How to use Nextcloud Office

Nextcloud Office presents a formidable online office suite, perfectly aligned with the diverse needs of users seeking comprehensive collaboration and office software solutions. Here we’ll provide an introduction to the capabilities and benefits of Nextcloud Office.

What is Nextcloud Office?

The cloud and collaboration software Nextcloud provides companies and private individuals with flexible and secure self-hosting and cloud computing without having to resort to commercial solutions. Nextcloud provides high data protection standards and a range of different Nextcloud apps such as Nextcloud Talk and the online office suite Nextcloud Office.

Nextcloud Office was developed in collaboration with the company Collabora Productivity and integrated into Nextcloud. The goal was to cater to the demands of a modern, digitized work environment. It prioritizes powerful online functions for editing, attaching and sharing documents, for spreadsheet calculation and creating presentations. The seamless integration within the Nextcloud ecosystem ensures that this Office suite harmoniously supports all Nextcloud tools, popular web browsers, a variety of file formats, and diverse editors. Nextcloud Office is also part of the integrated Nextcloud Hub collaboration platform with all key Nextcloud tools such as Groupware, Files, Talk and Office.

When is Nextcloud Office being used?

Nextcloud Office is available free of charge inclusive of all important standard functions for private use. For business use, Nextcloud offers a paid version – the Nextcloud Enterprise Plan, which provides more stable and flexibly scalable performance. Nextcloud Office encompasses identical functions and known office applications Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace or corresponding Microsoft Office alternatives.

Its most important possibilities and functions include:

  • Real-time document creation and editing (including video calls or chats).
  • Commenting functions in documents
  • Image insertion from your own Nextcloud storage
  • Sharing and collaborating on documents via browser or mobile apps
  • Document editing with internal or even external links for people without Nextcloud (with access restriction)
  • Spreadsheets
  • Creating and editing of presentations, drawings, and notes
  • Tracking version history and changes
  • Navigating functions for browsing documents
  • Integration with Microsoft Word

Overview of Nextcloud Office components

Nextcloud Office is designed to handle the full range of office tasks in digital working environments via the cloud. The office suite lets you create, edit and share documents with your team, regardless of location or device. You can even use document editing in team meetings and synchronize changes automatically. Administrator rights allow you to limit the number of people with access rights.

Below are all the components of Nextcloud Office in detail.

Nextcloud Write

Similar to Word in Microsoft 365, Nextcloud Write is the heart of the Nextcloud Office suite. Here, documents can be created and edited, shared and saved in collaboration with others. The application is designed to be collaborative and supports Microsoft Word. Real-time cursor tracking lets you track changes made by your team.

Nextcloud Spreadsheet

Nextcloud Spreadsheet can be thought of as the equivalent of Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program. Spreadsheet provides you with a comprehensive set of functions, formulas and tools for creating and collaborating on spreadsheets. The highest level of data protection is ensured. Robust access controls make sure that spreadsheets containing sensitive business data are only edited by authorized individuals and teams. Microsoft Excel integration is possible.

Nextcloud Present

Nextcloud Present is your go-to presentation program, offering a unique twist on PowerPoint. Design simple or elaborate slides in your preferred style and layout, with a choice of practical templates or custom configurations. Its intuitive interface ensures you can captivate any audience with insightful and polished presentations. Thanks to compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint and support for popular file formats, Nextcloud Present meets all your powerful presentation software needs.

Nextcloud Draw

Nextcloud Draw is a comprehensive note-taking and drawing tool that lets you craft graphs, charts, plans, sketches, and intricate diagrams, much like Microsoft Visio. Use the collaborative applications to illustrate and develop ideas collaboratively or present plans to your audience graphically or as a diagram. You can seamlessly integrate it into online conferences and team meetings.

Nextcloud Text

Nextcloud Text is the default text editor from Nextcloud. Built on Markdown, it offers a self-hosted translation feature and supports numerous rich text formats including headings, links, tables and bold or italic text display. Different colors for individual authors improve clarity for large projects with many participants.

Advantages of Nextcloud Office in the Nextcloud environment

The Office version of Nextcloud seamlessly integrates with the scalable and versatile ecosystem of Nextcloud apps. In this regard, Nextcloud is similar to Google and Microsoft’s collaboration platforms, which also offer seamless integration of in-house apps and services.

Through its integration with other robust Nextcloud components, Nextcloud Office offers the following benefits:

  • Flexible collaborative working through the integration of Office functions in Nextcloud apps such as Talk, Calendar, Deck or Notes.
  • Office features for collaborative document editing, teamwork in online meetings and video conferences via screen sharing, commenting, version history, real-time cursor tracking and mentions
  • Safety from unauthorized access with secure access management that includes group folders and file access rights for groups, individuals, and selected files
  • Nextcloud’s desktop and mobile clients can be used on desktops and any number of mobile devices
  • Easy, cross-application, centralized management, synchronization, and tracking of changes to documents

What file formats can Nextcloud Office read and write?

