Top 11 Online Office suites

Online Office suites provide tools for productivity and collaboration for office workers. Primarily they contain document editors, spreadsheets, presentations, email, calendars, contact and task management tools.
Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office 365) is commercial software plus services offering a set of products from Microsoft. Designed to help you achieve more with innovative Office apps, intelligent cloud services, and world-class security. The free online MS Office document editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are available in OneDrive.
Get business email, video conferencing, and cloud storage from Google. All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet. The free G Suite version, including online document editors (Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets) is available in Google Drive.
The Zoho Office Suite is an alternative Web-based online office suite containing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, invoicing and other applications. Zoho helps you get more sales, get paid, support your customers and make your business more productive.
LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. The online and mobile version (for Android and iPad) are coming soon
ONLYOFFICE is a cloud business service that enables you to manage projects, customer relations and documents in one place. In other words, you don't need to switch back and forth between multiple applications to perform different tasks. Here you obtain a single multi-featured system to organize every step of your work improving your productivity and optimizing efforts for success.
Polaris Office is a free office application to view, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents anytime, anywhere on your mobile device or computer. Diverse solutions and innovative features to improve your work environment along with support for all features of an office suite.
iWork has always been the best way to be productive on the Mac. And iWork for iOS made it easy to create beautiful documents on iPad and iPhone. With iWork for iCloud we’re bringing Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to the web — on Mac and PC. And thanks to iCloud, your work is always up to date on all your devices. It’s easy to work with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. iWork alternative for PC is Office 365.
Chinese Office #1. Cross-platform Office Suite available on all mainstream operating systems. Cloud version for document sharing and co-edit.
Compatible with other major office suites, Apache OpenOffice is free to download, use, and distribute. Writer a word processor you can use for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book. Calc a powerful spreadsheet with all the tools you need to calculate, analyze, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics. Impress the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations.
ThinkFree Office is an office suite written in Java that runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Android platforms. ThinkFree Office includes a word processor (Write), a spreadsheet (Calc), a presentation program (Show), and a WYSIWYG HTML and blog editor (Note). ThinkFree Office reads and writes to Microsoft Office file formats (.doc, .xls, and .ppt). ThinkFree Office has a look and feel similar to the prevalent Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, providing a degree of familiarity to users of those applications.
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Speed business processes and let employees work anywhere with all-new Adobe Acrobat DC products and Adobe Document Cloud. Your business is built on documents. With Adobe Document Cloud, you can transform disjointed document processes into smart, all-digital experiences and speed transactions end-to-end.

Latest news about Online Office suites

2020. Google rebrands G Suite as Google Workspace

Google Workspace is a new name for all of Google's productivity apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Meet. According to the company, Google Workspace isn't just a new brand identity (even though that's a big part of it), but it will also offer a deeper integration between individual apps, helping "teams collaborate more effectively, frontline workers stay connected, and businesses power new digital customer experiences." Some of these integrations have already happened — remember when Google put Meet into Gmail — but more are coming soon.

2020. New and improved Zoho Workplace adds Dashboard view

Zoho unveiled revamped Workplace, a comprehensive suite of productivity, communication, and collaboration tools. Workplace moves beyond offering just a suite of apps; it’s a completely unified and integrated workspace that integrates well with other business applications, providing context and ensuring continuity. The new icing on top of the integrated Zoho Workplace is the Dashboard view. It sorts and lays out recent and most important work items for you—such as your recent emails, calendar schedules, urgent documents, reminders, and more. Workplace not only simplifies switching between apps, but also maintains context when you do, giving you a smooth transition from one app to the other. For example, an email attachment received in Mail can be edited with Writer, and uploaded to WorkDrive, while the email thread can be carried over to Cliq as a group conversation, an event can be created from this conversation, and a meeting can be launched from the event’s calendar entry.

2020. Microsoft brings transcriptions to Word

Microsoft launched Transcribe in Word, its new transcription service for Microsoft 365 subscribers. It’s now available in the online version of Word, with other platforms launching later. In addition, Word is also getting new dictation features, which now allow you to use your voice to format and edit your text, for example. The new feature lets you transcribe speech, both live and pre-recorded, and then edit those transcripts right inside of Word. With this, the company goes head-to-head with startups like Otter and Google’s Recorder app, though they all have their own pros and cons. For now Transcribe in Word is English only and available only in paid Microsoft 365 accounts.

