The price of Microsoft Office 365 can seem very steep, especially if you’re don’t qualify for its cut down Student version. Yet there are numerous other office applications out there and investigating an alternative like SoftMaker Office 2018 could save you some money. Maybe.
SoftMaker Office 2018 is the latest version of the office suite from German developer, SoftMaker Software. It comes in two versions; Standard and Professional. The Standard version includes a word processor (TextMaker), spreadsheet (PlanMaker) and presentation (Presentations) programs. You also get an enhnaced version of the Mozilla Thunderbird email client. The Professional suite includes all Standard has to offer plus four Berlitz dictionaries.
The look and feel of some of the components is very similar to the Microsoft Office 365 components, which we think looks fantastic. You also have an option of switching to a classic "menu" design. Of course, SoftMaker Office is also fully compatible with docx, xlsx and pptx documents, making it a seamless transition. There are Linux and Mac versions in development.
The software does what it’s meant to achieve. TextMaker is a more than adequate word processor that includes some text effects not available in its free competitors. PlanMaker offers everything you might want from a spreadsheet program and Presentations is a good PowerPoint substitute. There’s just not enough difference to make these stand out from the free alternatives available in LibreOffice or OpenOffice.
What's new in 2018 build 940 (see changelog for more)?
- TextMaker no longer needs libidn.so.11 which is not provided by some Linux distributions anymore.
SoftMaker Office 20182 in either Standard or Professional guises provides an alternative to Microsoft Office, but, compared to LibreOffice, it’s very pricey.