Free SoftMaker Office 2008! (Plus SoftMaker donates money to charity every time someone downloads.)

logo-softmaker-office-2008This article was originally written last year. However, SoftMaker is once again giving out SoftMaker Office 2008 for free this year – until December 31, 2010 – so I have brought this post to the front instead of writing a whole new post. People who didn’t get it last year can get it now. Enjoy! Thanks Amnesia for the tip!

In October I posted about how to get Ashampoo Office 2008 for free. SoftMaker Office 2008 is the exact same software as Ashampoo Office 2008 (Ashampoo Office is a rebrand of SoftMaker Office) with one difference: SoftMaker 2008 includes BasicMaker while Ashampoo Office did not. So for those that don’t have Microsoft Office and don’t want OpenOffice, yet did not get Ashampoo Office 2008, here is a chance to grab SoftMaker Office 2008 for free (promotion ends December 31, 2009). Even if you do have Ashampoo Office 2008, you may want to consider getting SoftMaker Office 2008 anyway because of the extra BasicMaker software. Plus there is a twist: for every download of SoftMaker Office 2008, SoftMaker will donate € 0.10 (about $.15) to BetterPlace.org, a charity organization (NOTE: The money will only be donated if you register with a valid e-mail address – you can’t just download the installer itself). Another advantage is everyone that downloads SoftMaker Office 2008 via this promotion gets free tech support and future SoftMaker Office upgrades at reduced prices.

The same features (+ BasicMaker)…

  • TextMaker 2008 (word processing; think Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Write)
  • SoftMaker Presentations 2008 (create powerpoint presentations; think Microsoft PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress)
  • PlanMaker 2008 (work with spreadsheets; think Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc)
  • BasicMaker 2008 (allows for users to create scripts in the SoftMaker Basic programming languages – similar to how VBA is for Microsoft Office)

…and advantages…

  • SoftMaker Office 2008 has a very small footprint, (taking up less than 80 MB on your hard drive after installation and uses 1/4 the RAM of Microsoft Office while running).
  • SoftMaker has native support to run SoftMaker Office 2008 from a USB/flash drive (to run SoftMaker Office 2008 from a USB/flash drive, run “usbstick.exe” found in the folder you installed SoftMaker Office into [by default it will be C:\Program Files\SoftMaker Office 2008]).
  • Importing and exporting Microsoft Office and OpenOffice format files in SoftMaker Office 2008 is a breeze.

…I mentioned for Ashampoo Office 2008 apply to SoftMaker Office 2008. At the same time, the shortcomings are the same also: SoftMaker Office 2008 does not support the new Microsoft Office 2007 generation .x formats (like .docx, .pptx, .xlsx, etc.).

As I said with Ashampoo Office 2008, SoftMaker Office 2008 will not be replacing Microsoft Office or OpenOffice any time soon, but it is definitely a worthy alternative to look into if you are lacking in the productivity suite genre.

That being said, to get SoftMaker Office 2008 for free (and help out a charity at the same time), follow these simple directions:

Version being given out for free: v2008 (rev 505)

Supported OS: Windows 2000 or higher and Linux

Download size: 58.9 MB

  • Visit the promotion page and click on 2009-12-16_185722.
  • You will need to fill out a short form:

2009-12-16_182019

Fill out the form and click “Submit”. You will get a confirmation message:

2009-12-16_182234

  • Check the inbox of the e-mail you registered with. There will be an e-mail from “SoftMaker Software GmbH <info@softmaker.de>” with the subject of “SoftMaker Office 2008 for Windows: Serial number and download”. In the e-mail you will find your registration information:

2009-12-16_183140

Copy the serial number and remember the name and e-mail address.

  • Download and install SoftMaker Office 2008.
  • During installation you will be prompted to enter your registration information:

2009-12-16_1832342

Enter your registration information and finish installing. Be sure to enter the registration information exactly as it appears in the e-mail you received or else it won’t work.

  • Enjoy!

If you have any problems, post below and I will try to help.

Thank you to the numerous many people who informed me about this freebie! I was not originally planning on publishing an article about this – because I already talked about Ashampoo Office 2008 – but the donation-of-money-to-charity changed my mind.

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33 comments

  1. Canuck50

    Don’t bother with this one. Instead get the new Libre Office. Libre Office has been created by the same people who brought you Open Office. The exception is that Libre Office already surpasses Open Office with its capabilities. Libre Office has been recognized as the preferred choice by most Linux creators. Just my opinion but you may want to check this program out for yourself.

