By Nicholas Fearn
Contributions from Steve McCaskill, Brian Turner, Jonas P. DeMuro
Steve McCaskill, Brian Turner, Jonas P. DeMuro
DMS systems for managing files and folders
The best document management software (DMS) makes it simple and easy to manage files within a team.
Document management is becoming increasingly important as the concept of a paperless office is becoming an everyday reality, especially with the growth in cloud storage, as many service providers can also accommodate document sharing and syncing for organizations.
However, document management isn't simply about archiving information securely online, as much as making the whole process of document management easier, covering everything from branded templates, improving workflows, working with collaboration tools (opens in new tab), as well as being able to sort through sometimes technical information. And that's on top of general document editing and management (opens in new tab) tasks.
Good document management software also has to be able to work with different digital file types, not just from office software (opens in new tab), images and designs, and anything else you could imagine previously being printed on paper, including from legacy file formats. These days it will also cater for e-signing software (opens in new tab) for documents.
However, a lot of suppliers and contractors will still deal with paper, so any DMS needs to have a document scanning (opens in new tab) solution, often working as a standalone or part of an OCR scanning software (opens in new tab) package, so that any such paper invoices, receipts, or other documents can be scanned so that a digital copy can be archived while the paper version is recycled.
The paperless office has been a long-time in coming, but it's finally here for those who want to embrace it. Here then are the best document management software solutions.
We've also featured the best alternatives to Microsoft Office.
The best document management software of 2023 in full:
Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
An all-in-one document management solution
Automated compliance checks
Templafy is one of the best document management tools out there. The system aims to integrate essential office suites and solutions used by businesses on a daily basis.
If there’s one thing that can be frustrating, it’s having to create brand documents using different software. This can become time-consuming and fragmented, but Templafy can help. With it, you can create a range of files within the system and manage them from a single feed.
The software is compatible with a range of devices and uses the cloud to let you access all your documents across computers, tablets and smartphones. There are also automatic compliance checks, and you can give feedback to employees easily, too.
Contact is required for a pricing quote, and not surprisingly, the exact cost depends on the number of users, features and add-ons chosen.
Document software that detects duplication
When it comes to document management, M-Files aims to improve internal workflows, and to ensure important information is kept secure at all times. Its customers include many large corporations such as Comcast and Yokohama.
There’s a single vault for a plethora of files, and you can easily find them by client, project, date, status or other criteria. The software aims to avoid duplication – it’s quite common to end up with two copies of the same report, or possibly more.
M-Files will alert you if a document has been saved twice by analyzing names and project data. You get some great integrations too, including Microsoft Office and Salesforce CRM (opens in new tab).
There is a free trial available, but pricing isn’t stipulated on the site, so you have to get in touch for a quote.
Read our full M-Files review.
Document organization moves to the cloud
Covers full range of document tasks
DocuWare takes a cloud-based approach to document management. It integrates cloud storage and office automation to create a digital workplace. This paperless approach to the full spectrum of office tasks is another example of the digital transformation (opens in new tab) which is driving many processes these days.
DocuWare offers services to create a ‘cloud workflow’ when it comes to documents. It allows services to be purchased on a small scale as needed, and then as use-case scenarios are created, and reliability is ensured, the service can be scaled up for a larger deployment.
Mobile apps that can integrate into this workflow are also offered, facilitating the likes of scanning receipts on the go, approving invoices for speedy payment, and signing forms directly on the device.
While DocuWare does offer a demo and free trial, the pricing of course, depends on the services chosen, therefore requiring the prospective buyer to get in touch for a custom quote.
Read our full DocuWare review.
DMS focused on compliance
Supported by regulators
Within big organizations, there are often processes and regulations put in place to ensure documents are compliant and follow company guidelines. But when you have a ton of files, it can be hard to follow such rules.
MasterControl Document Control Software, which is used by some of the world’s largest regulatory bodies, is document management software that addresses complex regulations and standards around the globe. It aims to reduce compliance cost and increase internal efficiency.
The system fully automates routing, delivery, escalation and approval of vital documents. It also sports a centralized, secure archive where you can store and search for business files.
There is no indication of a free trial, and pricing requires contacting the company for a quote.
Cloud-based collaboration at its best
Fully cloud optimized
Smart collaboration features
If you’re looking for a cloud solution for creating documents, then you should definitely check out XaitPorter.
The great thing about this system is that it’s extremely flexible. You’re able to collaborate and work on documents with colleagues simultaneously, and you can easily share feedback with each other. It also manages all aspects of workflow, so you don’t have to worry about formatting, numbering and layout.
