Episode 103 – Softmaker Office Professional 2021


There are a lot of Microsoft Office alternatives not just for Windows but for Mac and Linux platforms as well. Lot of them are open source and free some of them tough closed source comes bundled free with the operating system such as the iWorks suite of Apple ( Pages, Numbers, Keynote) or the open source LibreOffice suite comes preinstalled with many mainstream Linux distributions.If You prefer the cloud option for free the best two alternatives are Microsoft Office itself for free on the cloud or Google Suite / Google Docs and Spreadsheet and Presentation app for free.

There are countless alternatives free or paid for those who do not want to pay for Microsoft Office perpetual license or opt in for the subscription based Office 365 / Microsoft 365. With the recent launch of Windows 11 even Microsoft lets you obtain Microsoft Office for free with a legal copy of Windows 10 and 11 apart from the Office Online version which even tough has a reduced set of features is free to use in the cloud not just from Microsoft Windows but from any browser for that matter.

Cloud based solutions are certainly not for everyones coup of tea I myself definitely like the desktop version of these applications or tools to be able to count on them even when I am offline which rarely ever happen but just in case I like to be sure.

I previously talked of other alternatives myself such as LibreOffice and OnlyOffice as a self hosted cloud based solution backed up by a desktop based application as well called OnlyOffice Desktop Editors for completely free tough I pay for the self hosting myself so lets say its far from cheap but I have complete control over my data even tough it is hosted in the cloud by Me. A control I would certainly not have with Google Docs and less with Microsoft Office Online for free.

Why do I want to talk about yet another Office Suite which is even closed source and cost money?

First of all because not everything which cost money and/or closed source is bad and/or evil. I did explain this many times. I do not really believe in Free as in things for free for me which cost nothing cause one way or form another we always pay for that particular piece of software.

Most of the time free software are not exactly maintained and kept up to date and patched against security vulnerabilities when you compare it to paid and most of the time closed source software. The main reason being is most of the time these applications are maintained by a developer or developers who do this as a hobby and they also treat it as such working on them when they can unless something more important comes up definitely when that other thing brings money to the table such as work. Most often than not free software has to compromise either in the lack of features or the amount of updates and time/effort they can put into an application as they get no money out of it as a compensation or motivation to keep them going or to invest even more of their free time into it.

Sometimes they have to include ads to try to source and create a sustainable revenue to pay themselves or other developers hired to do a bug fix or to add a new requested feature.

Sometimes you simply pay with your data you share with the software developer being it tracked usage of the software, your name and email address , etc.

Sometimes Free just means buggy unfinished untested software which you should not use as the centerpiece of your production environment.

And sometimes free software just disappear from one day to another and if you are lucky some other maintainer takes it over but thats rarely the case.

(( there was a nice cross platform PC Emulator called PCem from a UK based developer. The project closed its doors from one day to another. If you ask me I would have been happy paying X amount for a software I know will be with me and maintained throughout the years going forward. It was free software and the developer did it for free. Did it for as long as it could be done. The End. ))

Update regarding PCem ( Good News 🙂 )

19th December 2021

Michael Manley is taking over as project maintainer, and will be responsible for development and future direction of the project.

The forums have also been reopened.

(( here ))

Yes I do not mind paying for a piece of software definitely not for one having a full fledged Linux version and not treating its Linux versions as some feature ripped beta which is many many releases kept behind and thrown a bone every once in a while while their Windows and Mac counterparts triumphs.

Even more so when its a fully cross platformed application (except the cloud) Windows, Mac, Linux and Android which offers full Microsoft Office file format compatibility.

A real cross platform alternative to Microsoft Office Products on the Desktop for money so I can hold them accountable if the product disappears out of thin air from one day to another. Even more if I went with the subscription model and not the perpetual license option. 🙂

Enough of Me and My Reasons , Lets Talk about Softmaker Office 2021

Included in Softmaker Office Professional 2021 are TextMaker (Write), PlanMaker (Calculate) and Presentations (Present)

There is also a version Softmaker Office Standard 2021 which is slightly cheaper and only missing out on the below features compared to the Professional Edition:

  • Excellent German spell and grammar checking with Duden Korrektor
  • Research in hundreds of professional dictionaries worldwide
  • Integration with Zotero for academic documents
  • Create professional e-books in EPUB format
  • Administration with more than 220 group-policy objects

    From the list above I personally would only miss the option to export to EPUB the Zotero integration for preparing academic papers and using my references inside a document and the professional dictionaries feature.