2020. Google updates G Suite for mobile with dark mode support, Smart Compose for Docs and more

Google has released a major update to its mobile G Suite productivity apps. Among these updates are the addition of a dark theme for Docs, Sheets and Slides, as well as the addition of Google’s Smart Compose technology to Docs on mobile and the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents without having to covert them. Other updates include a new vertically scrollable slide-viewing experience in Slides, link previews and a new user interface for comments and action items. You can now also respond to comments on your documents directly from Gmail. Instead of receiving individual email notifications when you’re mentioned in a comment in Docs, Sheets, or Slides, you’ll now see an up-to-date comment thread in Gmail, and you’ll be able to reply or resolve the comment, directly within the message

2020. All new Zoho Writer adds collaboration analytics and templates flow

Zoho has introduced the new version of its online text processor Zoho Writer 6 with a new collaboration analytics tool called Engagement Insights. This brings you a great set of comprehensive, useful information about how your collaborators are interacting with your document. When working with legal documents like proposals, this gives you an idea what sections your clients tend to consider the most crucial (or the most confusing). Another area where new Writer could make a huge difference is in minimizing the amount of copy/pasting, manual editing, and duplication of content involved in generating contracts, proposals, letters, and customized marketing materials. It's implemented via a new Prepare Template flow that you can use to configure document templates for workflow automation, and later connect it to a data source—like Zoho CRM or a third-party application—via native Zoho integrations, Deluge Custom Functions, or REST APIs.

2020. Microsoft rebrands Office 365 to Microsoft 365

Microsoft marketers apparently had nothing to do on quarantine and they decided to rename Office 365 to Microsoft 365. Starting April 21, all Office subscriptions will turn to Microsoft 365 subscriptions. But the pricing and functionality will remain the same. Changes the functionality will affect only personal plans - the personal version of Microsoft Teams will appear in them. This is a good opportunity for private entrepreneurs that use the personal version to collaborate with employees or other entrepreneurs. In future, Microsoft plans to justify the rebranding by adding non-office services, such as security systems, and, possibly, Windows operating system.

2020. Microsoft launches unified Office app for iOS and Android

Microsoft launched a new version of its Office app for Android and iOS, combining Word, Excel and PowerPoint into a single application. Some of the advantages of this unified approach include, according to Microsoft, a simplified user experience and less phone storage used (compared to installing three separate apps). The app also brings new functionality such as the ability to convert images into editable Word and Excel documents, PDF scanning, making quick notes, scanning QR codes and transferring files between devices. A minor but (to some) important detail: The iOS app supports dark mode, meaning it will be displayed in a darker color scheme to match the rest of the OS when dark mode is set to on.

2019. Microsoft merges mobile Word, Excel and PowerPoint into single Office app

Microsoft introduced Office app that provides a simple, integrated experience and combines existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps. Doing so brings all of your Office documents together in one place, reduces the need to switch between multiple apps, and significantly reduces the amount of space used on your phone compared to multiple installed apps. Besides, with the new app you can easily get to recent and recommended documents stored in the cloud or on your device, or search for documents across your organization if using a work account, snap a picture of a document and turn it into an editable Word file with the press of a button, transform a picture of a table into an Excel spreadsheet so you can work with the data, create automatically enhanced digital images of whiteboards and documents with Office Lens features integrated into the app.

2019. Google Docs now lets natively edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Until now to edit Microsoft Office files in Google Docs you had to convert them to Google’s format. That’s about to change: Google just announced that it’s adding native support for Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats — like .docx, .xls, and .ppt — which will let you do real-time collaboration in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The feature is already available in the commercial versions of those apps and is coming to regular users too, as soon as this month.