  2. tekknokat

    Is there any reason why one would not want to install the extra 80 “premium-quality” fonts for their SoftMaker Office installation? Will these show up in the same font lists that appear when you view the fonts in Wordpad, notepad, or any versions of Microsoft Office you plan on installing, or any other applications one might install that use the system fonts found in Windows? Might these produce duplicate fonts in the dropdown lists? I have never installed extra fonts before.

    I also have a font that came from a film studio promotional site for a Science Fiction film (District 9), it was intended to run in Windows, it ends with extension .ttf (“D9 non-humans.ttf” is the font name), but I don’t see extensions on any of the fonts in C:WindowsFonts . Any suggestions anyone might offer regarding: 1) installing StarMaker fonts and 2) installing “District 9 non-humans.tff” font in Windows 7 x64. I will be most grateful for any insight any of you may offer.

    @mygandede – Thanks for the link to the “Office Viewers” from SoftMaker Software. That way I can view .docx and all of the other file types listed, as long as I don’t have a copy of Microsoft or OpenOffice installed on my system yet.

    Thank You,
    Nathan Alan

  3. Injeun

    I assumed that Softmaker Office suite would open a (.ods file type)document saved in Open Office. But it doesn’t. Had to go to Open Office and save a copy as a microsoft file type before Softmaker Office could display it.

  4. David Roper

    Well this is a bargain. Free is good. I paid them $40 for a copy less than a month ago. My advice to all reading this is to get it and install it. Opens and writes MS Word DOCs as RTFs, a more universal format indeed.

    I uninstalled OpenOffice (bloatware) and I’m using SoftMaker now. It’s fast. Damn, I sound like a company spokesman but I am not. Retired now and loving it.

    Get it while it’s free.

  5. JimVanDamme

    @Dru: Dru, I use OpenOffice but it’s huge. For short notes there’s Wordpad, but if you need a good, fast word processing app try AbiWord. It doesn’t do presentations or spreadsheets or the real fancy scripts but you can do just about anything the home user needs, and it’s light. It is also cross-platform.

    SoftMaker Office sounds better than MS Office (what doesn’t?) but I’ll stick with OpenOffice (and go to LibreOffice) because it does those extra things I need to do. Like import and edit PDF’s, Word Perfect, and .docx files.

  6. Dru

    I’ll be installing a free alternative to MS Office on a new computer for my in-laws. It is their first computer. I’ve always used Wintel/MS Office machines and this will be my first foray elsewhere. I assumed I was going to install OpenOffice, then this post comes along :-) Any recommendations as to which free alternative to MS Office is best for my elderly family members and their first computer?

  7. Roger

    Hi Ashraf,
    I downloaded and installed the Softmaker Office 2008 program and I really like it. Today was the first time I went to print something out using it and nothing happened. I had to fire up WORD to print out my letter. Any thoughts? Thanks for helping me and others get this software free. It doesn’t crap out like WORD does.

  8. normofthenorth

    I have MS Office 2007 (thanks to Ashraf!), but I usually use this (Ashampoo version) instead because it opens so much faster and doesn’t overload my laptop. Occasionally I have a special need — like opening a DOCX file — that drives me to open MS Word. (Or I sometimes just run docx2rtf.exe .)

  9. siyam

    Thanks meng!,was just thinking of installing abyword,i needed only a word processing software as the workstation is setup mostly for graphics works..ms office too expensive,open office too heavy..then you posted this,Nice! Salam again,meng.

  10. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Jon E: You are welcome =).

    @gurugyi: You are welcome =).

    @calebstein: I am not particularly sure. In their FAQs it says “For every legitimate SoftMaker Office 2008 download (verified by the validity of your e-mail address), SoftMaker will donate € 0.10 to charity projects on betterplace.org.”

  11. Sandeep

    Hi Ashraf,

    Greatly reviewed and i will be downloading it as this is for a good cause (even if i decided to use it or not). Would be better if with every download link you put, indicate the size of the download allowing the users to decide when to download (depending upon how big the size is).

    Is this offer for a limited time or it’s a freeware??

    And you said it supports Windows 2000 and higher, so it will be supporting Windows 7 as well, isn’t it.

    Thanks Ashraf.