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SoftMaker Office Mobile and SoftMaker Office HD: What’s the difference?

SoftMaker Office Mobile has been on the market for several years, and is in use by hundreds of thousands of Android users the world over.

Now Android users have something new to get excited about, SoftMaker Office HD. The new package has been in public beta testing for several weeks and the official release is just around the corner.

In all the buzz about the new product, we’ve been hearing one question over and over again: Will the new SoftMaker Office HD replace SoftMaker Office Mobile?

Absolutely not. SoftMaker Office Mobile and SoftMaker Office HD are two different application packages and we’ll continue to develop both side by side.

But how are the two packages different?

  • SoftMaker Office Mobile runs on both smartphones and tablets, but its user interface is optimized for the smaller screens on smartphones. Its range of functions is designed to let users take care of everyday tasks efficiently. SoftMaker Office Mobile is just right for people who want to faithfully display and work on office documents quickly and practically on their mobile phones.

  • SoftMaker Office HD, on the other hand, is designed especially with tablet users in mind, and specifically for those who want to work with the complete range of functions of the desktop version of SoftMaker Office. It offers a Windows-like user interface, but one that is optimally adapted to Android (gesture-based scrolling and zooming, touch-friendly use, etc.). With this version it’s possible, for the first time ever on an Android tablet, to handle even the most complex office tasks and mothball that heavy notebook for good. You’ll be able to create and revise documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on a tablet just as comprehensively as you would with a PC.

    SoftMaker Office HD is already based on the newest technology of the upcoming SoftMaker Office 2015 for Windows. The filters for Microsoft file formats have gotten even better, and speed has been increased dramatically.

Our recommendation: Use SoftMaker Office Mobile on smartphones, and SoftMaker Office HD on Android tablets.

Load and Help 2013 ends with an even better result than in 2012

SoftMaker’s charity campaign Load and Help 2013 ends with an even better result than in 2012: 56,119 people have downloaded SoftMaker FreeOffice and the Elegant Holiday Fonts and are now happy users of a powerful office suite and/or beautiful fonts.

At the same time, all participants have done good: As SoftMaker pledged 10 Euro cents for every download, the campaign brought donations of € 5611.90 to charity and aid projects around the world. SoftMaker works with the renowned charity platform which ensures that 100% of the donations reach the needy.

Our parallel discount campaign brought in an extra 496 Euro. A special thank-you to all those customers who passed their discount on to our charity projects. In total, this year’s donations were € 6107,90 (around US$ 8360).

The charity projects that we supported during this campaign

December 11, 2013:

December 18. 2013:

January 1, 2014:

Unfortunately, some of the project descriptions above are only available in German.

Competition watch


Isn’t it cute?

Here you can see a CD-ROM and the tiny retail box of new Microsoft Office 2013.

So, is this the installation disk? Hmm, wait. It seems the CD-ROM doesn’t even fit in the box. To solve this riddle: If you buy Microsoft Office 2013, they are not including an installation disk at all anymore. All you get are two pieces of paper, a key code, and a download link.

Pretty thrifty to skimp on a 20 cent CD-ROM in a package that sells for $139.99! If you are on a slow internet connection, you won’t be happy.

So this is annoying. But of course it’s more important to see what’s behind the curtain. Let’s have a look and compare Microsoft Office with SoftMaker Office.

Microsoft Office 2013: The low-end package is called “Home and Student” and already costs $139.99. For this price, you get a single license for just one PC. Before, with Microsoft Office 2010, they gave you three licenses.

So, if you wish to install Microsoft Office 2013 on a second PC (for example, your notebook computer), be ready to shell out another $139.99. Total: $279.98. That’s for an office suite that you may not use for commercial purposes. Or for non-profit use, for that matter.

Microsoft Outlook is not included with Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student. If you need it, you have to purchase the Home & Business edition of Microsoft Office. It costs $219.99, again for a single license.

