Author Topic: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux  (Read 150 times)

Offline fox

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Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« on: May 17, 2018, 07:48:28 am »
FreeOffice 2018 is a free version of Softmaker Office 2018; both have Linux versions. There was an earlier thread on Softmaker Office 2018 that you should read to get a sense of the product and how it compares to other office software for Linux (including LibreOffice). There are a few things missing from FreeOffice 2018 that are present in the paid version (Softmaker Office), but almost everything you need is in the free version. I reviewed the missing functions and the only one that looks relevant to a lot of people is that FreeOffice cannot save files in the old MS Word format (.doc); only the new format (.docx). I think that the same applies to the spreadsheet and presentation programs.

Does it have any advantage over LibreOffice? My previous attempts to compare translations of MS Word documents suggest that both are pretty good and depending on what's in the document, one or other might be slightly better. But one feature better in FreeOffice/Softmaker Office 2018 than in LibreOffice is the track changes feature; something I use a lot. LibreOffice will only do this inline, making for a messy document on screen. FreeOffice has the option to do it in the margins just like MS Office and I find this much better for viewing. WPS, Kingsoft's proprietary but free office product, also allows track changes in the margins, but it cannot save documents to open source formats. So each of the three products has a few strengths and weaknesses relative to the other two.

If you want more information on FreeOffice 2018 or would like to download it, you can get it here.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 07:52:29 am by fox »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 11:11:35 pm »
Thanks for sharing. You're our office documents guru so we can always count on you to be able to laser down to the differences between office suites.

Hmm... might be a future presentation here - talking about the differences between the three suites. If the documents you use aren't confidential maybe you could use them to show us the differences. Not saying anytime soon since this sounds like it would take a bit of work to plan this. Or perhaps an article for the website?
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Offline fox

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 07:25:53 am »
I could certainly do this and illustrate it using my own documents (they're not confidential), but I don't know how broadly interested our members would be. Most people generating word processing documents use entirely text or text with very simple tables. My documents are mostly that, but they have a few more complex elements (typically tables and embedded figures); these are where the problems typically occur. Also, I don't think most people use or care about tracked changes in documents. These things are important to me because I collaborate with other researchers and students in producing scientific manuscripts for production. I need the changes tracked across versions to decide which should be accepted and which should be modified or rejected. Having those changes in the margins instead of as cross-outs in the body of the document (which unfortunately is what LibreOffice Writer does) makes it much harder to follow.

The other big difference between what I do and what others do is that a lot of my documents were originally produced on a Mac. The negative effect of this is mainly limited to Linux presentation programs. The Mac version of Powerpoint allows one to copy and paste images into a presentation. On a PC, you import the images from a file. (One can import image files on a Mac as well, but copy and paste is much quicker.) Most or all of these pasted images don't show up in some Linux presentation apps; they can even cause problems in PC Powerpoint itself (run from Wine or a derivative). I'm happy to demonstrate these differences in a presentation if I know it's of interest to enough of our members.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:30:50 am by fox »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 07:57:29 am »
It might be a topic that we can also attract new outside professionals to that might use Linux. I've used tracking of changes in documents too, just in Office because I could never see how to do it in LibreOffice. Anybody that is editing documents can use it. And even if all we do is view documents, it'd be good to know the differences in how different office suites handle them. Maybe it's just me, but i get Office documents all the time from non-profits or activist groups I've been involved with and wondered why certain things seem to break, etc.

I think we need to branch out more about software more if we want our group to grow. You also might be surprised at how common it is for people to use images and advanced tables in documents. Harry does advanced stuff with spreadsheets, I believe, and we have another PhD that comes to meetings occasionally. And remember our presentations usually put you to sleep, so don't you think it's time to return the favour! ;-)



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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 08:25:37 am »
A very good point!

I think this would be a good presentation.
We should make sure we advertise the meeting topic with a flyer at the Peterborough Library and elsewhere!


It might be a topic that we can also attract new outside professionals to that might use Linux.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 11:58:52 am »
A very good point!
....

Bringing in new professionals or returning the favour for me falling asleep in other peoples' presentations? :)

I would certainly be willing to do a presentation on this. And other PLUGGERS present would be welcome to bring in some of their documents to try out on the different office programs.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2018, 09:04:32 am »
I did actually install FreeOffice 2018 just to try it out. I started by opening a .docx document created in MS Word; 100% accurate rendition. I then tried same in LibreOffice and WPS. WPS gave perfect rendition. LibreOffice did not; it had a minor problem with spacing such that text that should have been on page 1 was on page 2. But this just illustrates the minor differences in translation among the three programs. I could select a different document or different document type (extension), and LibreOffice would do the best rendition.

I stopped my test there because I discovered a problem with FreeOffice. It somehow locked itself in as the default application for all Microsoft file formats and I was unable to change this. At that point I uninstalled it and everything went back to normal. I also posted on SoftMaker's forum and the Ubuntu forum. Once I can change this default assignment over FreeOffice's lock-in, I'll reinstall it and make further tests.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2018, 01:08:57 pm »
That's strange - the lock-in I mean. I assume you're saying that you couldn't go into the default settings for your desktop environment and change it back until you un-installed it?
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Offline fox

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Re: Freeoffice 2018 now released for Linux
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 02:33:08 pm »
That's what I'm saying. Right-click on a file you want to open, select properties, then Open with tab. The different applications that open it are listed, with FreeOffice selected as the default. Click on another program - select make as default - and .... nothing changes. Only with FreeOffice. Once it's uninstalled, I can make any of the other programs the default. Weird, eh?

Update: I tried reinstalling LibreOffice at the suggestion of someone on the Ubuntu forums, hoping the latest program of that mime type would become the default. Didn't work, so I once again uninstalled FreeOffice.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 04:28:19 pm by fox »
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