XaitPorter has some useful tricks on the integrations front, as well. The software can work with Salesforce, Oracle, SAS, Microsoft 365, OpenText and Dropbox. And it’s currently used by over 45,000 firms across the globe.
While there is a demo available, there is no free trial, and pricing requires getting in touch for a quote.
Other DMS platforms to consider
While there are a number of dedicated office and document platforms we could mention, not least Office 365, LibreOffice, and Adobe Document Cloud, these are more focused on creating documents and managing those, rather than managing and storing documents from multiple sources and formats. Therefore we'll continue this list by featuring some of the other DMS solutions worth considering:
Samepage (opens in new tab) is a little different to standard document management as it's more about creating a single focal point for all communications, projects, and document sharing tools. The aim is to simplify everything in a single app as opposed to having multiple software applications for different tasks. The interface is simple and easy to use, with collaboration built into the heart of it. In that regard it makes Samepage a potentially flexible solution to cover multiple needs.
Dokmee (opens in new tab) advertises itself as an enterprise content management solution, to organize, secure, and manage files. It supports a number of document formats, and also provides document imaging and data capture as part of its service. Everything can be smartly indexed using AI, with files automatically stamped for indexing, as well as rules-based routing to make storage and archiving easier, which is all done through secure hosting in the cloud. As expected, collaboration is supported, with permissions and auditing options available for easier file management.
eFileCabinet (opens in new tab) is a document management software solution that uses smart automation to organize, name, and store files according to their content. Templates are available to customize the document folder tree throughout your system. Permissions, file/folder expiration, and notifications can also be set up for file sharing and for sending file requests, all of which is done using a secure URL. General accessibility rules can also be set up according to company policy.
Abbyy (opens in new tab) are perhaps most famous for their file reader and scanning services, but they also provide a digital document archiving service which allows for the secure storage and use of documents. Access can be tracked and logged, and existing documents can be reused and edited as required for reissue. Meta keywords can be applied for easy search on top of normal search functions, and distributed easily via the web or email as required. One potential limitation is that Abbyy services are primarily built to store documents in PDF format.
We've also featured the best cloud document storage.
Which document management software is best for you?
When deciding which document management software to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as budget-priced software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.
How we tested the best document management software
To test for the best document management software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.
Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).
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Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!
With contributions from
- Steve McCaskill
- Brian Turner
- Jonas P. DeMuro
What is the future of document management? ›
Cloud is the future for document management because it is the easiest, most efficient way to access and organize your documents – no matter where your work takes you.Does Office 365 have document management? ›
Does Microsoft Have a Document Management System? You bet your bottom dollar it does! Microsoft 365 document management is now a reality thanks to the combined power of solutions like SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.What is top best practice for document management? ›
Clear indexing, file versioning and access hierarchy are the core document management system best practices. Create a paperless process and migrate your paper-based processes to electronic forms. Making use of automations improves workflow and file management.What are the trends in document management system? ›
The global document management system market size was valued at USD 5.00 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 5.55 billion in 2022 to USD 16.42 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.8% during the forecast period. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a decline of -0.9% in 2020 as compared to 2019.Is Microsoft Project a document management software? ›
Microsoft Project is a project management software product, developed and sold by Microsoft. It is designed to assist a project manager in developing a schedule, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, managing the budget, and analyzing workloads.Why SharePoint is not a document management system? ›
SharePoint is not a DMS. Users find it difficult to use, resulting in poor adoption. Poor document control and security. Limited workflow and automation capabilities.Is Google Docs a document management system? ›
Google Drive is a cloud-based program that allows you to create, edit, store, and share documents. Many businesses use it as a file management system; documents sit in the Cloud as well as synchronising with users' local versions of the system.How do I organize my documents in Office 365? ›
- Select New > Folder .
- Type a name for the folder and select Create.
- Select the files you want and drag them into the folder.
- Microsoft Word.
- Google Workspace.
- Adobe Acrobat.
- Dropbox Paper.
- Foxit PDF Editor.
- Adobe Export PDF.
WPS Office and LibreOffice are the best office software that can be used for composing Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents. If you want an office suite with cloud sharing, select WPS Office, Google Docs, and Office Online Writer.
