Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2013 enables document saves in latest Word and Excel formats

Kingsoft Software has seen in the New Year with major updates to its range of free and paid-for office suites for Windows. Despite minor version number changes, Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2013 users gain the ability to save documents in the later Word (.docx) and Excel (.xlsx) formats, a feature previously restricted to Kingsoft Office Suite Pro 2013 users.

Other new features across both builds include improved encryption options, a slew of new and improved features for Writer and Spreadsheet components and better stability.

Kingsoft’s suite is split into three component parts: Writer (word processor), Spreadsheet and Presentation. The free build of Writer gains the ability to save documents in .docx/.dotx and .docm/.dotm formats, while Spreadsheet users can now save their documents in the .xlsx and .xlsm formats found in Office 2007 and later.

Other changes apply equally to both free and paid-for versions. Users can now encrypt documents a number of different ways via the File Information > Encryption dialog -- click Advanced… to select the type of encryption required.

Writer users also gain easier access to the restrict editing and formatting options, which now appear under the Review tab or Tools menu depending on which interface the user has selected.

Writer also adds support for exporting PDFs with the current background color, searching and replacing formatting, a new Border and Shading option under the Home tab and the ability to access the Object Browser by pressing [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Home].

Spreadsheet improvements include supporting autofilter by color and a new GetPivotData function. Switching sheets is made easier by adding the option next to the sheet tabs themselves. Also added is API support for importing data from databases via ADO and ODBC.

Users can also now access the context menu when right-clicking inside the input box on the Find & Replace dialog. Free edition users can also now create spreadsheets up to 1,048,576 rows deep by 16,384 columns wide.

The Presentation apps gains just two improvements: an option has been added to the status bar that fits the slide to the current window, while users can now insert and delete columns via the context menu when right-clicking a table cell.

Suite-wide improvements include the promise of better quality exported PDF files as well as faster loading times for Writer and improved stability across the suite. There’s also a fix for printing files with a custom paper size.

Kingsoft Office Free 2013 9.1 (build 4480) is available as a free download for PCs running Windows XP or later. Also available as a free trial download is Kingsoft Office Pro 2013 9.1 (build 4490), which can subsequently be purchased for $69.95.

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