While we have amazing open source alternatives to Microsoft Office, it’s always good to have more options supported for Linux.
For that very same reason, the latest release of SoftMaker – Office 2021 grabbed my attention.
SoftMaker Office suite is a collection of TextMaker (word), PlanMaker (spreadsheets), and Presentation program.
It is a cross-platform solution which is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
SoftMaker is not open source software. We have covered it because they cared to make their software available on Linux. Not many developers care for desktop Linux, unfortunately. Sometimes we cover such software that are helpful to desktop Linux users even if they are not open source.
SoftMaker Office 2021: What’s New?
With the latest release, I found some very interesting changes which you may find useful for yourself.
Intuitive language and research tools
In the word processing program (i.e. TextMaker), they have added new features to facilitate the creation of extensive scientific work.
As per the press release, they mention the details as:
The literature management program Zotero is now integrated directly into the program and thus provides powerful support in terms of managing citations, bibliographies and literature sources.
In addition to the integration of Zotero, you will also find it very easy to search for online dictionaries and references from within TextMaker without endlessly browsing the Internet.
Improved support for database files
With SoftMaker Office 2021, you can now easily manage SQLite, XLSX, PMDX, and dBASE files.
Subtle & useful improvements
While this is a major overhaul, you will notice some good attention to details when we talk about the addition of automatic fold marks in a document and pre-made templates to help you quickly make a document.
Similarly, the latest release includes a bunch of improvements under-the-hood. I’ve mentioned some of them here:
- Improved file version control
- New page break preview simplify the printing of spreadsheets
- Ability to create portable slideshows
- Improved navigation within a document
Improved pricing structure
For the 2021 version, the manufacturer has made its licensing policy far more generous: The purchase of SoftMaker Office 2021 will now entitle you to install it on Windows, macOS, and Linux — on up to five computers in total.
And, this is a very good offer for a cross-platform Microsoft Office alternative that asks for a one-time fee of $59.95 for Office 2021.
You need to pay for the upgrade if you need to get the next major version. But, you also get an option to subscribe for $2.99 per month which includes free upgrades as long as your subscription is active. You can learn more about its pricing in their official website.
My Thoughts On SoftMaker Office 2021
I’ve tried the latest SoftMaker Office 2021 on both Linux (Pop OS 20.04) and Windows 10. It works as expected in my basic usage for sometime to test it out.
SoftMaker Office 2021 offers both .deb / .rpm package along with a .tgz archive file for 64-bit systems only.
If you want help installing the .deb file on any Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, you can always refer to our solutions to install deb files on Ubuntu.
Personally, I still prefer LibreOffice because they are open source in true sense. However, I understand that some people have to work with MS Office documents regularly and SoftMaker provides a mean to edit those documents on Linux.
What do you think about SoftMaker Office 2021? Is it something that sounds good to have for Linux as a replacement to Microsoft Office? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!