What’s new in PlanMaker 2012?

SoftMaker Office 2012 will be released this year. Right now, we are preparing the public beta test which will soon be announced.

To whet your appetite, we will be talking about the new features and improvements in SoftMaker Office 2012 in the coming weeks here at the SoftMaker Blog. Be sure to come back regularly to find out about the latest news.

Let’s start with PlanMaker 2012. It closes the last remaining compatibility gaps with Microsoft Excel:

  • XLSX import now also allows seamless access to XLSX files created in Microsoft Excel 2010.
  • PlanMaker 2012 can now also save in XLSX format, which means that Excel 2007 and 2010 can access your PlanMaker calculations without taking the detour to XLS format.
  • User-defined number formats are now fully Excel-compatible. Even the most complicated user-defined formats will now be imported and exported correctly.
  • Finally, we added the format Format/Cell/Text that lets you format cells as text even if you enter numeric values.
  • PlanMaker 2012 supports charts not only on worksheets but also on separate chart sheets.

But better compatibility was not the only thing we worked on. We also added new features, such as data consolidation, a command to split cell contents to multiple columns, new chart types, and commands for automatically removing empty rows and duplicate values.

And Excel diehards will gladly find that the commands Copy down and Copy from left are now also supported by PlanMaker.

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  • Ryun says:

    I would love to be in on this Beta! I have a Transformer, and still haven’t found the perfect office solution!

  • admin says:

    Ryun, to participate in the beta, create a forum account at http://www.softmaker.com/forum and mail your account name to apply (at) softmaker.de

  • Adrian Williams says:

    I too have an asus transformer as well as a windows 7 pc – I hope the android version is up near the top of the priority list

  • Martin says:

    I have moved to a Mac Book Pro – that being the best decision I have made for many years, leaving windows 7 far behind. Its been a six month transition migrating data and what a joy to use a real operating system.
    Sadly that means time to leave SoftMaker behind also as they do not support the Mac OSX system but hey, one day, everyone will be using a Mac.

  • trala says:

    Everyone using a Mac — in your dreams! Windows 8 will blow Lion out of the water, and actually Win7 already does. Mac tech is nowhere in corporate environment, it’s only for people who think they’re stylish. OSX can never come close to Windows performance and features. Mac sucks… Plus anyone who says things like this based on a laptop experience is exposing himself 😛

    Looking forward to SMO 2012!

  • Colin says:

    For such a lightweight program, especially in PlanMaker, it is very memory hungry.

    It often refuses to open due to “Low Memory” even though there is plenty of memory available.

    Also in TextMaker it invariably comes up with “French Module” (or something like that) not loaded, even though I have no need for it as the document is in English.

    I have always found the Translator impossible to use.

    I would love to try the Beta, just to see if these things are fixed.

  • Egroeg says:

    Hey, I have Textmaker 2010 and would like to ask developers to introduce standard Windows Cut=Ctrl-x/Copy=Ctrl-c/Paste=Ctrl-v keys to the program. It doesn’t make much sense to me to remember and use assigned program keys Shift-Delete, Ctrl-Insert and Shift-insert when all or almost all Windows programs use standard ones. Textmaker keys lead to confusion only. Thank you.

  • Dennis McCarthy says:

    I have the current version, but do not use it (I use textmaker only) because it is no where near as potent as excel. Stepped Debugging of formulas, nesting of formulas, vba especially enables me to produce profession looking database solutions.

    When you can genuinely compete with excel, I will upgrade but not before.

    Keep trying though

    I luv textmaker


  • Robert says:

    Martin, I do believe you are wrong, one day, not everyone will be using a Mac. I for one, will never be buying one. Also, Windows is the most popular OS in this area, as with most areas. It is also cheaper and works with the programs people are already using. Most businesses in this area have custom-built software tailored specifically to their use, and it will never work on a Mac, but will work on any Windows PC they need it to.

    Basically, it’s not realistic for everyone to have a Mac, and besides, everyone having a Mac would create a monopoly, which is not a good thing. You NEED diversity and competition. It’s actually quite healthy from a business perspective.

  • A_2010_User says:


    What about Textmaker 2012?
    What about Presentations 2012?
    What about BasicMaker 2012?

    No enhancements made for those?

    What about DataMaker?
    Will it be included (at last)?

    Greetings and looking forward to your reply.

  • admin says:

    All applications in SoftMaker Office 2012 will receive new features. This is just my feeble attempt to build up some dramaturgic effect… :-)

    Just watch future postings in the SoftMaker Blog for more news on SoftMaker Office 2012.

  • admin says:

    Dennis, I am genuinely interested in hearing about the features that you need in PlanMaker. Do you have more that are essential to you?

  • admin says:

    Egroeg, this is most certainly a misconfiguration in your installation of SoftMaker Office. All our applications support Ctrl+X / Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V. You have probably switched to the “Classic” keyboard layout which is similar to WordStar. In this mode, these keys are used differently.

    Go to Tools, Customize, Keyboard Mapping and go back to the “Standard” keyboard mapping.

  • admin says:

    Colin, you would need to tell us exactly in which situations PlanMaker becomes “very memory hungry”. There might situations where this could possibly happen (we had instances where customers applied conditional formatting to a whole column of 65536 rows, but we provided a software fix for this), but I don’t think this can be generally said about PlanMaker. If you have any more details, I’d gladly look into them.

