SoftMaker Office 2008 for Free

SoftMaker Office 2008 is a small, but capable Office replacement, and is offered for free on the following page: http://www.loadandhelp.de/home-en.html

The package contains TextMaker (word processing), PlanMaker (spreadsheet), Presentations, and BasicMaker (macros for TextMaker and PlanMaker).  

Moderators Comments

I've checked this user-submitted item and it is genuine. In fact downloading the file results in a small charitable donation at no cost to you; a nice gesture at this time of year.

This is an older version of the product, the current version is Softmaker Office 2010.  This older version is documented as only for Win98/98SE/Me/2000/NT/XP but I have read web reports that it works on Vista.  If this is true it may also work on Windows 7. (Addendum: A number of readers have since confirmed in the comments that it works with Vista, Windows 7 and 64 bit systems)

The download file size is a hefty 58.8MB though this could  be considered small by the standards of MS Office and other office style suites such as Open Office.

To download the file you need to enter your name and email address. It's possible you may get promotional material  sent to this address so be prudent about the account you use. However your serial number is also sent to this email address so you need use an account that you can access.

I installed the program on my standard Windows XP SP3 test machine. Avira, Prevx3, and Threatfire reported no threats and Comodo firewall reported no activities I regarded as suspicious.  Based on this I'm prepared to say this program is 100% clean.

On installation the program places four icons in the system tray for the word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program as well as a scripting program.

I only briefly tested the Word Processor and Spreadsheet program and they seemed to work  very like their Office XP counterparts.  They can read and write .doc files, .xls spreadsheets, Open Office.odt  files and a limited number of other formats including RTF.

Overall this is a pretty decent freebie. No it's not got the extraordinary feature set of Office 2007 but it has just about everything normal users need.  The only major component missing is a replacement for Outlook but there are plenty of other free alternatives you can use instead. See here: Best Free PIM  Best Free Email Client

How does it compare to Open Office? Well Infoworld consider it to be better the Open Office V3.1.   All I can say is it sure loads faster and that's a real plus. 

Gizmo

 

 

 

 

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Comments

by softmaker (not verified) on 16. December 2010 - 9:23  (62622)

Since Load and Help from SoftMaker has been mentioned in this thread...

The Load and Help campaign runs again this year until December 31, 2010. You can download SoftMaker Office 2008 and a nice font package for free and SoftMaker donates 10 cents to charity for every download.

Link: http://www.loadandhelp.com

by MidnightCowboy on 16. December 2010 - 10:03  (62625)
by Anonymous on 31. March 2010 - 1:49  (46553)

I have to say that I am very impressed with the support SoftMaker offers their customers. I downloaded the free 2008 version that was being given away and lost the link to the download after the offer expired. Even though the offer had been closed for several months they sent me a new link the next day and thanked me. This last time I used a backup software to copy the email with the serial number in and rebuilt my system. After I started the SoftMaker install I found out the backup didn't copy the emails as advertised and so once again was without the serial key. Again I emailed SoftMaker and they sent me all of the info that I needed. Each time they responded in less then a day. I really like the product and look forward to purchasing the latest. I really appreciate companies that go out of their way to support their customers.

by Anonymous on 15. January 2010 - 18:19  (41139)

If you just want a reliable, fast, word processor,these products are largely complete overkill.

This one is very fast, and very FREE!

http://polyedit.com/free.html

This one is also good, but you need to download the patch;

http://majorgeeks.com/Crypt_Edit_d5345.html

This is also first class, and is compatible with many "standards";

http://www.filehippo.com/download_abiword/

by Anonymous on 15. January 2010 - 7:08  (41079)

As the previous poster said, the "Load and Help" deal has indeed expired. However at the moment, you can can still get it for free by going here: http://www.softmaker.de/weihnachten2009.htm That worked for me. Also you might try a different link posted below (not sure if it still works): http://www.softmaker.de/lh-down-en.htm

by stopchaos on 26. February 2010 - 2:54  (44506)

Still works ... thanks ... Jim in Memphis 2/25/10

by Anonymous on 15. January 2010 - 18:07  (41137)

You are awesome! It did indeed work it seems. Thanks!!

by Bob on 2. January 2010 - 17:01  (40047)

I see this offer's now expired. However, SoftMaker promises to run similar "Load and Help" charity initiatives in the future and invites you to sign up for information (I've got no reason to believe that they're spammers).

Personally, I've been very happy using the word processing program called TextMaker. It may not have quite as many features as Microsoft Word, but it doesn't have the annoyances either.

by Anonymous on 27. December 2009 - 10:48  (39590)

I've been using this for a couple of years. Wonderful suite, extremely light fast, better compatibility with MS formats than OpenOffice. (SMO 2010 also works with docx, which 2008 doesn't.) And great forum for support and feeback, mainly in German but with a good English section too.

by steffenernst on 26. December 2009 - 19:12  (39536)

From where can I download danish language pack?

by steffenernst on 27. December 2009 - 5:57  (39571)

Problem solved.

During install, you can choose "user defined", and then choose danish spell control.

