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What's new in SoftMaker Office 2018? – Part 2

Dear SoftMaker customers:

The second part of our series deals with the new file formats in SoftMaker Office 2018. As you may already know, our new Office suite uses the Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX natively. In this article you will find out why we have decided to take this step and how you as a user benefit from it.

We’ll also introduce a handy feature that you might know from your web browser. Have fun reading!

Part 2: Compatibility & convenience

SoftMaker Office 2018 sets new standards in terms of compatibility: The modern Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX are now natively supported, i.e. you can now share your files with Microsoft Office users without any conversion. In the following, you’ll find out what you have to consider and what advantages this has.

Our new standard: The Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX

Have you already saved a document with SoftMaker Office 2018? Then you probably have noticed the following dialog box:

Here you can select whether you want to save files in the Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX as default or in the new SoftMaker formats TMDX, PMDX or PRDX.

If you regularly exchange files with Microsoft Office users, we recommend that you select the first option here. Afterwards, your files are saved by default in the current Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX – you can edit these files directly with Microsoft Office.

In addition to trouble-free file exchange, these formats offer numerous other advantages. For example, you can use Windows Desktop Search to search your files for content.

Third-party applications also often work with Microsoft file formats. To be compatible with such applications, you should select the Microsoft formats.

Under certain conditions, however, it makes sense to select the SoftMaker formats TMDX, PMDX and PRDX as your default file formats.

For instance, assuming you are using another Office suite on your computer in parallel with SoftMaker Office: if you want to make sure that files created with SoftMaker Office are opened reliably and automatically with SoftMaker Office as soon as you double-click on them in Windows Explorer, you should save your files in the SoftMaker formats TMDX, PMDX and PRDX. Otherwise, the third party's Office suite may automatically “absorb” the file formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX at startup, making itself the default application for these file types. Afterwards, these files would be opened automatically with this Office suite by double-clicking on them in the file browser.

To ensure that files created with SoftMaker Office are always opened with SoftMaker Office, we therefore recommend to use the SoftMaker formats TMDX, PMDX and PRDX whenever other Office suites are installed on the same system.

Did you know? Microsoft formats are now preselected by default for the “Send document by e-mail” function:

This way you can always be sure that Microsoft Office users can open the documents they have received from you.

Incidentally, SoftMaker Office 2018 is downward-compatible. All files created with older versions of TextMaker, PlanMaker or Presentations can also be opened with SoftMaker Office 2018.

You can continue using your old document templates as well. To do this, simply copy the desired templates from the folder “Documents\SoftMaker\Templates 2016” into the folder “Documents\SoftMaker\Templates 2018.” Afterwards, all the familiar templates are available in the “New Document” dialog box again.

As easy as in a web browser: Drag & Drop for document tabs

Do you often work on several documents at the same time? Do you use more than one monitor and want to arrange various documents on them? SoftMaker Office 2018 makes all of that easier than ever: As with a web browser, you can either arrange your documents as “tabs” in a single program window or arrange the files in several separate windows. Mixing (several separate windows, which in turn contain several documents in tabs) is also possible.

To “undock” a document from a program window, you do exactly the same thing you are used to doing in your web browser: Drag a document tab from the program window and drop it onto the desktop:

A second program window with the document that you dragged from the previous window will open immediately. As you can see in the animation above, the document can just as easily be embedded into another program window again: To do this, simply grab the document tab again with the mouse pointer and drag the tab into the target window – and again you have both documents in the same program window.

Tip: You can also easily change the order of the document tabs in a program window using drag & drop.

By the way: Do you already know our new “Dark Mode”?

As a SoftMaker Office user, you may already know the “Dark Mode” for the classic menus and toolbars. For SoftMaker Office 2018, we have adapted this mode optimally to the new ribbons.

Our tip: Just try it out – it takes no time at all to activate. To switch to Dark Mode, simply right-click on the ribbon (in classic mode, on a toolbar). In the menu that now opens, select the entry “User interface.” In the dialog box that then appears, double-click on the third thumbnail of the first row. You will then be asked whether you want to restart TextMaker, which you should confirm by clicking “Yes.” You can also use the same dialog box to return to your familiar user interface.

We hope that this second part of our series gives you interesting insights into our new Office suite.

Thanks a lot for your feedback on the first part of our series. Once again, you are cordially invited to share your comments below – we look forward to hearing from you.

Have fun trying out the new SoftMaker Office!

The free 30-day trial version is available here.


Satish D

2019-03-06 15:43

Hello, is it possible to show the reviewer changes in balloons as in MS office? It is a much better way to read corrections. Thank you.


2019-03-06 15:43

Satish D: Thank you for your suggestion. At the moment, reviewer changes can only be displayed directly in the text and in the review dialog box. However, this feature is already on our whishlist for future versions of SoftMaker Office.


2019-03-06 15:42

Somehow I can't find the correct place for the public beta issues reporting.

I tried opening a fairly big ODT (up to 160 pages, tens of pictures, thousands of formulas, hundreds of bibliography entries) which was prepared in OpenOffice/LibreOffice (OO/LO) in Textmaker (TM) 2018 beta2.

Opening the file completes fast (well done!). On browsing the file, TM responds well.


Bibliography references (I have those set as numbers) are imported empty. The cross-references (numbers of pictures, tables, formulas) are imported empty.

Formulas are imported as blank placeholders, which, however, keep the original dimensions.

Paragraphs which have numbering on them, have shifts to the right AND to the left defined in them in OO/LO). SM seems to ignore the 'left shift', so such paragraphs are shown shifted right.

