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Fall update for SoftMaker Office 2016

Thursday, 29 September 2016 08:00

Dear SoftMaker customers:

The time has come - the big SoftMaker Office 2016 fall update is here.

In the following, we'd like to show you what new features the update has to offer, apart from the usual bugfixes.

Optimized for use under Windows 10

The look of SoftMaker Office 2016 has now been better adapted to Windows 10. In the process, we reworked the appearance of the dialogs and controls so that they now harmonize ideally with the Windows 10 interface.

The following animation shows a comparison between the old Windows 8 interface and the new interface adapted to Windows 10.

User interface comparison

To activate this fresh look, simply navigate to Tools > Options and on the Appearance tab set the dialog style "Windows 10".

If you already use Windows 10 on your computer, you can also select the dialog style "System". SoftMaker Office then immediately switches to the Windows 10 dialog style.

You may already have noticed a small visual change in the Windows 10 start menu. The background colors of the tiles in the start menu have now been changed so that they match the color of the corresponding icon:

Windows 10 tiles

New dialogs for opening and saving files

If you use Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10, SoftMaker Office now uses the new file dialogs of the current Windows versions.

Old file dialog:

Old file dialog

New file dialog:

New file dialog

One of the advantages of this new feature is that all of the settings you make in Windows – e.g. for selecting folders – are now also active in SoftMaker Office. If , for example, you specified in your Windows system settings that files should be selected on mouse-over, that setting will now work in SoftMaker Office, too.

Compatible document encryption

To make protected documents more secure, we strengthened document encryption in a previous service pack for SoftMaker Office 2016.

However, documents with this new encryption cannot be opened with some third-party applications or older versions of SoftMaker Office. Now, you can specify whether your documents should be saved with the greatest compatibility or the highest level of security. Under File > Properties in the Protection tab, you can choose which encryption method you want.

Encryption method dialog

Easier file-type association

Working with different file types is even more user-friendly with the new update of SoftMaker Office. Now, every time you start a program, an automatic check will be performed to determine whether files that can be processed with TextMaker, PlanMaker, or Presentations should be opened in these programs by default. If any of these file types are not associated with SoftMaker Office (or not anymore), a dialog appears that lets you conveniently select which file types should be opened in SoftMaker Office:

Warning at program launch

If you click on "Yes" a Windows dialog appears that lets you specify for each individual file type whether it should be opened by default in SoftMaker Office (here is an example from TextMaker):

Program association dialog

Please note that the list for selecting file types is often opened in the background. This is indicated by an application icon appearing on the Windows Taskbar with a colored background. If this happens, you have to click on the icon to see the window. It's a quirk in Windows that applications cannot work around.

If you check the box "Do not show this warning again" when the program starts and you decide later that you want to open other file types with SoftMaker Office after all, you can access the above dialog anytime directly from SoftMaker Office. To do so, go to Tools > Options in TextMaker, PlanMaker or Presentations and select the System tab. When you click on "Associate file types", the dialog shown above opens and you can associate the file types you want.

Improved envelope printing

Printers from different manufacturers handle envelopes differently. While some printers print envelopes left-aligned and sideways, other models print them centered and lengthwise. In order to cover all the bases, we have extended the number of settings options available for printing envelopes.

Print envelopes dialog

To access the dialog shown here, go to Insert > Envelope > Paper settings.

If you've already created a document with an envelope, you can change the orientation in the Print settings at any time. Just click on the following button in the dialog File > Page setup:

Envelope settings

More convenient use of guides

After installing the fall update, using guides is even more convenient: if you select a guide in the dialog Object > Guides and grid, it will be highlighted in color in your document:

Guides and grid dialog

In addition, you can now lock guides to avoid moving them accidentally.

Other convenient features

Text frames are now even easier to use. With the new version of SoftMaker Office 2016, you can change the size (and in Presentations, the rotation) of a frame element, even while you are still editing the text:

Text frames

It's also easier to change the dimensions of embedded images and objects in TextMaker. To do that, there are now handles on the corners of images – like those you're used to having on picture frames.

In TextMaker you can now also select the entire text of your document by pressing the Ctrl key and clicking in the left-hand margin.

Improved compatibility with Microsoft Office

SoftMaker Office 2016 is now even more compatible with Microsoft Office. For instance, certain types of numbered lists associated with a particular language are properly displayed in TextMaker. These numbering schemes change dynamically when the language of the paragraph is changed:

Language-dependent numbering

Here's how to get your free update...

Download the update in the Downloads area under "Service packs". Here, as always, you'll find a detailed explanation of the bug fixes contained in the update.

 

3 comments

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Thursday, 16 March 2017 09:00

    Kris Dee: Thank you so much! We're glad to hear you're satisfied with our software. Of course, SoftMaker Office 2016 will keep functioning on Windows Vista. Anyway, please understand that we can't provide you with the detailed system requirements of future versions of SoftMaker Office yet.

  • Kris Dee posted by Kris Dee
    Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:13

    I am running SoftMaker Office 2016 in Windows Vista (and in Linux Mint 17.3) - and no, I do not want to hear how bad Vista is, because it ISN'T :-) - and I hope that SoftMaker Office 2016 will keep on functioning in Vista (for now)?

    Good to have another full featured Office program, alongside (the free) OpenOffice, and that is not Microsoft Office.

    Keep up the good work!!

  • Keith W Hunt posted by Keith W Hunt
    Saturday, 01 October 2016 12:21

    I Have installed the new update and changed the Appearance to Windows 10 and also tried System, but I don't see any visual change in the Windows 10 Start menu.

    What am I doing wrong?

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