Google docs alternative

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This article will discuss alternatives to Google Docs.


Google docs is not FLOSS; it's a huge dependency that doesn't mix well with the OSE mission.


An alternative to Google Docs should meet the following requirements:

  1. Collaborative Editing that works (no corruption, bugs, etc)
  2. Rich editing, including
    1. text
    2. images
    3. hyperlinks (for both text & images)
    4. easily draw arrows & other shapes
  3. Images can be easily click & dragged (without lag)
  4. Efficient embeddability and viewability in wiki


Here are several possible Google Docs alternatives that may meet the OSE requirements

LibreOffice Online

In 2015, Collabora Productivity--a company that provides ~33% of LibreOffice Online code commits & provides commercial L3 support for the project--began advertising demos of their Colabora Online Developer Edition (CODE), which is the FLOSS version of LibreOffice Online

In Dec 2015, CODE was released as part of a joint venture with ownCloud. This early version did not have collaborative editing or rich editing.

In Nov 2016, CODE 2.0 was released, which included collaborative & rich editing of all popular office file formats: docx, doc, odt, xlsx, xls, ods, pptx, ppt, odp.

The source code for LibreOffice Online is here

Instructions to download & install CODE can be found here


As of 2017-10, LibreOffice Online does not meet our requirements because

  1. No support for creating hyperlinks. Michael Altfield created feature request for this in Impress here
  2. No support for drawing lines/arrows. Michael Altfield created feature request for this in Impress here

Update 2018-07-31. CODE fixed our hyperlink issue above after 4 months after I created the request, but 9 months later there's been no progress on the second request for lines/arrows/shapes. I added a comment mentioning that this lacking feature was blocking our org from adopting LibreOffice Online, and asking if there was an ETA.



Smart Notebooks

See Smart_Notebooks

Only Office

from Jonathan_Log:

Only Office a possible alternative to Google Docs. I sent them a request to via their website to see what can be done for non-profits specifically OSE, and perhaps a cross promotional exchange. Mobile application is on Apple/Android, also allows for Portal and Personal integration from the mobile app, I haven't tried the mobile app yet. I have it downloaded and I will attempt to load it to a test server.

See Also