By the way: Microsoft ties the product key to your hardware. If you buy a new computer, you will have to buy Microsoft Office 2013 again. Hard to believe? We thought so as well, until we found the Microsoft Office 2013 license agreement:

Have a look at the yellow passages. Incredible.

SoftMaker Office Professional 2012: At $99.95, our best package costs $40 less than the cheapest one from Microsoft. If you are entitled to upgrading, you pay only $44.95.

For these prices, you will receive three licenses and not just one. These may be used at home and commercially. And one of the best e-mail clients is already included: eM Client Professional 5. If you buy another computer, your license does not expire. And if you need help, SoftMaker’s tech support is available free of charge, just a phone call or e-mail away.

So why do so many people still buy Microsoft Office?

Honestly, we don’t know. Is it because they think they have to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to stay compatible? Are they afraid that they can’t exchange files with friends and collegues seamlessly when they use an alternative office suite? That may be true of other office suites, but definitely not of SoftMaker Office. Equipped with the best import and export filters in the industry, SoftMaker Office handles all Microsoft Office formats with ease.

So, in fact there is no good reason. Don’t follow the herd, think for yourself!

UPDATE 2013-02-02: The press and news web sites have now also picked up this story and confirm that Microsoft is tightening the screws on licensing:

The uproar seems to be so big that Microsoft felt compelled to issue a statement. In short: No, there is no installation disk anymore. No, the license may no longer be used on three PCs. No, the license may not be transferred from a dead PC to a new one, unless the defective computer is still under warranty (in some countries, warranty lasts only 90 days after purchase). In that case, Microsoft makes a special “exemption” so that the customer may continue using the product he paid for on a new PC. Awfully nice of them!


Load and Help 2012 ends with a great result

Load and Help 2012, SoftMaker’s charity campaign, ends with a great result: 44955 people have downloaded SoftMaker FreeOffice and are now happy users of a powerful and free office suite for Windows and Linux.

At the same time, all participants have done good: As SoftMaker pledged 10 Euro cents for every download, the campaign brought donations of € 4495.50 to charity and aid projects around the world. SoftMaker works with the renowned charity platform which ensures that 100% of the donations reach the needy.

In parallel, we ran a second campaign. All SoftMaker products were discounted by 30% until Christmas Eve. But there’s a twist: Every customer could decide how the discount was handled:

  • One could keep the discount for himself or herself.
  • Or one could donate it in full to charity projects.
  • Or one could split it: keep half, donate the other half.

Here is how our customers decided:

  • 52.7% kept the discount for themselves.
  • 33.4% donated half of the discount.
  • 13.9% donated the discount in full.

We say a big thank-you to all those customers who parted with half of the discount or even the full amount. Those customers forwent real money to help others.

The total donation result of the discount campaign is € 1280.50.

Let’s count the donations…

The donations add up as follows:

  • € 4495.50 from Load and Help 2012
  • € 1280.50 from the discount campaign
  • € 100.00 from a private donor living in Northern Germany
  • € 20.00 from a private donor living in Switzerland
  • Sum of donations: € 5896.00 that do good around the world

Supported projects

We forwarded the donations to the following projects:

(Unfortunately, many of the project descriptions above are only in German.)

We hope that you agree with our choice of projects.

Happy Holidays to everyone reading this!

Save or donate – it’s up to you! Until Christmas Eve, everything is 30% off.

30% off everything!

Will you help us to reach a new donation record? We want to collect even more money for important charity projects.

That’s why we now offer all SoftMaker products with a 30% discount until December 24!

How much of your discount will be donated, is entirely up to you:

  • You can donate the full discount.
  • You can donate half and keep half.
  • Or you can keep the entire discount for yourself.

Find out more

Our web site will list all donations and how they were used.


SoftMaker finances a pediatrician in Nepal

“Load and Help” steams ahead: FreeOffice has been downloaded more than 38,000 times so far. This means SoftMaker has to donate over 3800 Euro.

