Is there any hosted, browser-based software - preferably running on PHP, but I'm ready to consider other possibilities as well - that comes close to the experience of using Google Docs? I'm interested mainly in the method of organizing documents, and the minimalistic User Interface - I could live with support for a smaller number of file types.

Both Open Source and Pay software are an option.

(Sorry, I initially put this as "hosted" which I realized later is a mistake. I'm looking for a solution that I can run myself on a server.)

4 Answers 4


You can use FengOffice, however, I don't think it has the ability to upload/download as office formats.

There is EtherPad, which google docs docs is based off of, but it only has word documents, and I don't think it has upload/download either.


Actually I myself have written something in the vein of google docs. It's backed by a mongoDb database. And I am willing to publish the source code of the project or send it to interested people. So hosting this on your own server would be no problem at all.

You can find the application here: http://mgdx.net/

This was written completely in PHP.

Currently only Rich-Text documents are supported. As in no spreadsheet or other documents. Features:

  • User management
  • Pages protected by username
  • Simple Rich-Text editing
  • Keyboard Shortcuts for editing & saving
  • Nested documents
  • Optional listing of recent documents
  • PDF Export / Download
  • Responsive Design (works on mobile Devices)

For SpreadSheets I just found this: http://www.gelsheet.org/

It is stand-alone version of the FengOffice SpreadSheet module.

  • mgdx.net is the site of some german music band. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 16:22
  • It is not. I don't understand that downvote. Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 8:27
  • Weird. Now I can open it. Unfortunately I can't revert my downvote unless the answer is edited, sorry. Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 14:11
  • Hmm, I changed the URL in my previous post slightly, but that shouldn't have made a difference. Whatever.. It now points to the correct website. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 10:45
  • How do you do PDF generation? Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 16:42

MindTouch Platform and MindTouch Core are both self-hosted. The UI is non-invasive and very clean. You can use MindTouch Platform in conjunction with the desktop connecter to import your docs. More steps than viewing a document in Google Docs, but does give you the security of your fire wall. And the WYSIWYG editor makes editing documents as simple as Word.

[As a css junkie and a page linking maverick, I would much rather stay out of Office products and use a solution like MindTouch.] You can still "Paste from Word" in the free edition if you don't want to pay for Platform. You can start with a free trial of MindTouch Platform and downgrade to Core if you don't need the extra bells. Though I must say, I do love the extra bells myself!


Perhaps Atlassian's Confluence is worth your consideration. You can easily create something similar to Google Docs and add far more functionality out of the box.


  • can it also do web-edit of xls files?
    – asgs
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:35

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