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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Announcements
Softmaker FreeOffice
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smokey01


Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 1842
Location: South Australia

PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec 2012, 22:19    Post subject:  

vicmz wrote:
smokey01 wrote:
I didn't notice a 64 bit version.

Is one available?

Yes, there is. After registration I received an email message with my serial number and download links including 32bit and 64bit, .rpm and .deb packages.


Thanks I must have missed that.

Another download coming up.

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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec 2012, 23:01    Post subject:  

After using a cutdown version of SoftMaker I found on the Puppy forums (Textmaker only - circa 2002?), I gradually migrated to 2008/2010 for Windows and since have gone the whole hog with SMO for Linux 64-bit on my desktop, with TaZoC's original LH64 version. Originally I installed via the DEB format option and was very happy to see Puppy downloading any necessary dependencies. Planmaker, Textmaker and Presentations found themselves in different places in the Puppy menu and I think I had to cobble some icons together to have it clearly accessible for newbie users (my wife and various colleagues shortfallen without their Win machines - found no problem with SMO for the first time, and in a Linux environment Smile ) .
With subsequent upgrades with TaZoC's base, and updates on SMO2012Linux I opted for the tar.gz version and of course, haven't got the nous/time to repackage as a pet for my own use and thus include all menu entries and icons like a proper polished job. All loads very well from console with the commands "textmaker12", "planmaker12" and I've edited the "Open With" commands to have docx and xlsx open practically immediately with SoftMaker. Makes me smile every time I use it, thinking of those who consider the MS version as the bee's-knees... Operation speed is up on that of SMO2010 for Linux, I can confirm.
Full purchase gives the individual owner licence for the SMO on three machines (concurrently, I understand - take that, MS!). I've explored this option with also using the 32-deb version on my laptop, running Pemasu's Dpup Exprimo 5X15. No quibble there from SM license-wise, and I rather think that in the Dpup environment I get better performance overall with the 32-bit version than 64-bit on the laptop (tried it with LH64 on the same machine, and also with FatSlacko - more stable in Exprimo). With frugal Puppy installs, and SMO installation off-root/outside of pupsaves seems to work fine.
What I appreciate most about SoftMaker is the support/forums they have. I've made various comments there as a Puppy user (as "arobbo"), but in brief answer to Barry's recent query in this thread I can summarise:
1) difficulty in setting up in Puppy menu structure for listing/icon inclusion in wbar, lxpanel etc;
2) CUPS is now the default print manager (hooray!) however duplex printing seems to be cancelled out somewhere - others have noted this in other Linux flavours, in printers with automatic default as duplex, still prints resolutely as single page documents.
3) automatic GTK library access for dialog theme preferences in Puppy has eluded me - I get all options including "Linux (grey)", but not "Linux (System)",
4) No automated options for slimming down installation - extra language libraries have to be removed manually. This is a necessity for those installing in the pupsave, as the memory savings are considerable.

So if these issues can be averted for future SoftMaker FreeOffice users, so much the better - the follow-on effects will only improve the experience for those who choose to purchased product.

[EDIT: P.S. there are some CSV file formats that Planmaker makes a hash of, even when you try all the various column/type formats when opening. Gnumeric on the other hand opens the same csv files with no error]

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Last edited by Puppyt on Sat 15 Dec 2012, 03:22; edited 1 time in total
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2667
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec 2012, 23:09    Post subject:  

So far I have experienced two problems while using Freeoffice:

1) When my laptop battery shut off due to lack of charge I found that Freeoffice appeared not to have saved the text that I had last entered, even though I had clicked the Freeoffice "save" icon. (power went off probably five seconds after clicking save). This may be nothing to do with Freeoffice - possibly more to do with Puppy not having updated the HDD savefile yet? but I thought I'd mention it anyway. (or maybe Freeoffice decided to go back to its .bak copy of my document for safety? Not good behaviour if that is the case. Hopefully this is a puppy savefile issue.)
EDIT: This has happened to me several times now on different puppies and in my opinion definitely seems to be a Textmaker2012 bug. The problem seems to occur when Textmaker decides that your actual file is bad, and that it needs to restore the file from it's own .bak version of the file. This seems to occur when Puppy encounters a disorderly shutdown (eg: laptop battery goes flat).

At the next boot Textmaker seems to decide that the real file must be bad EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD SUCCESSFULLY SAVED IT TO A SEPARATE DATA PARTITION PRIOR TO THE SYSTEM FAILURE!! At that next boot Textmaker goes ahead and AUTOMATICALLY changes the good file to match it's outdated .bak copy. It does not offer to let you compare the two files.

I recommend turning off the Textmaker backup facility if you experience this issue.

