Computers & Electronics

SoftMaker FreeOffice: Very elegant MS-Office replacement

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  • Feb 23rd, 2014 8:24 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 25, 2002
227 posts
127 upvotes

SoftMaker FreeOffice: Very elegant MS-Office replacement

SoftMaker FreeOffice

I recently came across this excellent free office suite from the German software company SoftMaker, and it's become my default tool for word processing and presentations. Apparently it's quite popular in Europe.

It's got a much cleaner and more attractive user interface than LibreOffice and OpenOffice*, and it renders on-screen fonts much better than they do. It also seems somewhat better at rendering MS-Word and PowerPoint documents properly, but your mileage may vary. And I far prefer it to the ribbon interface in Word itself, which after seven years still drives me crazy!

As the freeware version of the commercial SoftMaker Office suite, FreeOffice has a couple of minor limitations. It can open docx files, but it can't save to docx, for example. All that said, I really like it.

[IMG]http://freeoffice.com/images/stories/textmaker_en.png[/IMG]


*Don't get me wrong, LibreOffice and OpenOffice are still excellent programs, and they're open source, which FreeOffice isn't, if that matters to you. FreeOffice also lacks some of their extras, like a drawing program and a database. I actually keep LibreOffice installed and sometimes switch back and forth. It does certain things better than FreeOffice, and vice versa. And hey, they're both free, so why not?
8 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 18, 2007
4114 posts
299 upvotes
New Westminster
i use kingsoft. have you tried it and if so how does it compare?
Poor Grammar and being long winded don't fit well together, Oh well.
Member
Apr 8, 2009
315 posts
70 upvotes
Keas wrote: i use kingsoft. have you tried it and if so how does it compare?


kingsoft is much better.


kingsoft, for one, can edit and save ".docx" files.
[OP]
Member
Sep 25, 2002
227 posts
127 upvotes
Keas wrote: i use kingsoft. have you tried it and if so how does it compare?
I tried Kingsoft Free 2012 for a little while, and though it's not bad, I didn't like it anywhere near as much as FreeOffice. I don't know if they've updated it since, but when I was using it, it couldn't save to .docx, though just like FreeOffice it could open .docx and re-save to a bunch of other formats.

Kingsoft has the most-Word-like interface, virtually a direct clone of the pre-2007 Word UI, so that's good if you're looking for a smooth transition. But for me, the killer problem with Kingsoft Free was its lack of templates. Not only couldn't it open Word templates, it didn't seem to have a template function at all. Now, it's difficult to complain about something given away for free, but since FreeOffice, LibreOffice and OpenOffice are all compatible with Word templates up to 2013, I thought that was a huge gap in the functionality.

Also, I was frankly nervous about security. Kingsoft is based in China and has very close and longstanding ties to the Chinese government. A little paranoid? Maybe. But given the very clear history of cyberhacking by Chinese intelligence, I don't think these concerns are unreasonable.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 8, 2007
9319 posts
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Way Out of GTA
+1 on preferring the pre-ribbon interface...and why I'm still on office 2003...which still does what I need it to do. Thanks for throwing up some alternatives.
Member
Apr 8, 2009
315 posts
70 upvotes
1.
kingsoft currently CAN read/write/save in ".docx" files:

http://www.ksosoft.com/writer/214-can-i ... ffice.html


2.
I cannot believe how brainwashed some Canadians are from USA/CANADIAN propaganda medias.

There is not a thread of evidence to prove that CHINA spy/read/steal data from anyone
on the other hand,
it was proven that USA's NSA spy on everybody; and God knows what else the US government as well as the Canadian government is doing behind our back.
and
not to scare everyone reading this,
the local POLICE forces regularly taps phone wires WITHOUT a judge's permission__they call it: "emergency wiretap".



.
Deal Addict
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Feb 14, 2009
2237 posts
142 upvotes
al_the_great wrote: 1.
kingsoft currently CAN read/write/save in ".docx" files:

http://www.ksosoft.com/writer/214-can-i ... ffice.html


2.
I cannot believe how brainwashed some Canadians are from USA/CANADIAN propaganda medias.

There is not a thread of evidence to prove that CHINA spy/read/steal data from anyone
on the other hand,
it was proven that USA's NSA spy on everybody; and God knows what else the US government as well as the Canadian government is doing behind our back.
and
not to scare everyone reading this,
the local POLICE forces regularly taps phone wires WITHOUT a judge's permission__they call it: "emergency wiretap
".



.
Oh.. noes... I'm scared now. What have you done!!!!

You only need to feel 'scared' if you have crap to hide! If they catch one terrorist then great, I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of my 'freedom'.. On the other hand if they don't do this 'scarey' stuff people might die.. That's kind of scarey.
Member
Apr 8, 2009
315 posts
70 upvotes
mcplar wrote: Oh.. noes... I'm scared now. What have you done!!!!

You only need to feel 'scared' if you have crap to hide! If they catch one terrorist then great, I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of my 'freedom'.. On the other hand if they don't do this 'scarey' stuff people might die.. That's kind of scarey.




Benjamin Franklin:

They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 14, 2009
2237 posts
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al_the_great wrote: Benjamin Franklin:

They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

.
oi vey ... :face palm:

You're calling that an 'essential liberty'. Look how the US reacted post 9-11, how they treated anyone who was 'not one of them'. I don't want to have to go through that again, and I'm white!

So go stand by your 'rights & liberties' and let me know how those change when (cause there will be another one...) it happens again.. You'll be the first to say 'why hasn't the government protected us' or 'they should have known'...

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