    TextMaker: Don’t shoot the messenger for the message. I am certain that this document originated in Microsoft Word. Word has a great feature that automatically detects the language of the text you are typing. The only problem is that it is really bad at it and often misdetects the language. German users are plagued by claimed Italian text in their documents, and it seems you are plagued with fake French text. Microsoft’s solution? Simply don’t show an error message if the spell checker doesn’t find a matching dictionary. TextMaker shows such a message because we feel it is better to point out an error in your formatting than to conceal it. Do a Select All (Ctrl+A) on the document, open the Format/Character dialog and set the language to English. Then your problem will be gone… until the next document to which Microsoft Word applies its spell (pun intended) :-)

    In the future, consider turning off the “Detect language automatically” checkbox in Microsoft Word’s Tools/Set Language dialog. There is an extra problem though: all versions of Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, and 2010 “forget” this setting from time to time :-(

  • dfish says:

    I have recommended your software to our daughters school, Even though the school is tied to Microsoft the pupils aren’t for it ease of use and comparability with Microsoft products. my daughter has been using your office pack and has found she has recommended to her friend. they are all on micro laptops on xp vista and windows 7 with no problems.
    I use Dragon Dictate 11.5. I am having problems with the curse jumping spaces and even lines. also the start space don’t always happen, this don’t happen in other programs, That are not on the Dragon list.
    As a bad speller I have found the dictionary limited. I find word and open office have less of a problem with my Dyslexia. can you please help.

  • Jorge A. Rodriguez says:

    Egroeg, the combined keys Shift-Delete (Cut), Ctrl-Insert (Copy) and Shift-insert (Paste) are always present in Windows environment from (as I remember) Windows 3.0 version (I don’t know before that) and you can use them in any aplication or situation (even modifying the composition of this message). IMHO, they should be work even with the “Standard” keyboard mapping of Textmaker 2010.

  • Alberto says:

    In this new version, exist any tool to export xls to xml, including imaging in basecode 64 as a cell, or just only data?

    Best Regards.

  • Arnaudk says:

    I would like to participate to this Beta program. I use Softmaker 2010 on both Windows (at work) and Linux (at home).

    I would like to see PlanMaker to be fully capable of importing/exporting ODS file (Open Document Format). Is this a feature coming into softmaker 2012 ?

    Other “nice” feature would be to draw the borders by simply selecting the desired line and clicking on the edge of a cell, such like Microsoft Excel does. This seems to be anecdotal but this is helpful while designing project spreadsheet for reporting.

  • Gismo Fly says:

    I say SoftMaker is worth a mass.

  • Wayne says:

    Does PlanMaker support macros? This is my first criteria.


  • Arnaudk says:

    Seems that my message was deleted.

    My question was :
    Will Planmaker 2012 support ODS (Open Document) Export/Import ?
    Also, Will PlanMaker be able to add/remove border with a “pencil” such like Excel does ?

    I would like to participate in the Beta Program

  • Wendy Whyte says:

    I’d love to be part of the beta trial. I’m having problems importing xls files & hope the new version of Softmaker office will overcome this problem.

  • Serg says:

    The news SoftMaker Office 2012 is coming really like me!
    I’m very interested what new it be!
    But i would like to know is the developers command replace user interface much more like MS Office 2010??

    Go go! :-)

  • admin says:

    Serg, there will be some user interface improvements (check future blog posts here), but we won’t introduce a ribbon interface.

  • admin says:

    Wendy, if you have XLS import problems with PlanMaker 2010, you should report them either to tech support (support (at) softmaker.de) or in our web forum at http://www.softmaker.com/forum

    If you want to participate in the private beta that’s running at the moment, get a forum account at http://www.softmaker.com/forum and send your beta application including your chosen forum name to apply(at)softmaker.de

  • admin says:

    dfish, in what way do Word and OpenOffice cope better with your dyslexia?

  • admin says:

    The only XML format supported by PlanMaker 2012 is XLSX. What use case are you thinking of?

  • admin says:

    Wayne, if you mean VBA macros, then, yes, we do. PlanMaker has a programming interface called OLE Automation, which you can access from nearly any programming language. We include BasicMaker, a VBA-like language, too.

  • admin says:

    Arnaud, you are right. I goofed and tossed your original posting away. Sorry, it went down to the trash can with many real spam messages. I have now resurrected your posting.

    PlanMaker 2012 still does not support ODS. Our top priority was to get seamless XLSX import and export completed, and we succeeded at that. When we look at which additional filters to include in the future, ODS is the most likely candidate.

    There is no pencil for drawing borders in PlanMaker (I will report this as a feature request), but there is a toolbar button that opens a listbox of many border styles.

  • Stephan says:

    And what about 1 million rows per sheet, as in Excel 2007/2010 and OpenOffice 3.3? Also nice would be Pivot tables in Planmaker.

  • admin says:

    Both are on our wishlist.

  • Mike says:

    Shift-Delete, Ctrl-Insert and Shift-insert are OS/2 or Windows 3 commands not WordStar. WordStar didn’t have a Cut command (Copy and then Delete) you’d need to use Ctrl+K,C (blocK Copy) then Ctrl+K,Y (blocK deleYt) to emulate it, or just Ctrl+K,V (blocK moVe) to Move the selection to where you wanted it. The Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, and Ctrl+X commands are Apple!

  • Mike says:

    I need the following to make SoftMaker office more useful than it already is:
    * Assign macro to keyboard command (as in Word), not through Run Script, or limited command list – needs the Keyboard and Toolbar customisation dialogs enhancing.
    * Syntax highlighting in BasicMaker
    * Auto-complete in BasicMaker
    * Attach scripts to template or use as global template
    * Run sub-routines within the template
    * Hidden view for scripts to stop accidental changes by inquisitive users

  • Mike says:

    Oh! I forgot – a VBA importer/converter to the SoftMaker object model!