2019. Google launches new security tools for G Suite users

Google today launched a number of security updates to its online productivity and collaboration platform G Suite. The focus of these updates is on protecting a company’s data inside G Suite, both through controlling who can access it and through providing new tools for prevening phishing and malware attacks. To do this, Google introduced advanced phishing and malware protection, for example. This is meant to help admins protect users from malicious attachment and inbound email spoofing, among other things. The most interesting feature here, though, is the new security sandbox, another beta feature for G Suite enterprise users. The sandbox allows admins to add an extra layer of protection on top of the standard attachment scans for known viruses and malware. Those existing tools can’t fully protect you against zero-day ransomware or sophisticated malware, though. So instead of just letting you open the attachment, this tool executes the attachment in a sandbox environment to check if there are any security issues.

2019. ONLYOFFICE gets media player, upgraded mail and calendar

The new version of ONLYOFFICE is released with lots of enhancements: more security tools, new access rights to documents, completely upgraded mail and calendar, and other features. Now you can protect log-in procedure with two-factor authentication via an authenticator app, share documents letting users view and add comments, or insert data into the chosen fields only. The new integrated multi-format media player allows to play audio and video files directly in the cloud. Other improvements include completely upgraded Mail module, smarter Projects module, redesigned Calendar, optimized portal management

2019. Microsoft added table OCR to mobile Excel

Microsoft has added a new feature to the mobile Excel application that allows users to take a picture of the printed table and convert it into an Excel spreadsheet with editing capabilities. While the feature is only available for Android, but it will also come iOS soon. The feature is available only for Office 365 users. Of course, this feature is intended for simple tables. Complicated tables with merged cells are recognized with errors.

2019. Google Docs gets an API for task automation

Google opened a new API for Google Docs that will allow developers to automate many of the tasks that users typically do manually in the company’s online office suite. The REST API was designed to help developers build workflow automation services for their users, build content management services and create documents in bulk. Using the API, developers can also set up processes that manipulate documents after the fact to update them, and the API also features the ability to insert, delete, move, merge and format text, insert inline images and work with lists, among other things.

2019. Google raises G Suite prices

Google announced that it is raising the price of its online office suite G Suite. The prices of G Suite Basic and G Suite Business editions will increase by $1 and $2 per user/month, respectively. The new pricing will go into effect on April 2; those on annual plans will pay the new price when their contract renews after that date. This is the first time Google has raised the price of its G Suite subscriptions. The company argues that it has added plenty of new services — like video conferencing with Hangouts Meet, team messaging with Hangouts Chat, increased storage quotas and other security and productivity tools and services — to the platform since it first launched its paid service with its core productivity tools back in 2006.

2018. G Suite makes it easier for people without Google accounts to collaborate on documents

Soon it will be easier for people without Google accounts to collaborate on G Suite documents. Currently in beta, a new feature will enable G Suite users to invite people without G Suite subscriptions or Google accounts to work on files by sending them a pin code. Using the pin code to gain access allows invitees to view, comment on, suggest edits to or directly edit Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. The owners and admins of the G Suite files monitor usage through activity logs and can revoke access at any time. According to the feature’s support article, admins are able to set permissions by department or domain. They also can restrict sharing outside of white-listed G Suite domains or their own organization.

2018. Microsoft launches Office 2019 for Windows, macOS

Office 2019 is the next on-premises version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher. In PowerPoint 2019, you can create cinematic presentations with new features like Morph and Zoom. And improved inking features across the apps in Windows—like the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects—allow you to naturally create documents. Excel 2019 adds powerful new data analysis features, including new formulas and charts and enhancements to PowerPivot. Word 2019 and Outlook 2019 help you focus on what matters most. Learning Tools, like Read Aloud and Text Spacing, make it easier to engage with your content. Focus Mode blocks out distractions and puts your content front and center. And Focused Inbox moves less important emails out of the way.

2018. Microsoft removes device limits for consumer Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft will soon drop the device limit on its consumer-grade Office 365 subscriptions and increase the number of users allowed under a single Office 365 Home plan, the company announced today. Starting October 2, subscribers can install Office on an unlimited number of devices. Under current rules, Office 365 Home, which costs $100 per year, allows for installation of the suite's applications — Word, Outlook, Excel and the rest — on only 10 devices, or an allowance of two devices for each of the five users who can shelter under the umbrella of a single subscription. Meanwhile, Office 365 Personal — a $70 annual plan with rights for just one individual — capped the device count at two total.

