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).

Google Docs screenshot 1

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
Word screenshot

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
OnlyOffice screenshot


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
Libreoffice Screenshot