SoftMaker Office 2021 is a genuinely viable alternative to Microsoft Office

We may only be halfway through 2020, but SoftMaker Office 2021 is already here. After a period of beta testing, the office suite is ready for a full release on Windows, macOS and Linux.

Available either as a one-off purchase or on a subscription, SoftMaker Office 2021 is pitched squarely as an alternative to Microsoft Office. The office suite makes bold claims about competing with Microsoft's famous suite of tools, but the claims that more than stand up to scrutiny. This is an impressive selection of programs that has much to offer.

Comprising the word processor TextMaker 2021, spreadsheet app PlanMaker 2021 and presentation tool Presentations 2021, SoftMaker Office 2021 includes everything most people are looking for, including full support for Microsoft Office file formats. But there are also numerous new features to entice you into using the suite, especially if your work involves research.

For users of the Professional and NX versions of the office suite, there are various new research-related features, including support for the literature management program Zotero. When you're creating documents using the suite, you can access a range of online dictionaries and other reference tools via context menus to aid your work.

New templates have been added to make it easier for beginners and experts alike to get started with document creation. There are also new DTP-style features that make it easier to create highly professional documents with ease. If you're creating complicated documents, the revamped Navigator sidebar really comes into its own, making it incredibly simple to jump around large documents using thumbnails.

For anyone who makes lots of revisions to documents, improvements have been made to versioning that makes it possible to adjust the number of automatic file backups that are made. Other highlights of the latest version of the office suite include support for the creation of PDF/A files, the ability to creation portable presentations that can be run on a computer without PlanMaker installed.

What is particularly appealing about SoftMaker Office 2021 is the licensing. A single purchase entitles you to install the suite on up to five computers, across Windows, macOS and Linux, giving you great flexibility for working with the software.

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