Putting office suites to the test


When it comes to the comment function, which is important for collaborative work on documents, LibreOffice falls short compared with Apache OpenOffice. It highlights comments in color to reflect the annotator and refers correctly to the relevant passages in the original text. However, the office suite trips over existing comments in some places and fails to display them. This problem especially occurs at page breaks. Moreover, LibreOffice occasionally changes the typeface within the comments for no reason, which is likely to confuse readers. These bugs significantly reduce the benefits of the office program for team activities.


The standardized Open Document Format used by LibreOffice allows it to use the interfaces originally written by third-party developers for OpenOffice. In most cases, then, the office suite can connect without a problem to corporate ERP solutions originally designed for OpenOffice.

SoftMaker Office

The third candidate to face the test is SoftMaker Office Professional 2016 [3] from the Nuremberg-based software house of the same name. The proprietary office program is available in Standard and Professional editions for multiple platforms and has now reached version 757.0510 [13]. In addition to the office program, the company offers various font packages.

SoftMaker Office can be traced back to 1987, so it is one of the dinosaurs in the world of office programs. The suite includes applications for the three most important areas of use: the TextMaker word processor, PlanMaker spreadsheet, and Presentations presentation program. The DataMaker database offered in previous years is no longer on board. Linux has had a version of the package since 2003, since which it has undergone several product cycles.

The office suite is available as a 30-day trial version in a binary package approximately 325MB in size for systems with DEB or RPM package management. Another variant has a shell installer. You can install the trial version permanently after purchase by entering a license number.

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