And the next donation has been paid out: 1148 Euro has been donated to a project that finances a pediatrician who provides medical support to children and their parents in the remote country of Nepal.

Find out more


More, more! More downloads, more donations!

We want more downloads! Each download of FreeOffice means a donation by SoftMaker for a good cause.

Don’t stop spreading the word: Help us to increase the number of downloads and thus the donation sum until Christmas Eve!

Visit the campaign page

Load and Help 2012: Download SoftMaker FreeOffice and do good at the same time!

Christmas comes early this year! During our charity campaign “Load and Help 2012”, you can download SoftMaker FreeOffice for free and at the same help needy people.

Here is how it works: We give away SoftMaker FreeOffice, a complete office suite for Windows and Linux that includes the TextMaker word processor, the PlanMaker spreadsheet, and Presentations, our alternative to PowerPoint. Everybody can download it at no charge. At the same time SoftMaker makes a donation of 10 Euro cents for every download to charity projects around the world.

In other words: You get something good for free, and we give something to charity. It’s never been easier to help by getting something!

Find out more at the campaign web site:

This site is regularly updated to show the running total of downloads, the donations SoftMaker has pledged, and the projects we support with our donations. Everything is fully transparent!

Isn’t this a great thing?

Please help spread the news about this campaign! Tell your friends about it, blog, post, like, share, tweet: The more downloads are completed by Christmas Eve, the more money is donated by SoftMaker, and the more effective will be our help for charity projects!

SoftMaker Office Mobile wins more laurels

We are happy to get mentions in the media – especially when journalists review competing products and declare ours the winner. This happened twice in the last few days, with two renowned German web sites crowning SoftMaker Office Mobile the best mobile office suite. Read for yourself:


1. Review of office suites at, the largest German-language telecommunications magazine, reviewed office suites for Android.

The core statement of their review:  “If you often work with complex office files and wish to edit or create them on your mobile device without the office app falling over, you probably won’t be fully satisified with any of the above-mentioned packages.””

The exception, according to them: “The only office suite for Android that has so far been able to edit all of our documents accurately is SoftMaker Office Mobile.”

Click here to read the full article in German



2. Review of office suites at Heise Online (“The H Online”)

Heise-Verlag, publisher of Germany’s leading computing magazine c’t, also reviewed Android office suites in its Heise Online web presence:

The reviewer’s conclusion: “SoftMaker Office for Android comes with nearly all the features of a full-fledged office suite and is the best of the tested apps for working with Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. Its feature set is currently unrivaled among Android office suites.

Click here to read the full article in German

Now available from the Google Play Store: PlanMaker Mobile and SoftMaker Presentations Mobile

Yesterday we released PlanMaker Mobile and SoftMaker Mobile Presentations to the Google Play Store. So, if you prefer getting your mobile software via Google or want to buy the individual apps, you now can get all three SoftMaker Office Mobile apps there. Previously, only TextMaker Mobile was available through the Play Store.

To celebrate these two arrivals, we are running a limited-time promo with 2 Euros or US$ 2 off on each app when purchased from the Play Store.

Hurry to get in on the deal!

Here are links to the three apps:

Of course, we continue to offer SoftMaker Office Mobile, which comprises these three apps in one package, directly from our web shop.

News about SoftMaker Office for Android

We haven’t talked about SoftMaker Office for Android in this blog for quite a bit of time.  It’s high time to bring you up-to-date again!

We have been busy working on SoftMaker Office in the last few months. Thanks to the participation of many volunteers in our internal beta test, we were able to quash many bugs, and we could also find out which features our users would like to see in SoftMaker Office.

This made us add small improvements, such as the ability to use Ctrl-C, Ctrl+X, and Ctrl+V for clipboard operations on Android devices with hardware keyboards.

But we also added major things, such as a multi-language spell-checker that puts red lines under mis-typed words. As far as I know, SoftMaker Office is the first Android office suite that offers to spell-check documents.