It is a great program - faster than Office and Open Office. It has all the features I need.

Thank You Gizmo

by Anonymous on 21. December 2009 - 22:16  (39119)

For some reason the above link didn't work for me but I was able to download it from here:

http://www.softmaker.de/lh-down-en.htm

by Anonymous on 22. December 2009 - 3:40  (39134)

Also, after installing the program, you may also want to install the service pack:

http://www.softmaker.com/english/servold_en.htm

In addition, the user manuals are also available for download:

http://www.softmaker.com/english/service_en.htm

by Rizar on 21. December 2009 - 13:19  (39101)

I'm not sure many people use it, but one major missing item is a Database program. It's usually one of the big four next to word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet.

by JimC on 21. December 2009 - 4:43  (39092)

Does SoftMaker have an integral address book - for snail mail? Or is there a separate addbook program to use with it?

by Anonymous on 19. December 2009 - 21:53  (39033)

This is a great application! I just reconstructed a budget spreadsheet using Plan Maker and it went smoothly. Must faster than OO 3.1 in loading and saving. Thanks for finding this!

by Anonymous on 19. December 2009 - 16:09  (39017)

Last time I looked, this was not a unified Office-type of program, but rather a collection of individual programs that perform their functions separately. In other words, they are not really integrated to where you can do something in one of them and then turn around and bring it up in one of the others. If they were to improve them so they actually worked together, I'd be interested.

by Anonymous on 21. December 2009 - 2:49  (39089)

Does that mean you're supporting OpenOffice. I haven't found it all that useful to have them be integrated into one program. I believe OpenOffice to be extremely slow for that reason. What things did you have in mind that would work "in one of them and then turn around and bring it up in one of the others"?

by Anonymous on 19. December 2009 - 14:37  (39014)

dear all

but this software has no place in our scheme of things - it is not free, unlike open office

yours
v.lakshminarayanan
palani

by Anonymous on 20. December 2009 - 13:32  (39067)

Lakshmi,

it truly "is offered for free". Had you actually gone there you'd find that temporarily they offer this free download and a free unlimited product key.

I am using it!

by Jojo Yee on 19. December 2009 - 4:47  (38995)

Downloaded and tested it on Ubuntu Linux. The SoftMaker and TextMaker in SoftMaker Office 2008 do not display some Unicode characters for me, whereas OfficeOffice 3.1 does well on the same system. The latter is still my choice.

by Anonymous on 19. December 2009 - 2:33  (38985)

I've had it for years and only snagged it originally because the price of MS Office is way to high for someone that just needs a decent word processor. I paid 10 bucks for mine and like it better than Open Office, which I've tried, compared and uninstalled. Nothing wrong with Open Office but like and am used to the more MS Office look and feel of Office 2008. Of course, because I allowed them to, I receive email from Ashampoo a lot because they make lots of different software but I like their newsletter and don't mind an honest sales pitch. Now they're offering me the 2010 version for another 10 bucks but I only need a word processor and it's not worth the hassle of changing what works fine for what I need. I also tried Abiword, I think that's what it's called and it too was OK but Ashampoo won out because of it familiarity. And it does everything.

by rKAnjEL on 18. December 2009 - 23:24  (38977)

Thanks, I liked their 2010 version.

by deya on 18. December 2009 - 21:21  (38967)

Well well well, would you believe it, this is just perfect for me. I've been trying it out this evening and it opens everything I want it to open, it has more than enough features and tools for my needs, it's excellent. What a great offer. Gizmo's, thank you. OpenOffice, goodbye.

by Anonymous on 18. December 2009 - 15:10  (38950)

Well, "future upgrades at reduced prices" seems to say that the free status is limited. I'd rather stick with a truly free product, OpenOffice.

by MidnightCowboy on 18. December 2009 - 15:54  (38954)

For what I need this is more than adequate and far less system hungry than Open Office. It opens in an instant and although I've only had time for a limited run through it seems highly capable as well. I didn't follow this through myself when it first hit the site having recently moved to x64 Windows 7 but I did install after reading the other comment and now I too confirm that it runs fine in this environment.

by Anonymous on 18. December 2009 - 13:36  (38942)

It sounds a very good program, but can you transfer workable programs from microsoft. I have some programs that will work only with XL, I was able to transfer them to open office to use. I am all for freebies if it saves the pennies
eric

by Anonymous on 18. December 2009 - 7:47  (38927)

You should know that SoftMaker are v. aggressive on the emails after you sign up. Product OK but probably not worth the aggravation

by Anonymous on 19. December 2009 - 2:36  (38986)

You can opt out of the Ashampoo email offers ya know. I put up with them because of the newsletter that comes with it because I've picked up useful info from it from time to time.

by ssoundman on 18. December 2009 - 14:50  (38949)

I recommend the use of SpamGourmet for times like this. You can set how many emails you would like to receive from a company and they are forwarded from the Spam Gourmet people to your regular address. When the limit you have set is reached, the spam stops. Period!

http://www.spamgourmet.com/

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