    Neither I speak or write in german hence the Duden Korrektor in my case has no use nor the administrative options via Group policies as I do not deploy this inside a company could be of use in my use case scenario but it can be important for some of you

They also have a product called FlexiPDF Professional 2022 which I think will be to interest of many as working with PDF files on Linux can be cumbersome most of the time. While FlexiPDF Professional 2022 is a Windows only application it works perfectly under Wine and costs much less ( 80 euros VAT included for perpetual license) than its closest rivals which also work well under Wine and Linux such as Foxit PDF Editor Pro which is also Windows only product but costs a 102 Euro more( 182 Euros perpetual license)

Both mentioned products have perpetual/one time , subscription ( yearly/monthly) and volume license options. They both offer a Pro or Universal version (Foxit PDF Pro and FlexiPDF NX Universal) and a reduced capability version of the tool ( Foxit PDF and FlexiPDF NX Home)

Softmaker has also Font packages for affordable price to complete the experience ( 7500 fonts for 34,95 Euros VAT included) in the MegaFont NOW product.


Other Font links:


SoftMaker Office is available either for purchase or by subscription:

  • SoftMaker Office NX: If you subscribe to SoftMaker Office NX, you can use it as long as your subscription runs. During your subscription, all upgrades to new versions are included free of charge. Starts at 29.90 Euros per year.
    It also unlocks the extra features for the Android version of Softmaker Office 2021 which has its basic functions for free.

    Unfortunately there is no option to purchase perpetual license in a one time fee format for the Android version of Softmaker Office 2021. It can only be unlocked either with a Softmaker Office NX subscription or with a monthly subscription via Google Play store. Also purchasing the perpetual / one time fee version of Softmaker Office 2021 Standard or Professional edition neither give you access to the extra features of the Android version.
  • SoftMaker Office 2021: If you purchase SoftMaker Office 2021, you can use this version as long as you want. Upgrades to new versions are available at a discounted price. New from 99.95 Euros and Upgrades from 79.95 Euros for the Professional and 59.95 Euros for New and Upgrades for 49.95 Euros for the Standard edition. Your license permits up to 5 distinct installations on 5 different computers. Windows, Linux and Mac OS X – You decide. Its the same either you choose Professional or Standard edition.

    The difference between the editions of Softmaker Office 2021 including Perpetual Pro and Standard and the Subscription versions of NX Universal and NX Home can be found on the link below:

  • Businesses and organizations can purchase SoftMaker Office for multiple computers at a discount. Prices start from 238 Euros VAT included for 5 seats

Softmaker Office 2021 Professional

The Features lists are not exhaustive. Please check for a full list of features at:


SoftMaker has added in the latest Revision 1040 (rev S1040.1126) the below new features / fixes which came out shortly after I have finished writing this article:


51577 New feature: New version of the German grammar checker Duden Korrektor with additional grammar rules and an extended dictionary
51385 Links to files and e-mail addresses are now correctly exported to PDF format.
51397 The TEXTJOIN function now behaves like in Excel in regard to empty cells.
51294 51137 Improvements to pivot tables

General Features

  • SoftMaker Office uses the Microsoft Office formats DOCXXLSX and PPTX natively, obviating the need to convert documents for colleagues or business partners.
  • Dark Mode
  • Create PDF files directly out of every application
  • NEW: Create archival PDFs in PDF/A format for long-term preservation of documents
  • Touchscreen mode with larger icons and wider spacing
  • Support for high-resolution 4K screens
  • Open documents either in tabs or in separate windows – just like in a web browser
  • 32-bit and 64-bit versions in the same package
  • NEW: Enhanced version management that keeps a freely selectable number of manually and automatically saved versions of each file and enables you to revert to any previous version
  • NEW: Powerful research function: Select terms in your document and look them up in a large variety of online dictionaries and encyclopedias.
  • Can be installed to a USB flash drive so that it can be used on any PC without installation.
  • NEW: The new license lets you use SoftMaker Office 2021 on up to five computers running any combination of Windows, macOS or Linux.
  • Free customer support


