SOFTMAKER IS celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Microsoft Office alternative with a raft of new features available gratis to existing users.
SoftMaker Office 2018 is offering an 'anniversary update' (hmmm… sound familiar?) which improves compatibility with Microsoft Office 2019, a tweaked UI and better support for scanners.
Whereas Microsoft Office doesn't offer scanning functionality within its apps (it's handled by a separate process), SoftMaker Office now supports both the TWAIN and WIA protocols, meaning it can cope with every scanner on the market (so it claims).
For those that aren't ready to move to the ribbon interface introduced in Office 2018, this new edition sees the traditional menu structure get a revamp, to keep it fresh without changing the functions.
There are fifty new functions added to PlanMaker 2018, the spreadsheet portion of the suite, as well as an improved auto-filter. Textmaker 2018, the word processor has a revamped database module, better pullout quote support, and tweaks for text frames and auto-shapes.
In addition to all these in-app updates, there's also a new helpline available which can be called from within the program you're working on, making it easier to get help and remote support.
As mentioned, this is a free update for existing users. If you'd like to join the Softmaker Vengabus, you can choose from a one-off purchase or a subscription. The standard version is $69.95 (£53.52) or $29.90 (£22.88) per annum. The enhanced edition is $99.95 (£76.48) or $59.90 (£45.83) per annum. The dollar prices are the same for Euros - the conversions are correct at time of writing, but, you know, Brexit.
If that's all too much, don't forget SoftMaker also offers a slipstreamed version called FreeOffice, though don't expect lots of these whistles and bells.
The latest version is available to download now for Windows, Mac and Linux, and if you're in two minds, there's a free 30-day trial for new users. Here's a link. Go on. You earned it.
As SoftMaker is based in Nuremberg and we're in London, we've taken the selfless decision to eat all of their birthday cake. μ
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