WebOffice for Collaboration (Beta)

The OnlyOffice collaboration tool is still in beta until January 2019. Please do not heavily rely on fast response, proper functioning and support until it is officially released for production.

A Web Office is an application in SWITCHdrive which enables you to create and edit standard Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) inside a browser window, without requiring any software from a locally installed Office application to be executed.

Actually, with the web office application of SWITCHdrive, you can now open and edit office files in a browers on any computer which is connected to the internet. The office application is executed on SWITCH data centers and no code or data is shared to any party outside of SWITCH.

SWITCH selected OnlyOffice as the application for providing the Web Office integration to SWITCHdrive. OnlyOffice has a clean user interface, excellent compatibiltiy with Standard Microsoft Office documents and powerful collaboration tools.

With OnlyOffice in SWITCHdrive you can create and edit text documents (docx), spreadsheets (xlsx) and presentations (pptx) all within SWITCHdrive. When you open an office document in a browser using the SWITCHdrive web client, you can work collaboratively on the same document in real time with others, while all can see the changes to the document. By editing Office documents in a browser you can effectively avoid version conflicts that commonly occur when working independently with local documents and synchronising them after saving the document and closing the office application.

Use the SWITCHdrive web client and go to the directory where you want to create a new office document. Click the Plus-icon at the top to display the pop up menu. Note that you can not only upload a file, create a new folder or a new text file, but you can now also create a document, a spreadsheet and a presentation.


Choosing one of these 3 menu options will open the so called OnlyOffice online editor which allows you to create an office document directly in the web browser.

This online editor keeps all the formating details and provides a very high compatiblitly to the original Microsoft office document. You can also print the document or save it in a different format (for example PDF, TXT, RTF, HTML, ODT, ODS, ODP or CSV).


Yes, simply move the files into your switchdrive folder and open them via the SWITCHdrive web client.

If you open the files locally in the FileExplorer or in the Finder, then the corresponding office application will be launched, which is in most cases Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint).

Please note that co-editing is not available when the files are opened locally. However all the editing will be synchronised to the other clients when you save or close the document again.

You need to inform the collaborators to open the file in the SWITCHdrive web client - not locally in their favourite office application. Once all the collaborators have opened the file, eg. the word-document you would like to work on, you can go to  the collaboration tab and click on the chat section:

While you work at a document collaboratively with other users, you can see the text cursors of other users while you all  edit the document. Click on "Comment" to inform the other users about a certain task or a text section to be reviewed. 

When you co-editing a document, you can choose between "Fast mode", which saves all changes automatically and allows a real time editing of the document,  and "Strict-mode", which saves the changes from you and others only when the Save button is selected.

When you are done with editing, click on "Save" or go back to the overview of your documents by clicking the corresponding icon in the top right corner (the document will be automatically saved).


You have to create a public link of the parent folder and send it per email to the person who should co-edit your document. Note that the public link to the document itself will not work, you have to go up one level to the parent folder and share it with edit permission!

Any person who will open the document via the public link will be listed as "Anonymous" in the Chat Window of OnlyOffice. Other persons who open the document because they have received a direct link will be listed with their first and last names. Click on the chat icon to see all the persons who are co-editing the document.

It is recommended to only share documents by direct link to other SWITCHdrive users in order to keep track of the changes and to clearly identify persons who are modifing your document.