SoftMaker FreeOffice Review

An in-depth look at a free alternative to MS Office

Screenshot of the SoftMaker FreeOffice logo

SoftMaker FreeOffice is a free office suite that includes a spreadsheet, word processor, and presentation program, making it a suitable free Microsoft Office alternative

The application that most resembles Microsoft Word is called TextMaker, while Presentations and PlanMaker can be used as alternatives to PowerPoint and Excel, respectively.

SoftMaker FreeOffice system requirements are:

  • Windows 7, 8, 10, Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer
  • macOS 10.10 or higher
  • Any PC-based Linux (32 or 64 bits)

Pros

  • Supports automatic spell check in all three programs
  • Can install select programs (for example, just TextMaker)
  • Opens popular file types found in other office programs
  • Works with Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems
  • SoftMaker Office HD Basic is available for Android tablets
  • Completely free for both personal and commercial use

Cons

  • Can't save to the newer Microsoft Office file formats
  • Must enter your email address to start the download and receive the product key

SoftMaker FreeOffice File Formats

SoftMaker FreeOffice fully supports the following file types (files can be opened and saved 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

Note that popular formats found in Microsoft Office programs, such as DOCX, PPT, and XLS, are fully supported in SoftMaker FreeOffice.

SoftMaker FreeOffice can open the formats listed below, but files can't be saved back to the same format. Choose one of the fully supported formats listed above when saving one of these files:

CSV, DOCM, DOCX, DOTM, DOTX, HTML, OTT, PMW, POTM, POTX, PPSM, PPSX, PPTM, PPTX, PRN, SDC, SXW, WPD, WRI, XLSM, XLSX, XLTM, XLTX

All SoftMaker FreeOffice applications can export a document to PDF, but TextMaker can also save to EPUB for building ebooks.

SoftMaker FreeOffice can attempt to read text from any file type, even one that's not listed here, but the file may not be fully functional once opened. Once the file is open, save it to one of the fully supported formats.

SoftMaker FreeOffice vs. Microsoft Office

While Microsoft Office is expensive and SoftMaker FreeOffice is free, don't assume Office is a better choice. Evaluate your needs and compare them to each suite's features to see which is right for you.

Both SoftMaker FreeOffice and Microsoft Office deliver sound core office programs (spreadsheet, presentation maker, and word processor). Most of the acceptable file types are interchangeable and the corresponding programs share similar features. Microsoft Office boasts an email client, communications platform, and note-taking software, as well.

Take a look at the individual features of each suite before deciding what's right for your needs.

SoftMaker FreeOffice is 100% free to use, while Microsoft Office is not. However, a free trial of Microsoft Office is available if you'd like to try it for a month at no cost.

Final Thoughts

Unlike some other free office suites, SoftMaker FreeOffice can automatically identify spelling mistakes in all three of its programs, even PlanMaker.

SoftMaker FreeOffice can open a wide variety of file formats, even most of the new ones created by MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. But it's unfortunate it can't save files to some of these same formats. Other free office suites, such as LibreOffice, do allow this.

SoftMaker's program interface is easy to use, and the product offers a wide range of tools and functions that make it a sound, usable office suite.