Document collaboration software plays a key role in enabling teams to work together seamlessly, regardless of geography. In 2024, the demand for robust collaboration tools will continue to grow, driving innovation and enhancements to existing platforms. Take a look at the top five best document collaboration software that will be relevant in 2024 to boost productivity.
What document collaboration software is
Document collaboration software refers to tools and applications designed to enable multiple users to create, edit and manage documents in collaboration, often in real time. The main goal is to improve teamwork and facilitate communication between individuals or groups working on shared documents remotely. Document collaboration tools are critical for businesses and organizations where collaboration and information sharing are essential for daily operations.
Key features for document collaboration software usually include:
- Document editing;
- Real-time collaboration;
- Version history;
- Access Control;
- Document commenting and annotating;
- Communication tools;
- Storage space;
- Document management.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best document collaboration software to help you manage your workflow in 2024.
1. ONLYOFFICE DocSpace
ONLYOFFICE DocSpace is a secure document collaboration software with open-source code. It combines powerful editors for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and PDF files, collaborative tools, and storage space. ONLYOFFICE DocSpace is designed to enable collaboration both within the team and with third parties like partners, customers, and providers.
The platform provides a room-based environment to organize a clear file structure according to user needs or project goals. You can choose a room type according to your needs: Collaboration, Custom, and Public. Flexible access permissions and user roles allow you to fine-tune access to the entire space or individual rooms.
ONLYOFFICE DocSpace key features:
- Professional editors for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and PDF files.
- Document collaboration tools including real-time and paragraph-locked editing, comments, revision, change tracking, version history, and built-in chat.
- File and room permissions: Viewer, Commentator, Reviewer, Form filler, Editor, Power user, Room admin.
- Plugins for further functionality: translating texts with Google Translator or DeepL, detecting errors with LanguageTool, generating bibliographies with Zotero and Mendeley, entering text with your voice, inserting YouTube videos, building diagrams with Draw.io, etc.
- Data security is ensured through GDPR and HIPAA regulations compliance, data encryption, activity tracking and audit reporting, two-factor authentication (2FA), trusted email domains, IP address restriction, data backup, and more.
ONLYOFFICE DocSpace pros:
- Open source
- High compatibility with MS formats
- Work with fillable forms
- PDF converter
- Additional built-in communication via Jitsi, Rainbow, or Telegram plugins
- AI assistant
- Integration with third-party apps and services, such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc.
- Cloud and server versions
- Flexible price
- Desktop and mobile apps for document editing
- Ready-made form library
ONLYOFFICE DocSpace cons:
- Storage limit based on plan
The Business plan price is calculated on the chosen number of admins/power users. The price starts from $15 per admins/power users.
The free Startup plan includes 1 admin, 2 power users, up to 12 rooms, an unlimited number of users in each room, and 2 GB of disk space.
Try DocSpace by creating a free account, inviting other users, and collaborating with them in real time:
2. Google Docs
Google Docs continues to be one of the best online document collaboration software for organizations focused on cloud collaboration. With Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides at its core, the suite emphasizes real-time collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit documents simultaneously. Google Drive serves as a central file repository, making it easy to access documents from anywhere. Integration with other Google services, such as Google Meet and Calendar, enhances collaboration.
Google Docs key features:
- Work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Real-time simultaneous document editing
- Collaboration tools: version history, comments, and suggestions
- Access control to documents
- Cloud storage with Google Drive
Google Docs pros:
- User-friendly interface
- Integration across apps
- Cloud-based storage
- Automatic document savings
Google Docs cons:
- Lack of professional features for document editing
- Offline access limitations
- Dependence on internet connection
Google Docs is part of the Google Workspace suite, which operates on a subscription model. The price varies depending on the plan selected, there are options for business, enterprise, and educational institutions. Prices start at $6 per user per month.
For individual use, Google Docs is available for free if you have a Google account.
3. Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 document sharing and collaboration software remains a leading player in document collaboration. Offering a suite of familiar tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 integrates seamlessly with OneDrive cloud storage and collaborative editing features. Real-time co-authoring, intelligent suggestions, and tight integration with other Microsoft services make it a complete solution for companies of all sizes.
Microsoft 365 key features:
- Simultaneous editing and collaboration on documents in real-time on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files
- Cloud-based storage with OneDrive
- Co-authoring, comments, suggestions, and version history
- Integration with Microsoft Teams for chat, video conferencing, and team collaboration
- Access control and permissions
Microsoft 365 pros:
- Familiar interface
- Powerful editors
- Cloud-based accessibility
- Security measures and compliance standards to protect sensitive information
Microsoft 365 cons:
- High subscription cost
Microsoft 365 operates on a subscription model with different plans for personal, business, and enterprise users. Pricing may vary based on the plan, number of users, and additional features. It typically starts from $99.99/year.
Microsoft 365 does not offer a traditional free version. However, Microsoft does provide free online versions of Office applications (Office Online) with limited features, which can be accessed without a subscription.
4. Zoho Docs
Zoho Docs is a cloud-based document collaboration with file sharing, editing, and collaboration features. Zoho Docs is designed to help individuals, teams, and companies create, store, transfer, and share documents securely and efficiently. It offers many features to simplify document-related tasks and foster collaboration among users.
Zoho Docs key features:
- Online editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Simultaneous work on the same document
- Document version history, track changes, revert to previous versions
- Сomments and annotations
- Security measures such as encryption, access controls, and secure sharing options to protect sensitive information.
Zoho Docs pros:
- Task management integration
- Offline access with the ability to work offline. All changes made are synchronized when the Internet connection is restored
- Document Analytics
- Custom Branding
Zoho Docs cons:
- Some advanced features may be limited
- Learning curve for users transitioning from other platforms
The pricing structure varies based on the number of users, storage requirements, and additional features. It starts from $3 /month.
Zoho Docs provides a free version with basic document collaboration features and 1GB of file storage.
5. Dropbox Paper
Dropbox Paper is a document management and collaboration software created by Dropbox, designed to streamline document creation, collaboration, and project management. It serves as a central hub where teams can work together in real-time, combining text, images, and multimedia elements to create dynamic documents.
Dropbox Paper key features:
- Online creating, editing, and coediting documents
- Comments and mentions
- Version control
- Rich media integration
Dropbox Paper pros:
- Clean and intuitive interface
- Rich media integration
- Converting documents into presentations
- Integrated task management features
- Integration with Dropbox cloud storage
Dropbox Paper cons:
- Limited offline functionality
- Advanced features missing in document editing tools
Dropbox business plans can offer additional features and collaboration options, starting with a subscription of €9.99 per month.
Dropbox Paper is free with any Dropbox account.
There is no single best document collaboration tool. Choosing the best document collaboration software for 2024 involves considering several factors to ensure your company or team’s specific needs and preferences.
First, consider the features of the document editors. They should have all the tools to handle documents of any level of complexity. If you have a small team or company, you may want to consider free versions. They usually have enough space to store documents, even if you set a limit. For larger companies, it’s worth looking at the security features to ensure that even sensitive data is kept safe. Open-source options are great for this.