SoftMaker FreeOffice is a free Microsoft Office-compatible productivity suite.

The package includes a word processor (TextMaker), spreadsheet (PlanMaker) and presentation tool (SoftMaker), and each of these can open both the old-style and Office 2007/ 2010 files for their equivalent Microsoft application (DOC and DOCX/ DOCM/ DOTX/ DOTM, XLS and XLSX, PPT and PPTX, and so on). And reasonably accurately, too, although there are occasional problems with more complex documents.

If you're not a fan of the Microsoft Office ribbon then the SoftMaker FreeOffice interface may appeal, as it's a return to the more conventional menus and toolbars.

And the suite has plenty of useful extra features, including a handy "Export to PDF" option on every File menu, and the ability to be installed on a USB flash drive.

If you need more, though, SoftMaker are hoping you'll upgrade to the commercial version, SoftMaker Office 2016, which can be yours from $79.95.

What's new in v2016 (see the complete release notes for more)?

- Even better compatibility with Microsoft Office. Opens Word document in DOC and DOCX formats, XLS and XLSX format Excel worksheets and PowerPoint presentations in PPT and PPTX formats loss-free.
- New EPUB export and improved PDF export. Create high-quality PDF files, which now also include PDF tags, comments, tracked changes and bookmarks. A brand new addition to FreeOffice TextMaker is export to EPUB format which lets you create e-books from your documents at the flick of a key.
- Pivot tables and conditional formatting just as in Excel 2016: The latest FreeOffice PlanMaker provides pivot tables for sophisticated data analysis at eye-level with Microsoft Excel. FreeOffice PlanMaker as are additional mathematical functions and new chart types.
- Improved tables in FreeOffice Presentations. Now supports genuine tables, like those that can be found in TextMaker or modern versions of PowerPoint.
- With animations and slide transitions based on DirectX, new FreeOffice Presentations gives you a large variety of spectacular effects that make slide shows genuine "eye-catchers".

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SoftMaker FreeOffice is a capable free Office-compatible productivity suite