TextMaker 2021 (rev S1038.1028) 64bit part of SoftMaker Office 2021

Files and printing

  • Documents can be exchanged losslessly between any version of TextMaker on any operating system.
  • Open and save DOCX and DOC files from Microsoft Word 6.0 to 2021 and Word 365 faithfully to the original, including password-protected files
  • Open and save OpenDocument files (compatible with OpenOffice and LibreOffice)
  • Open and save documents in RTF, HTML, Pocket Word and plain-text files
  • Open WordPerfect documents (.wpd) [WINDOWS]
  • Assistant for importing and exporting text files
  • Create PDF files and PDF forms directly in TextMaker
  • NEW: Create archival PDFs in PDF/A format for long-term preservation of documents
  • Tagged PDFs and bookmarks in PDF files
  • Print 2, 4, 8 or 16 pages on one sheet of paper [WINDOWS]
  • Send documents in a freely selectable format (e.g. DOCX, DOC or PDF) by e-mail

Language tools

  • Spellcheck in 20 languages, synonyms in ten languages and automatic hyphenation in 35 languages
  • You can add any Hunspell dictionary.
  • Automatic spell-check: Incorrectly written words are underlined in red
  • NEW: Improved automatic hyphenation
  • NEW: For German spell checking and grammar checking, the most current version of Duden Korrektor is included. [SOFTMAKER OFFICE PROFESSIONAL AND NX UNIVERSAL]
  • NEW: Text-style analysis lets you write better German texts. [SOFTMAKER OFFICE NX UNIVERSAL]


  • Fully Unicode-enabled
  • Extended support for Asian fonts and Arabic
  • TextMaker is an OLE server and can insert its documents in any other program. [WINDOWS]
  • Integrated equation editor [WINDOWS]
  • You can zoom and scroll with your fingers on touchscreens.
  • Macro programming with BasicMaker and other programming languages [WINDOWS]
  • Easy mail merge
  • NEW: Use SQLite, XLSX, PMDX, dBASE and CSV files for mail merges
  • NEW: Built-in database module for SQLite, XLSX, PMDX, dBASE and CSV files
  • Change the structure of databases
  • NEW: Convert existing dBASE databases to SQLite
  • Import the Thunderbird address book
  • Insert individual addresses in letterheads
  • Create and print labels from the database


PlanMaker 2021 (rev S1038.1028) 64bit part of SoftMaker Office 2021

Files and printing

  • Worksheets can be losslessly exchanged between any version of PlanMaker on any operating system.
  • Open and save XLSX and XLS from Microsoft Excel 5.0 to 2021 and Excel 365 faithfully to the original, including password-protected files
  • Import and export assistant for text files and dBASE databases
  • Create PDF files directly in PlanMaker
  • NEW: Create archival PDFs in PDF/A format for long-term preservation of documents
  • PDFs with tags and bookmarks
  • Scale the printout so that it fits on a specified number of pages (five different scaling methods)
  • Print 2, 4, 8 or 16 pages on one sheet of paper [WINDOWS]
  • NEW: Page break preview to prepare worksheets for printing
  • Send worksheets in a freely selectable format (e.g. XLSX, XLS or PDF) by e-mail

Comprehensive calculation capabilities

  • NEW: More than 430 calculation functions
  • Worksheets with 1 million rows and 16,384 columns
  • Calculation with complex numbers and array functions
  • Numbers can be formatted as currency units, with fixed decimal places and thousands separators, as percentages or fractions, as dates and times, etc.
  • Perpetual time format (20:00 + 5:00 is 25:00 and not 1:00) which also allows negative times
  • AutoSum, AutoProduct, etc.
  • AutoFill: intelligent filling of cell areas with values and rows of values
  • External references (calculations that access data in other files)
  • NEW: Real-time calculation in the status bar, now displaying multiple values

