Take advantage of style and grammar checking of your texts in Collabora Online

Writing grammatically correct and stylistically beautiful texts in the browser has now become much more convenient. LanguageTool, known to desktop users of Collabora Office and LibreOffice as a powerful grammar checker extension, is now also available for Collabora Online. In this article you can find out how to use it for your online documents.

About LanguageTool

LanguageTool’s mission is to unleash the professional writing skills in every user. It is an open-source project based on AI-technology that analyses the style, tonality, and typography of text and instantly generates context-aware suggestions. The software supports spell- and grammar checking for 30 languages and is constantly being enhanced by an international team of linguistic professionals and machine learning experts. Besides the plug-ins for desktop office suits, it offers add-ons for all major browsers.

 

Get LanguageTool

 

Some Preliminary Comments

Many users of LanguageTool’s browser add-ons may already be familiar with how LanguageTool works. Once installed, it automatically highlights errors in composed online forms and text fields in different colours. However, the documents we edit in Collabora Online are not text in the true sense of the word, as the document never leaves its location on the server. Users only see image renderings of the document during editing. For this reason, a server-side setting must be made to activate LanguageTool. For more information, please consult the technical documentation on LanguageTool. Additionally, a paid premium account with LanguageTool offers better checking results and a larger selection of alternative formulations.

Using LanguageTool in Collabora Online

Through the integration of LanguageTool, different types of errors in text are now highlighted in different colours within Collabora Online. Spelling errors continue being indicated by a red underlining. Grammatical errors are indicated by an orange underline, while stylistic errors are underlined in blue. If you mark the highlighted error, you can display alternative formulations by right-clicking and selecting them through the context menu. LanguageTool’s grammar correction works in all Collabora Online modules, i.e., not only in text documents but also in spreadsheets, presentations, or Draw designs.

Step-by-step Procedure

  1. Write your text in Collabora Online
  2. LanguageTool automatically detects and underlines mistakes in your text
  3. Right-click the underlined segment to open the context menu with LanguageTool suggestions
  4. Choose the prefered suggestion from the context menu

Examples of Grammar- and Style Checking with LanguageTool

Here are just a few examples of style and grammar mistakes that LanguageTool can detect.

  1. Terms spelled with a hyphen
  2. Wrong use of nouns and pronouns
  3. Start of sentences in lower case
  4. Typographical Mistakes (missing or needless commas, typographical ellipsis character, unpaired parentheses)
  5. (Presumably) Incorrect dates and weekday (Weekday and date mismatch, dates in the future)
  6. Successive beginning of sentences with the same word
  7. Stylistic redundancies (e.g., 6 PM in the afternoon)
Unpaired Symbol message from LanguageTool in Collabora Online
Successive beginning of sentences with the same word detected by Language Tool in Collabora Online

 

 

Afterword and Thank You

As mentioned above, to make use of this feature, you have to enable this inside Collabora Online’s configuration file. Depending on whether you are using a free or a premium account, both the quality and amount of the suggestions may vary. We would like to express our gratitude to Nicolas Christener and his wonderful team at Adfinis for making this great feature a reality.

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Collabora Online Support – Helping Organisations Make the Most of Open Source

Why Open Source

Open Source software is now, unquestionably, a critical element in most tech landscapes. In fact, it’s next to impossible to build a significant technology stack without it today.

Apart from the obvious cost/price advantages of Open Source software, it also delivers a host of other business benefits. Being open, users can ‘lift the lid’ and look inside to see how the software works. This level of insight not only better enables them to suggest improvements, but it helps deliver a level of confidence and control that simply isn’t available with proprietary solutions, developed and maintained in private. Try asking Microsoft, or any other big brand software company, to change their solutions to meet your specific requirements?

Open Source software enables flexibility and agility far more effectively than proprietary alternatives. Like us here at Collabora Online, you can choose a vendor that is not afraid of empowering their users to join in with the innovation if they want to.

Open Source in a Commercial Environment

So for ambitious organisations Open Source is a ‘no-brainer?’ Yes, but it needs to be managed and implemented correctly. Professional organisations looking to unlock the benefits of Open Source should also proactively look to minimise risks.

The Log4j software vulnerability is a good example of the potential risk of the widespread introduction of Open Source software into mission-critical infrastructure, without the necessary support.

By its very nature, community built Open Source software has a more informal approach, which on one hand is a great advantage – allowing anyone to participate. On the other hand, it can present a problem should, like Log4j, something go wrong. The lesson to be understood is that any software implemented on critical infrastructure needs be adequately supported. Should an issue arise, it can be addressed in a timely fashion and organisations are not left alone, scrambling to sort it out themselves!

Collabora Online Support – The Enterprise-Ready ‘Wrapper’

Collabora is a dedicated Open Source business. We are passionate about the benefits of Open Source software and we’re committed to helping organisations take full advantage of them. Importantly, though, like many of our customers, we’re also a commercial business so we understand the pressures and imperatives they operate under. So how do we make Open Source software enterprise ready and Collabora Online a safe and reliable alternative to big-brand, proprietary solutions? Enterprise-grade support’s the key.

Simply put, we deliver all of the generic benefits of Open Source software ‘wrapped’ in a commercial, enterprise-grade maintenance and support package. This, effectively, insulates our customers from the more informal elements of Open Source software development, whilst enabling them to confidently enjoy all the obvious advantages.

This commercial ‘wrapper’ is delivered by a full-time team of expert engineers who can be contacted directly via a dedicated support platform. They are focused on maintaining a product that works for our customers, which includes tested security updates, long term supported packages (LTS) and going the ‘extra mile’ to do the boring, routine work to make a reliable commercial product as apposed to a volunteer project. They also help maintain the functionality, security and market relevance of Collabora Online by providing significant long-term technical investment in code review, linting, fuzzing and extensive automated testing from the community.

Most importantly, they help ensure that any problems discovered are easily reported and dealt with quickly, e.g. so when your Operating System auto-upgrades and document standards slide – you have us to help fix it and keep you in business! Users of Collabora Online are never left alone to deal with any problems.

The enterprise-ready benefits of Collabora Online are further strengthened with a range of support packages that are put together to address the varied needs of our customers, and include full and complete technical documentation, comprehensive SLAs and signed security updates.

So any organisation that’s looking for a real alternative to proprietary office solutions, and to free themselves of an over reliance on the big-brand vendors, can be confident that Collabora Online delivers all of the enterprise-grade features they need, combined with the benefits of Open Source in one attractive package.

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