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SoftMaker FreeOffice

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SoftMaker FreeOffice Editor's Review

When you talk about a Windows based Office productivity software, a majority of people will think of Microsoft Office before other apps. Despite its price tag, MS Office continues to be the most widely used Office app across the world. However, it does not mean you cannot find a capable and user friendly alternative, when you are low on budget. Apart from OpenOffice, you can find a few handy but lesser known Office apps. One such instance is SoftMaker FreeOffice. The German based company is little known outside but this app is a capable alternative to the product of Redmond based software giant. It may not woo you with all those bells and whistles that you get with pricier rivals but basic office functionality is assured.

SoftMaker FreeOffice can be downloaded for free and it runs on PCs equipped with Windows XP and latter editions. The installer is not large and it does not require much user input for installation either.

As it is, SoftMaker FreeOffice comprises of three core apps- TextMaker, which is a word-processor, a spreadsheet app named PlanMaker and SoftMaker Presentations, equivalent to MS PowerPoint. The company also makes commercial versions that come with components with apps like Outlook. You can also install a portable version of the app on a USB drive.

When you work with an alternative Office productivity app, the first concern you have is Ms Office compatibility. This is owing to the fact that you have to share documents with other people who use Microsoft software. When you use SoftMaker FreeOffice, you need not bother about compatibility with Word or Excel documents at all. Its apps import those files without any glitch. It even lets you open password protected MS Office files. The software can also import and open WordPerfect documents. FreeOffice's interface resembles that of Microsoft Office 2003 to an extent. Inclusion of a PDF icon is handy as you can save in that format without scampering through menus. However, omission of live word count is a drawback.

You will be happy while using SoftMaker FreeOffice for its responsiveness. Complex Microsoft Office documents that rival LibreOffice takes long time to open, are opened in this app within seconds. Most of the formatting will be left intact. One nice thing is that you get warning about formatting loss while opening such MS Office documents in SoftMaker FreeOffice. Incidentally, LibreOffice excels in importing such documents with conditional formatting.

TextMaker will suit needs of most users and it offers a handy "continuous" view. It however lacks support for mail-merge to make form letters. This is one feature you get in the company’s paid version. The free version also offers limited graphic element handling capability. PlanMaker is ideal for basic calculations. The smooth pivot tables of Excel are not there and you have to use filtering options for tables. However, it does come with lots of arithmetic functions and decent graph generation features. SoftMaker Presentations is no match for PowerPoint but you can make basic presentations quickly. It will import simple PowerPoint files too.

Positive Points:
• Free app, intuitive interface.
• Good support for MS Office files.
• Smooth operation while dealing with large documents.
• Support for PDF.

Negative Points:
• Cannot handle complex Microsoft Office documents.
• Mail Merge and Live word count not included.
• Spreadsheet app is no match for Excel.

Conclusion:
It is easy to get startled by limitations of SoftMaker FreeOffice but the benefits cater to needs of users on a budget. The freeware app is ideal for students and those who want a capable office productivity app without paying anything. Compared to other segment rivals, FreeOffice offers better performance and its compatibility with WordPerfect and MS Office documents is exemplary. Of course, it will not handle complex and graphics heavy files properly but it is true of neatly every contender in this segment. The suite’s handy features and speed of operation outshine the limitations eventually.
Rating: 3.5/5







SoftMaker FreeOffice Publisher's Description

SoftMaker FreeOffice offers users the possibility to create and preview spreadsheets without needing to purchase any costly application.

In addition, this suite features a word processor and a chart-dedicated tool that can be used to generate a wide range of diagrams.

NOTE: In order to use the product, you need to register and obtain a serial key for free.

Free download from Shareware Connection - SoftMaker FreeOffice offers users the possibility to create and preview spreadsheets without needing to purchase any costly application.

Publisher: SoftMaker Software GmbH | License: Shareware
Version: Rev 668 | Platform: Win2000, Windows 7, Windows 8, WinOther, WinVista
Released Date: | Rating: 5 | Title: SoftMaker FreeOffice

Author Url: http://www.softmaker.com
Program Info Url: http://www.softmaker.com
Download Url: http://www.softmaker.net/down/freeofficewindows.exe

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Shareware Connection periodically updates pricing and software information of 'SoftMaker FreeOffice' from company source 'SoftMaker Software GmbH' , so some information may be slightly out-of-date. You should confirm all information before relying on it. Software piracy is theft,  Using 'SoftMaker FreeOffice' crack, password, serial numbers, registration codes, key generators is illegal and prevent future development of SoftMaker FreeOffice.

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