When we think of Office Suite, the first thing which comes to our mind is MS Office. There is no doubt about usability and functionality of MS Office but it is a paid software from Microsoft. Also, there is no version available for Linux. When we think about available alternatives, the most common are OpenOffice and its fork LibreOffice. Last month, I wrote about Kingsoft(WPS) Office which has been recently launched for Linux. One reader commented on this post mentioning about one another Office Suite called SoftMaker Office.
SoftMaker Office is a product of SoftMaker Software GmbH, a software development company based in Germany. According to their website they are developing office software since their inception in 1987. There are two versions of office suite from SoftMaker; first is SoftMaker Office which is paid and second is SoftMaker FreeOffice which, as implied by the name, is free. Let’s keep our focus on FreeOffice as this is what you will be interested much about.
I downloaded SoftMaker FreeOffice for both Ubuntu and Windows and I have not noticed any difference till date. As like Kingsoft Office, there are three applications in the office suite as below –
- TextMaker – MS Word alternative for word processing
- PlanMaker – MS Excel alternative for working with spreadsheets
- Presentations – MS PowerPoint alternative for making presentations
All three applications are good to use, best part being the compatibility with MS Office. I have opened some fairly complex documents created in MS Office 2010 and SoftMaker FreeOffice displayed these documents almost as it is. In some cases, it was more compatible with MS Office in comparison of Kingsoft Office. Although user interface of Kingsoft Office is much better and beautiful.
Main features of SoftMaker FreeOffice are as below –
- Can open and save .doc/.xls/.ppt files with great compatibility
- Can open .docx/.xlsx/.pptx files (For saving you need SoftMaker Office paid version)
- SmartText – option for creating abbreviations for most used texts i.e. type ASAP for As Soon As Possible
- Export to PDF
- Track Changes
- Comprehensive drawing and image functions
- On-the-fly Spell checker as you type
- More than 330 calculation functions
- 70 different Excel compatible charts
- Unicode enabled
- Work with documents in all languages of the world
I am not able to use SoftMaker FreeOffice for much longer time but so far I found it good. It’s good to know that now there are more options for working with Office Suite applications specially for Linux.
SoftMaker FreeOffice Website (Free Version)
SoftMaker Office Website (Paid Version)