SoftMaker FreeOffice Review
A Full Review of SoftMaker FreeOffice, a Free Alternative to MS Office
Automatic spell check and support for common file types are a couple of the main features.
Tip: SoftMaker FreeOffice is 100% free to use, while Microsoft Office is not. However, you can still get a free trial of Microsoft Office if you'd like to try that office suite for a month at no cost.
More About SoftMaker FreeOffice
SoftMaker FreeOffice includes three programs that can function as an alternative to Microsoft Office. The application that most resembles Microsoft Word is called TextMaker, while Presentations and PlanMaker can be used as alternatives to PowerPoint and Excel, respectively.
- Supports automatic spell check in all three programs
- Can install select programs (e.g. just TextMaker)
- Opens the popular file types found in other office programs
- Works with Windows, Linux, and Android operating systems
- Completely free for both personal use and commercial use
- Can't save to the newer MS Office file formats
- Must enter your email address to start the download and recieve the product key
SoftMaker FreeOffice File Formats
SoftMaker FreeOffice fully supports the following file types, meaning that you can open and save back to these formats:
DBF, DIF, DOC, DOT, HTM, ODT, PMD, PMV, POT, PPS, PPT, PRD, PRS, PRV, PSW, PWD, RTF, SLK, TMD, TMV, TXT, XLS, XLT
As you can see, popular Microsoft Office files, including DOC, PPT, and XLS, are fully supported in SoftMaker FreeOffice.
The file formats below can be opened with SoftMaker FreeOffice but can not be saved back to the same format. You'll need to choose a format listed above to save one of these file types to after opening:
CSV, DOCM, DOCX, DOTM, DOTX, HTML, OTT, PMW, POTM, POTX, PPSM, PPSX, PPTM, PPTX, PRN, SDC, SXW, WPD, WRI, XLSM, XLSX, XLTM, XLTX
All of the SoftMaker FreeOffice applications can export the document to PDF as well, but TextMaker has the special function of being able to save to EPUB for building ebooks.
Note: SoftMaker FreeOffice can attempt to read text from any file type, even one that's not listed above, though it may not be fully functional once opened. Once the file is open, you can save it to one of the formats from the first list of file types.
SoftMaker FreeOffice vs Microsoft Office
If something is more expensive than something else, like MS Office and SoftMaker FreeOffice, there's an immediate presumption that it's better in quality. However, it's important to instead look at what you need from an office suite instead of what you're getting.
Both MS Office and Microsoft Office deliver the most popular office programs - a spreadsheet builder, presentation maker, and a word processor. Most of the acceptable file types are interchangeable and you'll find several of the same features in both suites.
There will always be features that differ in both suites, but it's hardly acceptable to sum up which is better than the other when both have such drastic, yet similar abilities.
My Thoughts on SoftMaker FreeOffice
I think it's important for any software to have the ability to check for spelling errors. Unlike similar office suites, SoftMaker FreeOffice can automatically identify spelling mistakes in all three of the programs, even in PlanMaker.
SoftMaker FreeOffice can open a wide variety of file formats, even most of the new ones created by MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, it's unfortunate it's unable to save files to some of these same formats. Fortunately, there are other free office suites that do allow this, like LibreOffice.
Overall, the program interface isn't difficult to use and there's a wide range of tools and functions that make it a nice office suite.