4 Best Collaborative Office Suites in 2023
The increased role of electronic document workflows encourages companies from different industries to opt for reliable collaboration tools to open the door for real-time co-authoring among their employees. There is nothing surprising about the fact that many enterprises and individuals choose Microsoft Office Online and Google Docs for online document collaboration because these solutions have been familiar to everyone for years.
However, there are some other options that can help you to boost productivity in your team. In this guide, we have compiled a list of the 4 best collaborative office suites in 2023. The list includes both paid and free software tools, and some of them are designed for specific purposes.
Collaborative Office Software Benefits
Collaborative office software is essential in various industries. Let’s have a look at their main benefits:
- Increased productivity: When the members of a team work together on a document, a spreadsheet or a presentation in real time, they can exchange opinions and brainstorm ideas during the co-editing process. This way, they can make up the final version of the file within a shorter period of time, which leads to better performance.
- Flexibility: Collaborative office software allows several users to co-edit the same document from different devices. For example, you can even work from home or in a café as you don’t have to always sit at your desk in the office. Using a laptop or a tablet, you can collaborate with your colleagues at any place you like.
- Easy access. As real-time document collaboration takes place online, you just need to have a reliable Internet connection and a web browser. You can easily access your documents from any device that is compatible with the online office suite you use.
- Convenience. When editing a file in real time, you don’t have to click the Save button each time you finish typing a new sentence because all your edits are automatically saved in the cloud or on your local server. Moreover, if you accidentally delete something important, you can always restore any previous version of your document.
Here goes the list of the 4 best collaborative office suites in 2023:
1. ONLYOFFICE Docs
ONLYOFFICE Docs is a self-hosted office package that comes with collaborative editors and a PDF viewer. After its deployment on a local server or in the cloud, the suite is accessed via a web browser. ONLYOFFICE Docs has a free version and a scalable enterprise edition with a 30-day free trial.
Due to its native support of Microsoft’s OOXML formats, ONLYOFFICE Docs is compatible with Word documents (DOCX), Excel spreadsheets (XLSX) and PowerPoint presentations (PPTX) without any problems. The solution offers all the essential editing tools and collaborative features, such as Version history and control, Track Changes, comments, user tags and mentions as well as a chat for text messaging.
With ONLYOFFICE Docs, you are allowed to share documents, spreadsheets, presentations and fillable forms with various permission rights. For example, you can grant other users full access to your file or allow them to view, review or comment on it. Also, you can share digital forms with field-filling rights.
In ONLYOFFICE Docs, you can find two co-editing modes (Fast and Strict). In Fast mode, all your edits and all changes made by other co-authors are shown in real time. In Strict mode, all your edits are not visible until you click Save.
ONLYOFFICE Docs seamlessly integrates with various DMS solutions and sync&share platforms through connectors. Its integration options include Nextcloud, ownCloud, Confluence, Strapi, Seafile, WordPress, SharePoint, Nuxeo, Alfresco, Redmine, Plone, Jira, etc.
For offline work, you can download the ONLYOFFICE desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux that is available at no cost. If you are always on the run, ONLYOFFICE Docs offers free mobile apps for Android and iOS.
- Free – $0
- Enterprise – $1,500 (lifetime license)
CryptPad comprises a set of online applications and tools that make it possible to use this software as a more secure and privacy-oriented replacement for Google Docs. You are allowed to create and collaborate on text documents, spreadsheets and presentations, share fillable forms, Trello-style lists and whiteboards. Interestingly, CryptPad’s spreadsheet editor is built on top of ONLYOFFICE Docs.
The most unique feature of the CryptPad suite is that you don’t need to register or create an account to edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets online. However, registration is required if you want other users to be able to view the content of your files and collaborate on them in real time.
With CryptPad, you get a set of simple but reliable editing tools with a user interface that looks complex at first sight. However, you can learn the basic features in a few minutes.
When it comes to file-sharing, CryptPad allows you to share documents and other files with other users via an external link. You can even embed your content in a blog or a web page, which is not possible in Google Docs or other online office suites.
Also, CryptPad lets you reliably encrypt your documents. This feature makes sure that your documents remain safe from unauthorised access, and are only accessible via encryption keys.
- Guest – $0
- Registered – $0
- Premium – from $5/month
3. Fidus Writer
Fidus Writer is an online document editor that is designed for real-time collaboration in higher education and scientific research. This word processor is free and allows you to add and manage quotes and formulas in your academic papers without any special skills. With Fidus Writer, you can publish text documents in different formats on websites and turn them into e-books.
The main peculiarity of Fidus Writer is that it’s compatible with LaTeX, a document preparation system. That’s why you can easily create technical and scientific documentation with notes, quotes, formulas and mathematical equations, and convert your texts to PDF.
Fidus Writer offers a minimalistic user interface and a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) with a set of standard styling and editing options. There are also some academic formatting features, such as an insertion tool for quotes, formulas, images, etc.
Fidus Writer is equipped with various collaboration features. For example, you can send invitations to your colleagues and give them different access rights. Moreover, Fidus Writer saves all previous versions of your document allowing you to restore any of them if necessary. Commenting is possible, too.
The only problem with Fidus Writer is that you can’t edit spreadsheets and presentations. However, if you write academic papers, it’s one of the best tools you can find on the Internet.
- Free – $0
4. Zoho Docs
Zoho Docs is another online office suite that comes with collaborative tools for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. With Zoho Docs, you can edit and keep your documents in the cloud as well as upload other files to your personal cloud storage. For example, audio and video files, images, etc.
Zoho Docs is equipped with a simple file management system that allows you to create folders and subfolders for your documents, and organize all your files by teams, file types and authors. You can also create team groups to share content with other users in a private manner.
In terms of real-time document collaboration, Zoho Docs allows its users to share files using various access rights, use passwords to protect confidential files while sharing them and establish a period of time after which nobody can access the document. Zoho Docs also makes it possible to exchange text messages in real-time to make the collaboration process easier and more productive.
The Zoho project also has a desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux that allows you to work on your PC or laptop while being offline. At the same time, all your edits will be synchronised across all devices.
- Starter – €2,50 user/month
- Team – €4,50 user/month
- Business – €9 user/month
As you can see, online document collaboration is not possible without the right software tools. You don’t have to rely on Google Docs only to be able to collaborate in real time. There are some reliable alternative solutions that stick to different approaches to real-time document co-authoring.