An office suite’s value extends beyond its array of collaboration, communication, and document editing tools. Equally crucial is its support for all common file formats that play a role when using a cloud-based productivity solution. This is the only way to ensure flexible and compatible collaboration across different systems and applications.

Nextcloud Office rivals the competition when it comes to compatibility, supporting the opening, reading and saving of over a dozen file formats. These include:

  • Text processing: DOCX, DOC, RTF, ODT
  • Spreadsheets: XLS, XLSX, ODS
  • Presentation: ODP, PPT, PPTX
  • Drawing: ODG
  • Additional supported formats: Publisher, Import/View Visio

Advantages of Nextcloud Office compared to the competition

Nextcloud sets an ambitious goal, which is to establish itself as a formidable and at least equal alternative to Microsoft 365. To this end, Nextcloud offers powerful self-hosting and cloud computing features with data protection standards that even surpass Microsoft. Many businesses favor Nextcloud over commercial services due to its continually expanding functionality, seamless integration of Nextcloud services, flexible enterprise plans, and the comprehensive Nextcloud Hub plan.

The Office suite forms a central building block in Nextcloud for an independent, cloud-based office environment. The advantages the Office suite gives you over Nextcloud alternatives like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 include:

Nextcloud Office Google Workspace Microsoft 365
High data protection and data sovereignty for private and business data through self-hosting or via hosting providers with EU server locations Private and business data is located on Google servers and is subject to access by US authorities through the US Cloud Act All data is located on Microsoft servers, which does not allow for 100% data protection
Easily integrates with all Nextcloud apps and is compatible with third-party services and popular file formats All key Google services for increased productivity, teamwork, and remote work on one platform All Microsoft services and Office apps for collaboration in flexible, scalable subscription plans
Data leakage is reduced as the service streams documents to the browser while raw documents remain on the Nextcloud server Files and documents are sent to the local browser for editing Documents are transferred from the server to the local browser
Invitation links to external people without Nextcloud are unlimited Sharing files with people without Nextcloud is limited Document access and editing by invitation link
Free for personal use or scalable for business use with Nextcloud Enterprise or Hub Flexible pricing plans for personal and business use Free use only via limited web version of Microsoft 365

Another advantage is that documents re viewable in print preview thanks to rendering according to the WYSIWYG principle. When using different office applications, one may encounter unexpected issues based on the browser being used and specific settings in place.

How to install Nextcloud Office?

You can get Nextcloud Office from the Nextcloud Office website. Choose between a free trial version for 60 minutes, a free version for private use and paid versions as part of Nextcloud Enterprise.

The options for installation are:

Option 1: Collabora Online Server

Since Nextcloud Office is built on Collabora Online, a dedicated Collabora Online server is required. Setting up the server and linking it to the Office app requires some know-how of package installation in Linux and Ubuntu or Docker. For small teams or personal use, another option is the integrated CODE Server. This server can be conveniently installed directly from the Nextcloud app and then chosen as a backend within the Office program.

Once you’ve set up the Collabora Online Server, you need to activate the Nextcloud Office App in App Management and connect to the Collabora Online Server via the settings.

Option 2: Managed Nextcloud

Managed Nextcloud delivers the complete Nextcloud experience, including Nextcloud Office. You can delegate the setup, maintenance, and updates to your chosen provider, while enjoying 24/7 support. This enables you to effortlessly scale your online storage and subscription plan as your needs evolve. Leveraging Nextcloud apps such as Groupware, Talk, or Office, you gain access to essential collaboration features. These include sharing and editing documents, online conferencing, and scheduling projects, groups, and meetings - including individual access permissions.

Benefits of Nextcloud Office with Managed Nextcloud

Managed Nextcloud with Nextcloud Office is the ideal solution for companies looking for GDPR-compliant protection for corporate data combined with full Office functionality. Your data is stored on secure servers that meet all GDPR requirements and prevent unauthorized access by third parties. The provider takes care of the administration, maintenance, and updating of systems, saving you time and money. In addition, you choose who has access to files through administrative rights. Data sovereignty is thus guaranteed.

Another significant advantage is that you can entrust not only the server system maintenance but also tailor your Nextcloud plan to your specific needs, adjusting both cloud storage and the number of users. This ensures not only enhanced productivity through streamlined file management within your Managed Nextcloud but also the ability to fine-tune performance to align with your current business objectives.

Brief explainer on the creation of Nextcloud Office

In 2018, Nextcloud took its first step into providing standard office capabilities by integrating OnlyOffice, an open-source office solution from Ascensio System SIA. Then, in January 2020, with the launch of the Nextcloud Hub collaboration platform, Nextcloud introduced an integrated OnlyOffice package as part of its own robust office suite. Subsequently, in the same year, Nextcloud went a step further and released Nextcloud Office, an even more powerful alternative to OnlyOffice, developed in collaboration with Collabora Online.

The advantage is that unlike OnlyOffice, the office suite runs mostly on Nextcloud servers, ensuring enhanced data protection and greater control over private and business data.

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