2018. Zoho gets virtual assistant and analytics upgrades

Zoho has unveiled a range of updates to Zoho One, its all-in-one cloud app suite, with new analytics capabilities and access to its Zia AI assistant. Zia was initially available within Zoho’s CRM tool, offering suggestions to sales reps based on customer data. It will now be extended across all Zoho One apps, offering contextual information from a variety of sources. For instance, Zia can pull data from Zoho CRM and service desk tool Zoho Desk to inform users of how many customers in the sales pipeline have an open support ticket. Customers will be able to ask Zia things that cross a number of apps, and get a response back that may have come from Zia working behind the scenes with multiple Zoho One apps to get the answer.

2018. Zoho opened a platform for developers

Zoho unveiled Zoho Office Platform - a brand new way to integrate, connect, and build solutions over Zoho's world class office editors. It provides a set of simple, easy to integrate APIs to give your apps a built-in document editor. Create, open, and edit documents right from your web app. This is especially helpful for businesses that are building a web application but still need fully-featured office editors to handle document management in-app. You can connect your apps to the Zoho Office Suite using our Open APIs. This will let your app users create, open, edit, convert, publish, and manage Zoho Office documents right from your app. Take a look at our detailed Sheet and Writer API docs to get started.

2018. Online Word and Online Excel: advantages and disadvantages

Word processors and spreadsheets are an integral part of any office infrastructure. Projects, contracts, analytical reports, commercial proposals, legal and marketing literature, bills - all these vital documents are created, viewed and edited in the above mentioned programs. Desktop applications - Microsoft Word and Excel – for a long time were almost monopolists in this space. Their own proprietary document formats (.doc and .xls) have become the de facto industry standards. And when companies exchanged documents, they should send documents and spreadsheets only in these formats. Therefore, even the open and free office suites such as OpenOffice, had very little chance to compete with Word and Excel even if they provided the similar functionality. But in recent years, the new generation of online office applications appeared. They provide completely new opportunities for working with documents and that’s why they succeed in breaking the monopoly of Word and Excel. Though they are less functional, but their powerful collaborative features and mobile access to the documents - allowing them to occupy their niche and entice Microsoft Word and Excel users. Let's consider the pros and cons of the online Word and Excel alternatives. Collaborative document editing Conventional collaboration process on a Word or Excel document previously assumed that someone creates a document and then sends it by e-mail to co-workers. They make edits, add comments and send back the revised documents. Then the author must somehow combine all these changes into one file and send back for approval. And so on. In result you loosing a lot of time for routine work, and your inbox if filled by different versions of the same document. Online editors allow you to store a document in the cloud and share access to it with all co-workers. They can make corrections and add comments into a single document without having to send it back and forth. The collaborative editing is going much faster. Some online editors even allow several users to edit a single document at once - in real time. You can see who is currently working on a document and what paragraph (in a text document) or cell (in a spreadsheet) he is editing right now. You can also communicate with co-editors in online chat or video chat, discussing the document. If you want to share a document with someone outside your company (customer or partner) to get his feedback - you can provide him with view-only access only for comments, but not for editing. And then you won’t have to check whether the customer changed something in the contract or not. Mobile access to documents Of course, it’s much easier access documents stored in the cloud than document stored on an office desktop from mobile devices. Of course, if your mobile device is connected to the Internet. That is the first reason of why the emergence of online editors significantly pushed forward the mobile document editing. The second reason was that the online editors didn’t require powerful computing resources to work with documents. Because most operations with a document are executed by the cloud server and the computer gets only the resulting data. And in mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) the computing resource is a weak point. That is why the online editors, working in mobile browsers, have become a godsend for mobile world. Imagine that you can work with Word or Excel on your tablet on the road with virtually no loss in functionality and the interface speed. All this has become possible thanks to the online editors. Other advantages of the online editors When your documents are stored in the cloud and the document editing programs also work in the cloud - you become totally independent of your location and computer equipment, available right now. You can start working on the document on the office desktop, continue it at home on your laptop and finish on the beach with your smartphone. In addition, because now not only document editors but also many others business applications that operate with documents (e-mail, content management systems, project