This free Microsoft Workplace different has simply as many productiveness instruments (together with ChatGPT)

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The OnlyOffice Desktop Editors app will be put in and used at no cost on Linux, MacOS, and Home windows.
  • OnlyOffice Desktop Editors permits you to work with information both domestically or from a distant server, has a user-friendly interface, and contains all of the options you want.
  • OnlyOffice Desktop Editors is not fairly as versatile as LibreOffice and there is no approach to save between native and distant locations.

A couple of 12 months in the past, I selected to depart from the cloud for my fiction writing. Why? Two letters: AI. I did not need third events utilizing my work to coach their neural networks and Giant Language Fashions (LLMs). I thus returned to the old-school methodology of utilizing a historically put in utility for novel writing.

I wanted to select a brand new workplace suite. My first selection is at all times LibreOffice, as a result of it not solely does an excellent job with my manuscripts, but it surely’s additionally open-source and will be put in on Linux, MacOS, and Home windows. I have been utilizing LibreOffice since model 1 (and was utilizing StarOffice and OpenOffice earlier than that).

This doesn’t suggest, nonetheless, that I am not open to making an attempt one thing else.

Additionally: What’s Microsoft 365 (previously Workplace 365)? Every part it’s essential to know

Just a few years in the past, I used to be launched to OnlyOffice. I put in the server portion on Linux and used OnlyOffice through an online browser. The suite at all times labored very effectively, however the deployment of the server portion could possibly be a bit tough (particularly if you do not know your approach round Linux). I used that setup for a while, however finally gave it up when my server that hosted OnlyOffice died a sluggish and painful demise.

When OnlyOffice launched its Desktop Editors software, I assumed it was nothing greater than a shopper for the server. Shade me shocked after I found that the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors app may additionally work domestically. Not solely that, however you may join it to a cloud occasion (resembling an OnlyOffice server operating on your own home community). That is a particular sort of flexibility I may actually use.

So, I re-deployed an OnlyOffice server occasion, and put in the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors app on each Linux and MacOS, to see how effectively this app may function an area workplace suite with the choice of utilizing a server-based occasion that did not contain a third-party cloud host.

I used to be pleasantly shocked with the outcomes.

Additionally: 5 methods LibreOffice meets my writing wants higher than Google Docs can

OnlyOffice carried out much better than I used to be anticipating. I’d go so far as to say that OnlyOffice was LibreOffice’s equal on most accounts. For me, LibreOffice’s fundamental benefit over OnlyOffice is the power to make use of customized types (which is extraordinarily necessary whenever you’re writing a full-length novel each two months). For many customers, that is not likely a requirement, so it is pretty simple to say OnlyOffice may simply rival any conventional workplace suite.

What OnlyOffice provides

OnlyOffice has instruments for paperwork, spreadsheets, displays, and PDF varieties. The suite contains all the usual options, resembling collaboration instruments (feedback, observe adjustments, markup, examine and mix, and extra), spell test, doc safety (encryption and digital signatures), and templates. Formatting choices are pretty customary and you’ll insert photos, charts, shapes, good artwork, hyperlinks, headers & footers, date & time, textual content containers, equations, symbols, and extra.

OnlyOffice Desktop Editors additionally contains plugin assist. Out of the field, you will discover plugins for macros, a photograph editor, a translator, Zotero, a thesaurus, YouTube, OCR, and code highlighting. Within the plugin supervisor, you will discover a number of choices that even embody ChatGPT, Autocomplete, and LanguageTool.

Additionally: The right way to create a database with LibreOffice

The primary approach that I take a look at workplace suites is to open one among my manuscripts despatched to me from my writer, which incorporates all of the editor’s feedback. Earlier releases of LibreOffice struggled with these paperwork (coming to a crawl when lots of of feedback have been added to a doc). Since model 7.0, LibreOffice not has points with these manuscripts. Nonetheless, I’ve develop into cautious of opening my books in several workplace suites. Fortunately, opening an older novel (with first-round edit feedback) in OnlyOffice Desktop Editors assuaged that concern: the app dealt with the 60,000-word to 70,000-word paperwork with ease.

I’ve thus determined to provide OnlyOffice a go together with my present novel and have been fairly happy with the outcomes. I’ve even accomplished a little bit of copying/pasting between the domestically saved doc to a doc saved on my OnlyOffice server. (My fundamental suggestion to the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors builders is to allow mechanically saving an area file to a distant server, for a extra dependable backup choice).

ZDNET’s recommendation

If you happen to’re like me, and you have grown leery of relying on cloud-based options that could possibly be utilizing your work to coach AI, a domestically put in workplace suite is a should. If you happen to do not wish to pay for Microsoft Workplace, haven’t got a Mac (for Apple Pages), and are not a fan of the LibreOffice UI, this app is a perfect choice. You may work with information domestically or in your community (when you have the server element put in), take pleasure in a UI that is much like Microsoft Workplace, and belief that your paperwork are protected and the applying is dependable. 

If that sounds interesting, obtain OnlyOffice Desktop Editors to your working system.

I plan to maintain utilizing the free workplace suite for novel writing till the siren tune of LibreOffice overpowers me and I’ve to return to the open-source workplace suite.

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