4 must-have writing apps for Nextcloud

These apps for the Nextcloud file sync and share tool make it easy to create documents and collaborate with your team.
611 readers like this
611 readers like this
Sky with clouds and grass

Flickr user: theaucitron (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If writing is part of your job or your everyday routine, you might find the Nextcloud open source file sync and share application a very useful tool. First, it provides you with free, secure, and easily accessible cloud file storage.

Second, it's fully customizable, which means you can choose different writing tools, such as the four useful editorial apps described below, depending on the task you're trying to accomplish. You can find these and other useful add-ons on the Nextcloud app store.

Author documents with Collabora Online

Collabora Online is an online office suite based on LibreOffice, one of the most powerful open source alternatives to Microsoft Office. It provides you with a complete set of formatting tools, which allow you to change your text style and document layout, insert different objects, and do even more, directly in your browser.

You can edit and view many kinds of office documents, including DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODF, Visio, and Publisher.

Collabora Online also offers some collaboration capabilities. You can co-author documents with other Nextcloud users or use a public link and invite people without a Nextcloud account to collaborate anonymously on your files. Collaborators can comment on shared documents and reply to others' comments.

To use this application, you need Collabora Cloudsuite installed on your server.

For more information, access the Collabora Online source code.

Preview markdown with Markdown Editor

Markdown is a popular formatting language used by many bloggers and communities, including GitHub and DigitalOcean users. Markdown Editor allows you to make changes to a markdown document and immediately see how it will look like when published on a website. This is particularly useful and time-saving if you are new to markdown syntax, but that's not all. The app also offers advanced options for working with objects; for example, you can insert images and videos stored on your Nextcloud, create checkbox lists, add and highlight code in your document, work with equations, and add graphs.

Take a deeper dive into the Markdown Editor source code.

Write and organize your thoughts with Notes

Notes is an open source app for distraction-free note taking. The minimalist interface helps you focus on what really matters—your text. Notes are saved as simple TXT files and automatically placed into your Notes folder, where you can view and edit them with a text editor. It also supports Markdown syntax.

Managing your notes is easy, too. You can mark important notes as favorites or, with a single click, easily delete things you no longer need.

See what makes up this app in the Notes source code.

Collaborate on documents in real time with OnlyOffice

You can use OnlyOffice to write and edit text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. This app also offers a variety of collaboration features for efficient teamwork on your documents.

My favorite feature is that you can choose how you collaborate with your team. You can co-edit documents in real time (like in Google Docs) and see all the changes as soon as your co-authors make them. Or, if your team needs more confidentiality, you can change the settings to see co-authors' changes only when they save them. And, if you need more control, you can use review mode, in which you have the option to reject or accept your collaborators' changes. Chat and comments are also available for real-time communication. OnlyOffice also offers add-ons for features such as symbols, photo editor, or YouTube video.

To use this application, you need OnlyOffice document server installed on your server.

Access the OnlyOffice source code to learn more.

What are your favorites?

If you're a Nextcloud user, what are your must-have apps for writing or collaboration? Please share in the comments.

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As a technical writer and translator, I am working now at Ascensio System SIA, developer of the productivity solutions based in Latvia. All my time I try to spend with my son Andrew and daughter Ksu, and my husband. Open to new ideas. Optimistic by nature, I know for sure that all will be well.

5 Comments

I'm willing to put money on the writer never actually trying any of these tools in the article. As a NextCloud user, I can vouch for the first and last one being an install and configuration nightmares, the second being nearly unusable and the third being quite buggy. NextCloud is an amazing thing, but those four are completely unready for public consumption.

Hello Erez. Thank you for your comment. I have tried all of these tools to write this article. But you are right that the Collabora Online installation is not so easy. Even using Docker you need to install some dependencies, but I have used a VM with Nextcloud and Collabora preinstalled and it was quite simple. ONLYOFFICE is very easy to install if you use Docker. I use it every day. Notes is a great app for those who like me makes notes before writing an article. As for the Markdown Editor I use it just to preview tutorials written with markdown syntax.

In reply to by Erez Schatz (not verified)

I take back my assertion, (do I owe you any money?). Most of my tone came out of frustration, I am using NextCloud as an overall suite, files, calendar, mail, and the lack of actual document handling has been frustrating me to no end.

As mentioned, I found both office solutions to be totally unusable, but my biggest frustration was indeed the Notes app, the mobile app for it is buggy, and there were too many issues (for me) with the concept of Notes (the whole display markdown yet show its effects is a bit hairy for my tastes).

I will give OnlyOffice a new go with Docker and see if that solves my last peeve, thank you for your reply.

In reply to by Tatiana Kochedykova

I would like to implement a Nextcloud environment to try QOwnNotes. Seems a nice app.

Hey Marcos, you don't need Nextcloud to try out QOwnNotes.

It uses Nextcloud/Owncloud if you want to sync your notes but it's not required to use QON.

In reply to by Marcos Alano (not verified)

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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