Online word processors come with many advantages. Your documents can be accessed from anywhere, they are open to collaboration and sharing, and easy to import and export.
When you think of online word processing, you immediately think of Google Docs. It’s a great service with tons of features, plus lots of add-ons too.
Because of this, you may not always want to use Google Docs. Luckily, there are some really good Google Docs alternatives that you can use to edit documents online. Here are the best alternatives to Google Docs that you can use right now.
Microsoft Office (formerly Office Online, also known as “Office on the Web”) is the free offering of the world’s most popular office suite. A Microsoft account is all you need to gain access to almost all Microsoft Office applications. Office Online provides access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook, as well as Sway and a number of other tools.
So how does Office on the Web compare to Google Docs (and various G Suite tools)? This offer is so good that some people completely avoid purchasing Microsoft Office 2019 or the free Office 365 suite online.
However, Microsoft has not given us the crown jewels. The Office online offering does have some limitations.
For example, the number of available templates is reduced. Also, you can use integrated styles, but you can’t create your own. Office contains a number of “half features” that you will encounter from time to time. Some are ignored. The others can be really annoying I see you Merge Formats.
The free online version of Microsoft Office is still an excellent alternative to Google Docs, although there are flaws in some applications.
Zoho develops a wide range of applications, from private wikis to email services, through CRM and bookkeeping tools, and more. Zoho Docs is Zoho’s answer to Google Docs, and is a powerful alternative online document editor.
The author himself is excellent, with a ton of editing options, organized in a compact and aesthetically pleasing sidebar. Almost anything you can do in Word can be done in Zoho, from adding headers and footers to directly posting documents to your blog.
It also has advanced options, such as mail merge and electronic signature support. Another very useful feature is the integrated Zoho chat, so you can chat with collaborators while you work.
Zoho is the most full-featured of any Web-based application, including Google Docs, and is extremely easy to use. Zoho barely gets the Google Docs press, but I can see no reason not to switch.
Dropbox Paper is an online document editing offering from Dropbox, better known for its cloud storage solutions. All you need to use Dropbox Paper is a Dropbox account. Once you’ve signed up, you can start using this handy Google Docs alternative.
Dropbox Paper has several handy features. Adding and curating images is very easy, especially if you already use Dropbox as an image host. Similarly, embedding other content is also easy. There’s also the option to edit using a markdown language, which is useful for quick edits and basic styling.
Like other online document editing tools, collaboration and sharing is key. Sharing on Dropbox Paper is as easy as clicking a button and inviting a user (another Dropbox user or from a Google Account), as is enabling comments in the current document.
One of the cool collaboration features is that you can “@” people from your documents, even if they aren’t currently working on the same document. The person receives a notification that you want them to come and work with you. Another useful collaboration feature is Task Assignment. You can quickly turn bullet lists into to-do lists to assign to your collaborators.
As an alternative to Google Docs, Dropbox Paper is a handy and fast document editing tool. However, it doesn’t have the wide range of editing tools available for Google Docs or some of the alternatives on this list.
OnlyOffice is a Google Docs alternative that offers both offline and offline document editing tools. Since we’re primarily focused on Google Docs alternatives that don’t require a download, we’ll focus on the online version of OnlyOffice.
Like Zoho Docs, OnlyOffice’s personal document editing tool is one of the most comprehensive alternatives to Google Docs. You will find extensive editing options along with offline document editing tools. You can customize the formatting style and layout, invite collaborators to work with you, and even chat within the OnlyOffice window to keep your focus on the work window.
There is also the option to install the OnlyOffice add-on, which is an extension that enhances the functionality of the document editing tool. For example, you can install a WordPress plugin and publish your work directly to your website or the Zotero plugin, which helps you manage references and other research materials.
Nuclino is a brilliant free collaborative editor and alternative to Google Docs. It is very easy to use, has a great user interface (UI), and provides a satisfying experience in almost all areas. Because of this, it doesn’t have to be a direct competitor to Google Docs. Google Docs provides a rounded set of tools, while Nuclino has a definite leaning towards teams and project management.
Nonetheless, writing and editing in Nuclino is aided by a clean aesthetic and easy-to-implement editorial tools. Nuclino is also versatile. Multiple groups, multiple boards, easy invites, smart tags, and integration with services like YouTube, Vimeo, and Soundcloud provide a comprehensive service. There is an option to write and edit using markdown as well.
However, Nuclino is not strictly a document editing program if you consider the pure editorial experience. If your team relies on advanced document editing and formatting or even just basic spreadsheets, you’ll be importing into Nuclino from other sources.
If you like working together, give Etherpad a good look. No need to register or install Etherpad. You just choose one of the public instances running Etherpad Lite, many of which feature secure encrypted connections. Once connected, share the info to a notebook or send an invitation to your contacts via email.
When a user enters Etherpad, you can edit the text on the board in real-time, and changes appear automatically. You can chat in the sidebar, highlight which user made a given change, and save revisions so they can be reverted if someone makes a mistake.
Additionally, some public Etherpad instances allow you to choose how long the pad remains active, adding a useful temporary document corner for this Google Docs alternative. For example, the Etherpad in the image above allows you to set a period of 24 hours, 60 days, or 1 year before the crash.
Slite is another collaborative work tool that you can use as an alternative to Google Docs. Since it’s a collaborative workspace, you may find that Slite replaces more than just Google Docs.
The free version of Slite lets you create 50 shared documents per month, as well as unlimited private documents. You can also invite unlimited users to your free Slite. Plus, it integrates well with one of the most popular team management tools, Slack, which means you can talk and work between the two with ease.
Other integrations include Figma, Loom, Trello, Asana, and GitHub. In that sense, Slite serves as a document editing tool and as a project management option.
What is the Best Google Docs Alternative
Google Docs is an excellent online document editing tool, but what are the best alternatives? Well, you can opt for a more traditional editor experience in Microsoft Office or Zoho Writer, or try a collaborative experience with Dropbox Paper or Nuclino.
Needless to say, you have more than a few Google Docs alternatives to consider before starting your next big project!