What is the difference between document management and document control? ›
Document management is about storing, sharing, and tracking documents to improve the efficiency of your operations. But document control is about marshalling the flow of knowledge and data in your organisation.What are the two most widely used documents processing software? ›
One of the most widely used is Microsoft Office. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. Originally developed for the Windows operating system, this office suite also has a version for Mac OS. OpenOffice by Apache is a free and open source office suite.Is Microsoft Office a document management system? ›
Does Microsoft have a Document Management System? Yes, it does. Microsoft Office 365 provides various software solutions including SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics and OneDrive for document management. Any of the above can be used depending on the needs of each organization.Can you use SharePoint as a document management system? ›
SharePoint Server offers a range of features to help organize and store documents, from specialized sites to loosely structured document libraries for quick document creation and collaboration. Within a library, you can additionally organize content into folders and subfolders.What are the three types of software documentation? ›
- Process documentation. ...
- Planning documentation. ...
- Estimate documentation. ...
- Standards documentation. ...
- Metrics documentation. ...
- Scheduling documentation. ...
- Product documentation. ...
- System documentation.
The two primary system documentation categories for MSP IT documentation systems include product and process documentation. Process documentation includes both your internal and external how-to information, like service level agreements, development process notes, and standard operating procedures.What are the three major new information system trends? ›
1b) Identify three major new information system trends. The three major new information system trends are: Emerging mobile digital platforms, the growth of online software as a service, and the growth of cloud computing. 1.)What is Microsoft Project called now? ›
Microsoft Project is also known by other names such as MS Project or Project Professional, which is the software's current official name. There are also other Microsoft Project products with similar names such as Project Online, Project Server and Project for the Web.How much does MS Project cost per month? ›
Meet the simple, powerful, reimagined Project for everyone. Get Project, starting at $10.00 per month. Stay organized, focused, and in charge.How much is MS Project per year? ›
Microsoft Project Standard 2021 costs around $680. This version does not allow for any syncing with Project Online, which means you won't be able to collaborate automatically with other Project Online and Project Server users.
Which document management system is better than SharePoint? ›
The Google ecosystem offers a diverse, affordable alternative to other commercial platforms like SharePoint. Google provides tools for email, file sharing, real time shared document editing, and communication. You can access all of these from any location and any device.
|Visio Services in SharePoint (in Microsoft 365)||February 10, 2023|
|Microsoft Store for Business and Education||March 31, 2023|
The short answer is no. You shouldn't plan to replace SharePoint with Teams completely, but it might be a good idea to integrate the two. SharePoint has many of the necessary features to operate as a successful company intranet. With Teams, administrators have far less control and capabilities.Why use Microsoft Office over Google Docs? ›
Word included in Microsoft 365 will provide the most storage space, so if you're working with large files, you'll want to go with this option. Google Docs is limited to 15GB of storage, so if you don't have a lot of documents or many large documents, then it will be an ideal solution for you.What is Google Docs called now? ›
Google Workspace. Business Apps & Collaboration Tools.What is the Microsoft equivalent of Google Docs? ›
Microsoft Word. One of the best Google Docs alternatives and most widely-used word processors out there is Microsoft Word. Its user-friendly and advanced features allow users to create, save, and export professional-quality documents.What is the document storage system for Office 365 called? ›
OneDrive for work or school is your personal document library in Microsoft 365. Files you store in OneDrive for work or school are private by default, but you can share them as needed. Your team site is a site shared by specific people in your organization.Can you make folders in Office 365? ›
Select "+New" button > Folder
Select on "New" blue button. Select on "Folder."
Your best bet with storing important documents is a safe deposit box. Most banks or credit unions offer safe deposit boxes. Some banks will offer a discount if you're a current customer as well.Is there a better program than Microsoft Word? ›
Arguably, Google Docs is a powerful word processor and among the better-known alternatives to Microsoft Word. It mirrors Microsoft Word in terms of functionality. It allows users to create files and share them in various formats.
Is Google Docs better than Microsoft? ›
User-friendly features make MS Word the most preferred processor for most people in educational areas. On the other hand, Google Docs is preferred by tech-savvy users who enjoy working online and require access to their documents on multiple devices at all times.What makes a good document management system? ›
An ideal document management system has an inbuilt enterprise level Business Process Management and Workflow Automation that automatically routes the documents to their destination. Also it allows you to create your own processes and manage them however you like.What is the most important software that runs on a computer? ›
An operating system is the most important software which runs on a computer. It controls the computer's memory, processes and all software and hardware. Several computer programs normally run at the same time, all of which need to access the computer's processor (CPU), memory, and storage.Is there a free program like Microsoft Word? ›
- Dropbox Paper. Dropbox Paper is a free online word processor offered by the online cloud storage provider. ...
- Google Docs. ...
- Etherpad. ...
- Zoho. ...
- LibreOffice. ...
- Jarte. ...
- WPS Office. ...
- SoftMaker FreeOffice.
