SoftMaker Office 2018 is Now Available for Linux

Brief: Premium office suite SoftMaker has released its latest version for Linux. The new version comes with ribbon interface, improved compatibility with Microsoft Office and several other improvements.

Last week we saw the release of LibreOffice 6.0. This week we have SoftMaker 2018 office suite released for Linux.

SoftMaker is a premium office suite available for Windows, macOS and Linux. It is neither free nor open source and this is the reason why I didn’t include it in the list of best open source office suites for Linux.

However, if you don’t care for the open source part and you are not happy with LibreOffice, you can have a try at SoftMaker. It is a feature rich office product with a modern and intuitive UI. Compatibility with Microsoft Office is a big plus for SoftMaker office.

SoftMaker office has four products:

TextMaker: Word processing application

SoftMaker Office TextMaker

PlanMaker: Spreadsheet application

SoftMaker office PlanMaker

Presentations: Presentation application

SoftMaker office Presentations

Thunderbird “powered by SoftMaker”: Thunderbird with plugins to manage emails, tasks and appointments

Thunderbird SoftMaker

New features in SoftMaker 2018 Linux

Here are some of the new features in SoftMaker 2018:

  • Includes modern ribbon interface with option to switch to the classic view
  • Uses GNOME’s standard file dialogs
  • Documents can be tabbed with option to drag them to open in a new window 
  • Uses DOCX, XLSX and PPTX natively to provide seamless compatibility with MS Office documents
  • New 2D and 3D animations and slide transitions based on OpenGL
  • Includes “presenter view” where presenter’s monitor displays current and upcoming slides while the viewers see the current slide in full view
  • Available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. This is the first 64-bit release for Linux.

Download SoftMaker 2018

SoftMaker 2018 office for Linux

With my conversation with a number of Linux users, I know that many people have to deal with MS Office for business purposes. LibreOffice, though excellent, is not often the best solution in such cases. Going back to Windows just for an office product should be avoided. One can either use something like CrossOver or SoftMaker and keep on using Linux happily.

As I mentioned earlier, SoftMaker is proprietary software and the pricing starts at 70 Euro for a one-time license for five computers. Upgrade to a new major version is sold separately but you can choose to continue using your existing purchased version.

Good thing is that you don’t have to throw your money without trying. SoftMaker offers a 30 days free trial period. If you don’t want to pay at all, SoftMaker has a limited feature FreeOffice available for Linux as well.

You can easily install SoftMaker using the DEB and RPM packages for Debian/Ubuntu and Fedora. There is also a tar package for installing SoftMaker for other distributions.

Get SoftMaker 2018 for Linux

SoftMaker 2018 is already released for Windows while work is in progress for macOS version.

Quick Note: I know this question will be raised (again) as to why I am covering a non-FOSS product on a website called “It’s FOSS”. To clarify, at It’s FOSS we have the focus on two things: Open Source and Linux. As a desktop Linux user, I cover stuff that relates to Linux even when it is not FOSS. But if it helps an average Linux user, then why not. 

By the way, which office suite do you use on Linux?

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  • I use the free version of Softmaker Office and am extremely happy with it. As far as I can tell, the only thing I’m missing out on by not upgrading to the paid full version is saving to the updated M$ Office file formats (.docx, etc.). Reading them is no problem.

    Softmaker/FreeOffice is noticeably (and I mean a LOT) faster, handles large documents better, has an infinitely more attractive interface, and is more Office-compatible than LibreOffice. The only thing LO has over SM is that it’s open-source, so I go with the better office suite.

  • Nice text. By the way, it is absolutely ok for me, if you cover non-FOSS software. Softmaker Office is a well-known alternative for MS Office, and in particular a very good software even for Linux.

    If we want to see Linux as a serious option on desktops, it is necessary to cover good alternatives, even if they are non-FOSS. If someone says he wants only FOSS software, this is indeed a hard way not everyone wants to follow.