The German-based software developer has just announced the latest upgrade to its popular FreeOffice series. FreeOffice 21, as a free alternative to Microsoft Office.

It is a complete software suite aimed at productivity. It contains three apps – TextMaker 21, PlanMaker 21, and Presentations 21 – that serve as alternatives to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The UI is very similar to MS Office’s ribbon layout, although you can choose the classic layout instead.

FreeOffice 21 is based on the commercial suite SoftMaker Office 21, which is also available for Linux. Even though it lacks certain features compared to SoftMaker Office, FreeOffice is reasonably sufficient for home or office use.

This makes it one of the best office suites and other open-source Microsoft Office alternatives on Linux.

Let’s get to know what the latest release has in store for us.

Note: We have covered products that are not open-source from SoftMaker because they are also available for Linux. And, the same goes for FreeOffice 2021.

Major Highlights

The eye-catching feature of the release is the flawless compatibility with MS Office formats. It supports the modern file formats DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX. This means you can easily open, edit and save your friend’s MS Office files. Thus, there’s no hassle of exporting and converting file formats anymore.

Another important highlight is using a single license for Linux, macOS, and Windows concurrently. This is helpful if you want to use FreeOffice on more than one PC, like your workstation or your sibling’s laptop.

Other newly added features include initial support for SVG graphic format and improved import-export functions.

TextMaker 2021 Improvements

Source: Presskit

You can now simultaneously use footnotes and endnotes in the same document.

Moreover, TextMaker can even open the older Microsoft DOC format and ODT format utilized by OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

PlanMaker 2021 Improvements

Source: Presskit

Power users will find it comforting to know that functions, like conditional formatting and extended pivot tables using PlanMaker, will be compatible with Excel 2021, 2019, and 365.

Presentations 2021 Improvements

Source: Presskit

Users who like to focus on the visual aspects of the slides can find more animations, slide transitions, and effects. These are now based on OpenGL for smoother performance.

Wrapping Up

FreeOffice 21 seems to be a good update, especially if you were looking for a free office suite with better compatibility with Microsoft Office.

FreeOffice is available for Linux along with macOS and Windows, entirely free of cost. You can find DEB, RPM packages, along with a tar package for other Linux distributions.

Do you use SoftMaker FreeOffice as your daily driver? If not, do you plan to check it out?

Rishabh Moharir

Hey there! I'm an undergrad student and PC enthusiast who loves football, playing games, and reading books. You can find me tinkering with my PCs most of the time.