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Sponsored App Review: SoftMaker Office HD

December 17, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

SoftMaker is a firm that you might have heard of, if not; they develop quality Office Software that’s not only fully compatible with industry standards (like Microsoft Office) but also fast and full of features. SoftMaker Office is available for Windows and Linux, but this new version SoftMaker Office HD is designed especially for Android tablets. It includes TextMaker HD (word processor), Presentations HD (presentation software), and PlanMaker HD (spreadsheet). Each of them have the full range of features of a desktop office suite, and here, I’m going to take a quick look at the three programs as a whole. Available directly from SoftMaker as an office-suite bundle, or individually from the Play Store, there’s a lot of value on offer here, or is there?

I’ll start off with TextMaker HD, the word processor portion of the suite and the one that I’m more likely to use myself. Each of the three apps shares a similar interface, so they’ll be familiar to you if use one then the other, or even all three. TextMaker HD features a UI that you’d more than likely expect from a desktop office application. Below is how it looks on my Nexus 9.

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Clearly, you can see that we’re looking at a desktop-style UI, but it’s still easy to use with touch. Everything is responsive, and I didn’t find myself touching the wrong icon or something too much, pinch-to-zoom works brilliantly, and everything is nice and smooth.

There’s a lot of font choices on offer here and it works great with a Bluetooth keyboard. One reason why you might use SoftMaker’s TextMaker HD over Google Docs is that there’s a much wider range of formatting options available here. I know a lot of people at college that love Google Docs for ease of use, but tell me they can’t use it exclusively due to a lack of formatting. Here, you won’t have that problem. TextMaker HD comes with the complete scope of features you would expect from a desktop word processor like Microsoft Word, including, for instance, automatic spell-check in many languages, track changes, comments, pdf export, true master pages, outliner, cross references, powerful drawing, image, and graphics features, a database module, and much more.

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Moving on to PlanMaker HD, the spreadsheet side of SoftMaker’s Office suite, you’ll notice the familiar UI from TextMaker HD and also very powerful formatting options, just like a similar desktop application.

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Those managing a small business that do the accounts themselves might find some real value with PlanMaker HD and the ability to work with pivot tables, scenarios, data grouping, to create charts in 81 different types, and more.

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Rounding out the trio of software on offer is Presentations HD, which as you’ve probably guessed is their answer to PowerPoint. It’s of course fully compatible with PowerPoint, so if you’re looking for a surefire way of ensuring compatibility with PPT or PPTX formats, then Presentations HD is a safe bet;but this HD version for Android tablets is arguably far superior to Microsoft’s own efforts on iPad and Android.

It offers various attractive design templates, numerous animations and file transitions, and lets you insert and comprehensively edit graphics, flowcharts, drawings, tables, AutoShapes, color schemes, TextArt, effects, just to point out a few options.

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Each of the three apps feature a similar Save As menu, and you can even save your documents directly to a number of cloud services, giving you the benefit of being able to access your files anywhere.

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You can also save your work in a great number of different formats, too. Here’s a sample of those formats from the TextMaker HD app.

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You can also save your work in a great number of different formats, too. Here’s a sample of those formats from the Textmaker HD app.

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So, just how do you go about getting Office HD from SoftMaker? Well, there are two ways, one is to purchase the full set from SoftMaker’s website for $27.99 and the other is to pick and choose which elements you want from the Play Store. That’s my preferred way of doing things as I’d only really use TextMaker HD and perhaps PlanMaker HD.

Taking a look at the whole suite, it’s clear that SoftMaker has a lot to offer here, but for people like myself, as a fairly casual writer, it can almost be overkill. Of course, I’m not all people, and those that are working in a more professional environment that are used to desktop Office applications will really appreciate it; a tablet with SoftMaker Office HD can substitute a bulky notebook completely Office-wise.I can see myself using TextMaker HD for more serious projects, and I’m sure that those looking for a strong PowerPoint or Excel replacement on their Android tablets will really love Presentations HD and PlanMaker HD. For those that enjoy the UI of Desktop applications and need something a little more industrial, Office HD from SoftMaker should tick most of their boxes.