Wrapping of pictures placed in frames is incorrect. I have 'no wrap' set in LO/OO for those, so the text succeeding the picture inside the frame would start on new line, but in TM such text starts in line with the picture.

Text flows marked with character style with 'hidden' 'font effect' are imported incorrectly ('hidden' propagates/expands to where it shouldn't), if such flows include references (LO/OO workaround for not having ranges of references like in TeX).

Overlaid frames, which were set in LO/OO as to occupy the whole text area of the page, are imported incorrectly, with gaps on the bottom (where text now flows, which it shouldn't).

*Other issues:

Fonts with errors in the 'Fontname' (as Fontforge app names the field) are shown as '?????' in the fonts list. Would be better to use the 'Name for humans', like Linux software does (name of the field like in Fontforge app).

VERY interestingly, TM *correctly* imports DOC (Word 97/2003) which was exported from OO/LO and contains formulas – as far as I can tell with blank formula preview, judging only by the placeholder bounds.

LO issue for this is at:
Might you give those guys a hint?


TM feels like it was compiled using the WINE layer. Is that so?


2019-03-06 15:42

Thanks a lot for your detailed report. However, please understand that we can't handle beta testing issues within the framework of this blog. Because of this, we'd like to ask you for posting your report in our forum at


2019-03-06 15:42

Juste 5 langues étrangers et aucune le français ???


2019-03-06 15:42

Merci pour votre commentaire. Le français est en tête de la liste des langues dans lesquelles nous allons traduire notre site Web.

[Thanks for your comment. French is on top of our list of languages into which we're going to translate our website.]


2019-03-06 15:41


I just bought the previous SofMaker Office Professional for Linux and Windows from the official website. Days later I was offered Softmaker Office 2018.

Am I eligible for a free upgrade. I sort of get the feeling I was taken.


2019-03-06 15:41

Please contact our sales team (via e-mail at sales(at) so we can check if we can find any solution based on goodwill.

Bill Wilken

2019-03-06 15:41

When will Linux users see your 2018 product?


2019-03-06 15:41

SoftMaker Office 2018 for Linux will be released at the beginning of 2018.


2019-03-06 15:40

Thanks for not only excellent, easy to use products, but for outstanding customer service as well. This blog is very helpful.

Leslie Reisz

2019-03-06 15:39

I’have been using this office-progs for a while, and I adore it. First of all, because of it is portable. Frankly, it’s a best MicroOffice replacement. But sincerely: there are some little nags. The search-relace modul is annoying. 1. after one replacement it is closing automatically, 2. after every search the pointer jumps the first page of the document — this is an olda libre/open office bug from 3.6 (may be). And the most important the statement about compatibility is misguiding, simply, incorrect. I tried the 2016 version and the new wersion (and the Ashampoo-licensed version). (Portables!) For word: I tried to correct OCR-errors of Abby Finreader. My sad experiece, that the docx format brokes the original alyouts of the document, especially if I had managed new margins, and first of all, if the docs contains sketches, photos. The good way: after I have oepned a document, "I save as" in tmd, or leaving the sem format but with the different name! The Planmakercan: It is a suicid turn. The prog can handle correctly the Microsoft office-materials. But no easy way out of planmaker (2016, 2018 all the same) My experience: I saved as to old xls form. The result correct in Softmaker, Libre, Open Apache. After I try to open with Microsoft Office (2007), I gave an errwith the or message, about a POSSIBLE VIRUS, and about that the prog found anunreadable content in the file. Despite of this, after opening the file looks so-so good, but nem fully correct — for example the hipelinks looking. An interesting thing, that if I save this file withoit any changing in Libre Office, that file is total correct in Microsoft. If I try to open a file with the newest extension in Microsoft: no way out: the Microsoft progs say: it is not a Microsoft format, and propose to find some progs via internet. It’s not a sad experiance with 1 machine, I’ve tried on 4 different computers under win7 and win10 too... Despite of this I’m a fan of Starmaker office...


2019-03-06 15:40

We are glad to hear that you are satisfied with our software. We are already working on improvements to the search and replace functionality. To give you the best possible support for the mentioned compatibility issues, please send us the affected files using our support form at


2019-03-06 15:39

почему в русофицированном арианте присутствуют не переведенные разделы ????????????????


2019-03-06 15:40

В настоящее время мы работаем над завершением работы с российским пользовательским интерфейсом. Завершение будет опубликовано с предстоящим обновлением.

[We're currently working on the completion of the Russian user interface. The completion will be published with an upcoming update.]

michel bauza

2019-03-06 15:39

Quand on ne comprend QUE le FRANCAIS, ces informations, certainement très utiles, ne servent strictement à rien !!!!!
Comme il est probable que de nombreux clients d' Ashampoo sont dans la même situation, peut-être serait-il judicieux ajouter le Français aux langues possibles ......... De plus, je pense que sur le plan purement commercial, on aurait moins l' impression d' être des "sous-clients" ......


2019-03-06 15:40

Merci pour votre commentaire. Le français est en tête de la liste des langues dans lesquelles nous allons traduire notre site Web.

[Thanks for your comment. French is on top of our list of languages into which we're going to translate our website.]

2019-03-06 15:38

Interesting and informative explanation.

Vladimir Zeynalov

2019-03-06 15:38

All of these functions seemed to me quite useful and easy to manage. Thank you for the program.

Mike Colligan

2019-03-06 15:37

I've been working with the support forum folks related to a "xlsm" file. Any general warnings / comments about the format?




2019-03-06 15:38

XLSM files are Excel files containing embedded macros. You can open these files with PlanMaker without any risks of being threatened by macro viruses or similar because the macros get preserved, but not executed in PlanMaker.

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