Analyzing data

  • With pivot tables, you can display data in a targeted manner according to your individual specifications, summarize it, sort it into categories, compare and evaluate it.
  • NEW: Group items in pivot tables
  • Goal seeker
  • Scenarios
  • Create database ranges within worksheets
  • Data grouping (outline view)
  • Sort by up to 64 columns
  • Transpose cell ranges
  • AutoFilter and special filters
  • Database functions for totals, averages, variance, etc.
  • Tables – designated areas of the worksheet that can be quickly formatted, modified and analyzed
  • Macro programming with BasicMaker and other programming languages [WINDOWS]


Presentations 2021 (rev S1038.1028) 64bit part of SoftMaker Office 2021

Files and printing

  • Presentations can be losslessly exchanged between any version of SoftMaker Presentations on any operating system.
  • Open and save PPTX and PPT files from Microsoft PowerPoint 97 to 2021 and PowerPoint 365 faithfully, including password-protected files
  • Font embedding ensures that PowerPoint files can be passed on without any problems.
  • Create PDF files directly in Presentations with your choice of slides, outlines, handouts and notes
  • NEW: Create archival PDFs in PDF/A format for long-term preservation of documents
  • PDFs with tags and bookmarks
  • Export entire presentations as graphic files or HTML web pages
  • Export entire presentations as video files [WINDOWS, MAC]
  • NEW: Create portable slide shows that can be played back on any Windows computer – even if there’s no presentation graphics program installed.
  • Send presentations in a freely selectable format (e.g. PPTX, PPT or PDF) by e-mail

Flexible presentation

  • Both user-controlled and automatic presentations without a speaker (kiosk mode)
  • Interactively present slide shows with a virtual pen and highlighter
  • Presenter view – the slide show runs on one monitor or projector for the audience, and the second monitor offers tools for the presenter.
  • Notes as a memory aid for the speaker
  • Handouts for the audience
  • Full-screen view

BasicMaker (only under windows)

BasicMaker Professional 2021 (rev S1038.1028) 64bit part of SoftMaker Office 2021 (Windows Only)

BasicMaker is an easy to use development environment for the programming language SoftMaker Basic.

BasicMaker is available only under Windows. It is not included in all versions of SoftMaker Office.

What is SoftMaker Basic?

SoftMaker Basic is modeled after the industry standard Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) from Microsoft. It is a rather easy to learn programming language that is optimized to work in tandem with applications. For example, with some simple Basic statements, you can change fonts in a TextMaker document, open another document, etc. BasicMaker does not produce directly executable program files, as it does not contain a compiler that creates executable files. Instead, you build so-called scripts with BasicMaker. These can be opened and executed from within BasicMaker.

It has an extensive User Manual over 400 pages which can help you familiarize with this scripting language to work with SoftMaker Office documents and automate repetitive and boring tasks and perform operations on documents which otherwise would be very time consuming for a single person.



With SoftMaker Office, you can work on documents in all languages (even Arabic).

User interface (menus and dialogs)

English (United States), English (United Kingdom), German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, NEW: Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian, Romanian, Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Kazakh, Turkish, Arabic, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean


English (United States), English (United Kingdom), German (pre- and post-reform), Swiss German (pre- and post-reform), French (France), French (Canada), Italian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Greek, Arabic

Many additional languages can be added via dictionaries in Hunspell format.

Synonym dictionaries (thesauri)

English (United States), English (United Kingdom), German (Germany), German (Switzerland), French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch

Automatic hyphenation

English (United States), English (United Kingdom), German (pre- and post-reform) Swiss German (pre- and post-reform), French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Danish, NEW: Norwegian (Bokmål), NEW: Norwegian (Nynorsk), Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Croatian, NEW: Serbian (Latin), NEW: Serbian (Cyrillic), NEW: Hungarian, Romanian, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, NEW: Indonesian

System requirements


  • Microsoft Windows 11, 10, 8, 7
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer

SoftMaker Office is compatible with application servers such as Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Terminal Server.


  • macOS 10.12 or newer
  • macOS 11 Big Sur
  • macOS 12 Monterey

Native applications for Intel and Apple M1 CPUs


SoftMaker Office supports all major 64-bit (x86_64 and amd64) Linux distributions.

We test SoftMaker Office with the current versions of the following distributions and recommend choosing one of them:

Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, openSUSE, Fedora, Manjaro

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.