking characteristic.
Another large weak point in OnlyOffice Desktop Editors is the absence of vital settings to personalize or adapt it in your consumer personal tastes. There are not any application-wide consumer choice settings. In an open report, alternatively, underneath the File/Advanced Settings menu, is a skimpy test record for terribly minimum consumer choices for that report. There is not anything “advanced” about those settings possible choices.
In OnlyOffice no application-wide settings exist, however you’ll be able to make slight changes to default settings in an open report the use of the File/Advanced Settings menu.
More Feature Flameouts
Each of those characteristic missteps could be minor to a few customers. However, common skilled customers will be afflicted by OnlyOffice’s shortcomings:
- You can auto recuperate a report, however you can not set an auto save period;
- There isn’t any save all possibility; if a couple of file tabs are open, each and every will have to be stored manually;
- You can’t regulate the device bar or create particular fast get entry to icons. You will have to click on during the ribbon classes;
- There isn’t any skill to get a phrase depend of highlighted textual content;
- You can conceal/unhide the toolbar, however you’ll be able to’t configure it — handiest a save icon, a print icon, and undo/redo arrows are to be had.
Two extra bothersome quirks contain report conversion and spell checker system faults. I opened an MS Word file that had massive bullets within the textual content. OnlyOffice changed the bullets with small query marks in a field.
The spell checker didn’t at all times substitute the chosen correction from the choices record. I needed to redo the spell test correction a number of instances for it to switch the typos.
Usage Fail Issues
I did uncover one probably severe flaw within the another way spectacular skill of the OnlyOffice Desk Editors to learn and write such a lot of report codecs. The seamless capability the developer touts can have boundaries. If you save your paperwork handiest to a onerous pressure or the OnlyOffice cloud, the method works somewhat properly.
However, two quirks in the way in which OnlyOffice manages paperwork might pressure you to broaden workarounds for the way in which *you* paintings. One, the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors insist on changing report codecs from older to most-current variations. Two, it sort of feels to have its personal thoughts about the place it puts the report.
It took me a whilst to determine what used to be taking place. I might open an present report created with some other place of work software. After modifying the report, I might click on the Save File icon. A Save File As discussion field would seem at the display screen. At first, I did not pay shut consideration to its content material. I simply clicked the OK button and closed the appliance.
In next paintings periods, I might open the report to renew modifying by way of clicking at the report identify in File Manager or from the hot information record inside of OnlyOffice. The report that loaded used to be no longer the remaining report stored. The content material I added or edited used to be lacking. This came about frequently if I used a other workstation or cellular software to get entry to the report.
Remember what I stated previous about my cloud garage setup? Each of my computer systems has a Dropbox folder with subfolders. These right away sync with my grasp information saved within the Dropbox cloud. The key to this report control procedure is having the similar folder and subfolder tree on each and every software and within the cloud garage device.
This used to be a primary usability factor for me. When I clicked the Save File Button in OnlyOffice, the Save As discussion field displayed two issues that led to the issue.
One used to be the report location. It didn’t stay the trail location of the opened report. It at all times defaulted to the primary folder location, no longer the designated subfolder.
Two, OnlyOffice converts the present report sort when a file is first opened to a other report sort. This is a drawback with information created in some other place of work software that have been stored in an older layout model. If you create a new report, on first saving you choose the report sort. However, OnlyOffice makes use of the newest report model for brand spanking new report creations.
For instance, once I first started checking out OnlyOffice, I created a new report to put in writing my observations and first draft of this evaluate. I then used OnlyOffice to proceed paintings initiatives on present information. That is once I spotted the content material used to be other.
Why Stuff Happens
OnlyOffice has a menu way to open native information. There isn’t any auto save characteristic, so the primary save pops up the Save As discussion field. It defaults to username/paperwork/filename and provides the newest report layout. Older layout choices aren’t to be had. Therein lies the issue for dependable report interoperability.
For instance, I opened a paintings file stored as “ARTICLE1.DOC” created in MS Word saved within the /Dropbox/paperwork/Freelance/Client A subdirectory. OnlyOffice stored the report as “ARTICLE1.DOCX” within the /Dropbox/Documents listing.
When I believed I used to be resuming paintings on that report in a next modifying consultation, the hot paperwork record within the menu loaded an previous report with out the newest adjustments in it. The similar fallacious report loaded when accessed from my different units.
A identical situation took place once I loaded a spreadsheet report in OnlyOffice created with LibreOffice Calc. OnlyOffice stored the unique “SPREADSHEET2.xls”
as “SPREADSHEET2.xlxs” within the /Dropbox/paperwork/ listing.
Another usability factor comes to default software standing. OnlyOffice routinely appoints itself the default software after set up. In order to prevent this default standing, right-click on a report identify in File Manager and make a selection the report because the default software for that form of report. Some Linux distros provide you with that possibility within the Preferences panel additionally.
Give It a Spin
Unlike maximum place of work suite packages, OnlyOffice has a unmarried launcher. It has no separate launchers for phrase processor, spreadsheet and slide presentation module. You click on at the unmarried menu merchandise and the appliance opens to a report supervisor sort web page.
OnlyOffice does no longer have separate launchers for phrase processor, spreadsheet and slide presentation modules. You click on at the unmarried menu merchandise and the appliance opens to a report supervisor web page. From there you create a new report or open an present file by way of clicking at the report identify.
In the left column are buttons to create a new report for each and every of the 3 modules. On the bigger correct facet of the display screen is a listing view in accordance with which possibility you choose within the left column.
Under the ones choices are buttons to show a record of new information at the greater correct column or open native information saved at the laptop. Three different buttons allow you to join a loose trial duration of collaboration options. The choices are Share and Collaborate, view model histories, and collaborative evaluate.
The OnlyOffice Desktop Editors unencumber is to be had for Linux, Windows and Mac OS. The supply code is to be had on GitHub launched underneath the AGPL v.three license.
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Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His primary spaces of center of attention are undertaking IT, Linux and open supply applied sciences. He has written a large number of critiques of Linux distros and different open supply instrument.