Microsoft Word is a word processing program that allows for the creation of both simple and complex documents. With Office 365, you are able to download the application to your hard drive and will also have access to the online version.Which are three functions of a document management system? ›
According to business.com, there are three main functions for a document management system which are the ability to capture, store, and distribute documents. These are the fundamental features supplied, and several providers have expanded their services to assist with process automation.What is basic document management? ›
Document management is a system or process used to capture, track and store electronic documents such as PDFs, word processing files and digital images of paper-based content. Document management can save you time and money.What is an example of document management system? ›
PDF Readers are the best example of a Document Management System through which you can access the PDF file offline and store it to view and even print and publish it anytime at any place.What is one of the most popular and powerful word processing software today? ›
Microsoft Word is a powerful word processor for anyone to create Word documents, spreadsheets, emails, and more. It's part of the Microsoft Office Suite, which makes it easy to integrate with other Microsoft products like Excel and PowerPoint.What is the most widely used word processing software today? ›
Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processing software according to a user tracking system built into the software.
What is the most widely used document format? ›
Word document (DOC and DOCX)
This file format, created by Microsoft, is the standard file type for documents in the Word processing software.
DMS comes with better folder and document structures compared to SharePoint. The use of indexing and metadata functionality greatly increases the speed of finding and retrieving searchable documents. This is a highly essential feature for an efficient organization.Can you store documents in Microsoft Access? ›
You can store multiple files in a single record. For example, you can store images, and files created with word processing and spreadsheet programs. You can attach a maximum of two gigabytes of data (the maximum size for an Access database).Why not use SharePoint for document management? ›
SharePoint's 'out of the box' document management capabilities are surprisingly limited. Automatic versioning and audit trails don't come as standard. To set up required document control functions you may have to use lots of different plug-ins.How do I choose a document management system? ›
- User-friendliness should come first. ...
- Ensure that the software aligns with desired business benefits. ...
- Factoring in security and compliance. ...
- Preconfigured solutions reduce implementation time from weeks to days. ...
- Must-haves for every office automation solution.
Objectives of Document Management:
Reduce lost and misfiled documents. Provide faster search and retrieval of documents. Reduce the amount of physical space used to store documents, such as file cabinets, boxes and shelving. Better organize existing documents.
A Document Controller is a professional who maintains organized and updated documents for a business using document management software, uploading or scanning paper documents, obtaining documents, and ensuring proper and secure storage.Why do we need document management? ›
Reduce costs and improve relationships
Paper storage may require significant physical space. A document management platform can integrate disparate documents for greater control, access and process efficiency. It offers advantages in terms of information retrieval, security, governance and lower cost of operations.
A document management system puts documents all in one place, ensuring that employees are working with the same set of information. This centralized repository of critical documents can serve as a “source of truth” across the organization.Do I need a document management system? ›
A good document management system can help organize all of your files and data in one place, keep track of all of your critical documents, speed up your workflow, improve accuracy and provide around-the-clock access to documents from any part of the world.
What are the two types of filing system? ›
Filing in Alphabetical order. Filing by Numbers/Numerical order.Which is the most important element of document management systems? ›
Retrieval is a key element of every document management system. It is all about how a document is retrieved from the central storage. It is a complex process that regulates permissions and access to each document.
Document controllers make $41,157 per year on average, or $19.79 per hour, in the United States.What is a document controller salary? ›
The average salary for Document Controller is £36,452 per year in the London.Is the document controller is a entry level job? ›
Many employers prefer Document Controllers with experience in the field they're applying for. However, Junior Document Controller roles are entry-level positions requiring no specific experience.What is a good documentation system? ›
Good documentation practices (also known as GdocP or GDP) are guidelines for document management and control designed to help companies in regulated industries meet required quality standards.What is another name for document management system? ›
DMS started as a way to convert paper documents into digital documents. Hence, DMS is sometimes referred to as an electronic filing cabinet.What is another name for document management? ›
Document management, often referred to as Document Management Systems (DMS), is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information captured through the use of a document scanner.What are the disadvantages of document management? ›
- Lack of storage space.
- Security issues.
- Prone to damage.
- Document transportation.
- Editing problems.
- High costs.
- Limit communication and collaboration.
- Environmental damage.
Does Microsoft have a Document Management System? Yes, it does. Microsoft Office 365 provides various software solutions including SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics and OneDrive for document management. Any of the above can be used depending on the needs of each organization.
What are the disadvantages of EDMS? ›
Initial costs aside, a significant disadvantage with electronic systems is the relatively short shelf-life of both hardware and software. Hardware could require substitution in as little as 18 months while software changes every 2-3 years.