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How To Collaboratively Edit Microsoft Office Documents within Plone

How To Collaboratively Edit Microsoft Office Documents within Plone

Plone out-of-the-box allows editors to upload files (e.g., a Microsoft Word document) that other users can view and download, but until recently, the option to collaboratively edit uploaded documents — similar to the functions seen via Microsoft Office Suite or Google Drive — has not been an option.

ONLYOFFICE supports a Plone add-on that can connect a Plone site to an ONLYOFFICE document server — enabling collaborative editing on documents uploaded as Files. With the onlyoffice.connector add-on, editors can make changes to files that have been uploaded without having to download, edit and re-upload files — a feature the saves organizations both time and money.


To setup a document server, there are two main setup manuals:

  • Review the official ONLYOFFICE documentation for Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives here.
  • Review the ONLYOFFICE Docker setup documentation here.

Note: it’s important that the Plone site and document server are able to talk to each other.

 Once the document server is set up:

  • Add onlyoffice.connector to the buildout.
  • Install the onlyoffice.connector add-on.
  • Add the document server’s URL to the ONLYOFFICE control panel.

Users are now ready to collaborate on the Plone site.

From a File in the Plone site, editors will click “ONLYOFFICE Edit” to open the document in ONLYOFFICE.  Additional editors that click the custom edit link will be redirected to the same place, where they can concurrently edit the document with the first editor.  

Watch the video below for a demo of how the ONLYOFFICE connection works with Plone:

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