management software...) are also working in the cloud, it’s inconvenient to upload / download document to them al the time. Online office editors allow you to create documents in the cloud, view them in the cloud and edit them in the cloud without having to upload / download them. For example, when you receive an email with attached Word document to your online mailbox - you can click on it and in a moment view right in your browser. Another advantage of online office editors – is that usually they are free. Disadvantages of online office editors Online document editor have all the same disadvantages as any online application. The most obvious disadvantage is that they don’t work without the Internet connection. It certainly could be a problem in some remote regions, but generally in any city (since appearance of wireless 3G/4G providers) any user has 1-2 backup channels for the Internet access. Besides, some online editors already provide the ability to store documents offline via using HTML5 technology or installing proprietary browser plug-ins. The second drawback is the extension of the first one – low interface speed at a low internet connection speed. It was a big problem several years ago. But today's broadband internet channels in most cases eliminate this drawback. Another classic lack of the online applications – is that your data is stored on a third-party provider’s server. This is still a blocking factor for security-obsessed companies. But in-fact the commercial data leaks because of the company employees and not because of the cloud providers. In addition, using of data encryption technologies (SLL) for transferring and storing documents significantly increases the security level of online services. Lack of # 4 - loss of functionality. Indeed, the online editors don’t offer even 50% of all the features available in desktop Word and Excel. But you probably won’t be surprised to know that the average office worker uses 10-15% of all functions in these programs. So in most cases, online editors functionality - is enough. But the real problem with the online office editors - is not ideal support for industry formats: .doc and .xls. Because they are proprietary and closed, the third-party providers can not perfectly restore the document formatting from them. Simple documents usually are restored fine, but some complex elements (tables, positioned pictures, etc.) – can be distorted. At least it occurs when opening a document for editing. When you view Word and Excel documents online editors – they are displayed perfectly. But the problem is not only in a proprietary format. Online editors simply don’t support some complex elements – tables, formulas, diagrams. Even when you upload a document to Microsoft’s online editors - Office Web Apps sometimes the formatting of complex objects is lost. Online Word and Excel via virtual dektop Web applications - is not the only way to edit documents online. The virtualization and terminal access technologies also provide an opportunity to work on Word and Excel files remotely in an ordinary browser. At that the Word and Excel documents are physically located and processes on a cloud server and you only receive the resulting picture to your screen. Obvious advantages of this approach is that you will not lose any functionality in Word and Excel are won’t have any problems with formats compatibility. But the cost of such solutions can’t compete with online services, as they are more complicated and don’t eliminate the need for licensing Word and Excel. Typically, ISPs that provides Word and Excel as components of a virtual desktop doesn’t require to purchase the licenses, but charge a monthly fee for their use. Another disadvantage is the higher requirement for Internet connection speed (because you actually receiving the online video broadcast) and the need to install / support the virtualization client on your computer. Online document viewers In those cases where you do not need to edit Word or Excel document, but just need to view it, or publish it, or show it to your customers and partners and get their comments,- you can instead of the online office suites use a special service for online document viewing and publishin. For example, Scribd, SlideShare or DocStoc. These services doesn’t allow document editing but they doing a really good job for displaying documents online. First, they almost instantly display even very heavy document (thank to using document broadcasting technologies – similar to video broadcasting on YouTube). Second, they are very handy for zooming, scrolling and searching in the document. These services allow you to embed a document to any web page (by inserting the small code). They provide various options for the document protection and access control. History The first version of Word has been released by Microsoft in 1983 and the first version of Excel - in 1985. After more than twenty years (in 2006) the online alternatives became emerging. One of the first online office was ThinkFree, that used (and still uses) Java runtime technology. At the moment, ThinkFree is a service for document publication, rather than an online office suite. Then came Zoho Office. It is still the most functional suite of online document editors. Like most of today's online applications, Zoho editors are built on the open standards HTML, Javascript, Ajax. But the online document editors became really popular after the appearance of Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets ( in later 2006). That were Google’s services that forced Microsoft to think about implementing online technologies, and in 2010 Microsoft launched the online versions of Word and Excel in the Office Online suite.