Document editors — a quick head to head
Written by Admin
Published November 08, 2021

Google Docs is the most common tool for document editing for many nonprofits. I wanted to know how it would stack up against OnlyOffice, a self-hostable competitor that integrates with Nextcloud. This a huge question, so I started with one document. In Google vs OnlyOffice, OnlyOffice wins in my book if it can display the document as it appears in Docs for now. Let’s take a look.

The original Google Doc

Google doc with unique bulleted lists, images, headings, footnotes, links, and comments (with replies).

Microsoft Word

The most popular format outside of Google Docs, and the most stable export format

  • Highlights are on click
  • Emoji bullets work
  • Page breaks are respected
  • Headings work

OnlyOffice (Web/Nextcloud)

OnlyOffice is an open-core altnernative to Google Docs/Drive. Nextcloud provides the file storage backend, and OnlyOffice provides the editors, which are heavily Microsoft influenced. It’s got more features and a nicer UX compared to the newer(and similarly open-core, rather than open-source) LibreOffice Online.

  • Emoji bullets are not supported
  • Comments only appear on click of content
  • Page break settings not respected
  • Headings work


The long-standing open-source desktop-only alternative to Microsoft Office.

  • Emoji bullets are not supported
  • Comments always on screen with highlights
  • Footnotes look worse but work
  • Headings were not retained