The 2018 edition of SoftMaker Office is now available to download as a free public beta, giving you an early look at the suite’s new features. If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office
SoftMaker Office comprises four key elements: TextMaker, Presentations and PlanMaker (for text documents, slideshows and spreadsheets respectively). The suite also includes an expanded version of the Mozilla Thunderbird email client for managing your messages and tasks.
One of the biggest changes for 2018 is a completely updated interface, which lets you choose between ribbon and toolbar interfaces. There’s also an optional Touch Mode, which features larger, tap-friendly icons and menu entries.
SoftMaker Office uses DOCX, XLSX and PPTX formats natively to ensure documents open display and behave correctly if you’re making the change from Microsoft Office, or sharing documents with people who still do.
The public beta is currently available for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems, and versions for macOS and Linux are on the way. Just register with your name and email address to start the download and receive a product key, which you’ll be prompted to enter when you start the software for the first time. The Windows beta expires on 14 November.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office that’s free forever, check out SoftMaker FreeOffice.