SoftMaker Office for Android also lets you access files stored on Dropbox directly from the application. We are working on integrating Evernote, too.

I have already talked in the past about the features that make SoftMaker Office the most powerful Android office suite – such as tables, PDF export, a full implementation of tracked changes, comments like in Microsoft Word, image support in many different file formats, exact rendering of all Excel charts, a huge number of calculation functions in PlanMaker, and the ability of SoftMaker Presentations to show all animations and transitions of Microsoft PowerPoint.

But the most important thing: all three programs read and write the classic and the current document formats of Microsoft Office 97 up to 2010 seamlessly:

  • TextMaker reads and writes DOC and DOCX files,
  • PlanMaker reads and writes XLS and XLSX files,
  • and SoftMaker Presentations reads and writes PPT, PPS, PPTX, and PPSX files.

No other mobile office suites comes close in rendering all these file formats in such precision.

American trade journalist Tam Hanna wrote an extensive review of Android office suites for the German Android User magazine (it’s in the April 2012 issue). SoftMaker Office, though still in beta, was given a 5-star rating. In comparison, Documents to Go, MobiSystems OfficeSuite, Polaris Office, and ThinkFree all received lower grades.

QuickOffice received an exceptionally bad write-up from Mr Hanna: “American software publisher QuickOffice’s namesake office suite was a wholesale disappointment. The relatively pricey product runs stably, but renders documents mediocrely and fails with complex elements in documents.”

• • •

We will soon complete the internal beta test. Immediately after, the public beta of SoftMaker Office for Android will start. I recommend to watch our web site or our newsletter for the announcement.

Many small improvements in SoftMaker Office 2012

It’s not only the big things that make a new version easier to use. Many small things taken together can bring a significant step forward in ease of use, too. And SoftMaker Office 2012 adds many small improvements.

So, let the parade begin…

All applications in SoftMaker Office:

  • Hide fonts: Most Windows PCs have literally hundreds of fonts installed that one either does not need at all (applications installed them without asking) or are only used in specific applications, such as graphics programs. SoftMaker Office 2012 now lets you hide those fonts from its font lists that you don’t want to see when working on office documents.
  • Automatic update: From now on, you no longer have to search for service packs manually. Instead, SoftMaker Office now automatically checks in user-defined intervals if a service pack is available.
  • New AutoShapes: SoftMaker Office 2012 supports all those AutoShapes that Microsoft added to Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.
  • AutoShapes in the clipboard: SoftMaker Office now also reads and writes drawing objects in Office Open XML format in the clipboard. As a result, you can exchange AutoShapes and drawings with Microsoft Office 2010, even if you use the new drawing features of Microsoft Office 2010.

TextMaker 2012:

  • The File/New dialog box shows a preview of the document templates.
  • Optionally, TextMaker superscripts the letters of ordinal numbers (such as 2nd or 3rd).
  • When you enter an Internet address such as, it will optionally be automatically converted to a hyperlink.
  • If you open a plain-text file, TextMaker automatically applies the paragraph style “Text only” (which you can modify to your liking).
  • There are functions to search for the next or previous spelling error in a document.
  • Numbered lists and fields such as “Page number” and “Page count” now support also Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic numbering systems.
  • When you insert a page number, you may choose between the absolute page number and the page number relative to the start of the chapter.
  • You now also edit fields: If you select a field and then run the Insert/Field command, the dialog shows the properties of the current field, and you can modify them as desired.
  • When inserting database fields, you are now able to set the number of decimals, and you can decide whether you want a thousands separator inserted or not.

SoftMaker Presentations 2012:

  • You can now access PPTX files (OK, that’s a pretty big new feature…)
  • SoftMaker Presentations now read and write password-protected PPT files.
  • You can create slide shows where sounds play across multiple slides.
  • In master slide view, you can now easily copy existing designs.

I have already talked about many of the changes in PlanMaker 2012 in another blog post.