2) If I create an rtf document with Freeoffice it appears that Abiword cannot read it. The text background seems highlighted and makes the text invisible. Might be an Abiword issue rather than Freeoffice but not sure yet. See pic

Overall Freeoffice is looking good. It certainly gives me the ability to read docx and write .doc reliably, so at last I have good compatibility with the rest of the family.
abiword doesnt like freeoffice rtf.jpg
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abiword doesnt like freeoffice rtf.jpg


Last edited by greengeek on Sun 03 Feb 2013, 14:26; edited 2 times in total
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vicmz


Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1141

PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec 2012, 23:25    Post subject:  

I tried installing to USB drive (portable) as described in the official website. I couldn't boot to another Puppy yet but it should work on other Puppies just as on Wary (I'm using the .tgz package). Only thing is I have to look for the textmaker icon among all files in the freeoffice directory, the price to pay for portability. Also it seems a little bit slower from a flash drive.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2667
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 14 Dec 2012, 23:36    Post subject:  

vicmz wrote:
Only thing is I have to look for the textmaker icon among all files in the freeoffice directory,

On my HDD install, the icons are at /usr/share/freeoffice/icons.
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 00:13    Post subject:  

greengeek, re your AbiWord/FreeOffice incompatibility, I found something similar in the past which was corrected by changing the selected font colour in AbiWord, to see what was written in TextMaker (usual doc format). Try that, see if it works for you?
[EDIT: or it might be that AbiWord is interpreting the background to be set as "black", rather than the usual page colour - so try changing text background. It's tedious, and what I found more irritating was that font type and size was not always retained between AbiWord and TextMaker. If I was able to ensure that the font libraries accessed by both applications were the same, perhaps there would be greater consistency]]

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vicmz


Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1141

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 00:40    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
vicmz wrote:
Only thing is I have to look for the textmaker icon among all files in the freeoffice directory,

On my HDD install, the icons are at /usr/share/freeoffice/icons.

Sorry, I mean the launchers, the files that launch the programs Laughing

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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2667
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 04:05    Post subject:  

I just loaded Freeoffice into a live CD session of Puppy 412 Lite and Textmaker worked beautifully, even exporting as pdf. Didn't try Planmaker etc as I'm not likely to use that much.
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ozsouth

Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Posts: 146
Location: S.E Australia

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 05:02    Post subject:  

Greengeek,

If you intend to buy a commercial version, go for 2012, as I got the full 2010 version & like Puppyt found unpredictable file incompatibilities when trying to import. Fonts weren't great either. Libreoffice is just better.
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 07:46    Post subject:  

I can rely on libreoffice being available for Puppy, so tend to use that. The WP in freeoffice is better than abiword. All the programs seem obvious, intuitive, streamlined - just like Puppy. I have no idea why Freeoffice is barely known. It is fairly priced, well written and deserves more recognition.
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johnrpm

Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 08:38    Post subject:  

Having tried it for a few hours I am very impressed by its speed and comprehensive capability, their forum seems vibrant, and they offer a free font every month.
I am never going to use any office app to its full potential, only for average use, so others may find issues, but it does exactly what I want from an office app, and more.
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Terryphi


Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 763
Location: West Wales, Britain.

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 10:02    Post subject:  

Terryphi wrote:
Does Planmaker open spreadsheets in the Libreoffice/OpenOffice format?
Features section on website makes no mention of this.


No, Planmaker does not open spreadsheets in LibreOffice/OpenOffice .ods format so thumbs down from me.

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jrb


Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1040
Location: Smithers, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 13:28    Post subject:  

Just for fun I took my portable FreeOffice and stripped it down to just US English.(No help files) Made a 20MB .tar.gz

Then I stripped out everything except TextMaker 9.3MB

Cheers, J
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2667
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 15:04    Post subject:  

Puppyt wrote:
it might be that AbiWord is interpreting the background to be set as "black", rather than the usual page colour - so try changing text background.

Thanks puppyt. It seems that once I open the Textmaker .rtf document in Abiword I need to select all, then go to Format, Font, Highlight color,and tick "No highlight color" then I can see everything as normal. Maybe it is a compatibility error in understanding the "no highlight color" field, rather than a misunderstanding of which actual color has been selected. Not even sure if Freeoffice understands the "no highlight color" field - I will have to have a tinker.

ozsouth wrote:
Libreoffice is just better.

I feel that Libreoffice is really slow compared to S.O/Freeoffice (on my hardware anyway) and I've had a lot of incompatibility issues between Abiword and Libreoffice aswell, so I thought I'd give Freeoffice a real good thrash and see if it's worth sticking with.
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broomdodger


Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 270
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 16:19    Post subject: PlanMaker vs Gnumeric  

Wary5392 frugal
softmaker-freeoffice-676.tgz
I have also installed freeoffice on Windows 7.

Impressive!
Both PlanMaker and TextMaker seem to work very well, and fast.
PlanMaker will NOT open ods or gnumeric files.
TextMaker will open odt files.

An address list saved in various formats:

Gnumeric (my preferred spreadsheet) - address.gnumeric - 32k
Saved in ods format from Gnumeric - address.ods - 80k
Saved in xls format from Gnumeric - address.xls - 288k

Open the address.xls in PlanMaker, then:
Saved in tmd format from PlanMaker - address.tmd - 365k

My preferred spreadsheet is Gnumeric:
+ also cross platform (installed on Wary and Win7)
+ regular expression search and replace
+ simple interface
+ smaller output files
+ speed, very fast
+ will convert to almost any file format
+ will open almost any file format

Bill
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