Office software can be expensive, and while there are plenty of free online office suites they’re not as quick or convenient as a fast desktop PC app. That’s why it’s worth considering a free option such as SoftMaker FreeOffice, which contains three apps: TextMaker for documents, PlanMaker for spreadsheets and Presentations for slideshows.
You don’t get every feature in the free version – tabbed browsing and the thesaurus are saved for the paid-for product, for example – but all the basics of everyday office work are covered very well indeed.
Why you need it
It’s fast, user-friendly (it looks very, very like Microsoft Office’s previous incarnation in the days of Windows XP), and while it looks a little old-fashioned its file filters are bang up to date. That means you can get almost seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office files from 1997 onwards, and it supports the same OpenDocument format used by LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice too.
SoftMaker FreeOffice can create PDFs – something that can be a bit of a pain on Windows normally – and the spreadsheet app is happy doing database tasks as well as crunching numbers. Overall, it’s an amazingly powerful package with a price tag of zero.
Download here: SoftMaker FreeOffice