SoftMaker Office 2008 PET

SoftMaker Office 2008 is free, but requires registration to use. I have made it into a PET package. This is fully integrated into Puppy, I worked on it all morning to make it so. Mime handling with ROX-Filer also.

The first time that you run it, my special 1st-start script runs, which takes you to the SoftMaker site to obtain the license-key.

SoftMaker Office has three components, TextMaker word processor, PlanMaker spreadsheet, and Presentations. They are all highly MS-Office compatible.

I split the original package into three. The main one, which is all you need for English users (12.1MB):

Documentation for English and German (13.2MB):

International language support (24.2MB):

...that last one is massive. It doesn't even have any extra documentation.

One small thing that I wasn't able to sort out: the menu font is not anti-aliased. Maybe there is some trick to it. If anyone can figure that one out, please let me know.

So, a Puppy could be built with SoftMaker Office builtin, instead of Gnumeric and Abiword. I haven't worked it out, but I think the latter two plus their support packages would total about 5-6 MB. So, the total size would grow a little bit, but maybe worth it?

Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 12:41


Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 13:02 by broomdodger
gnumeric is the best spreadsheet I have used.
It sldo has the best import/export.
It is easy and fast.

I hope if you replace it with SoftMaker Office, gnumeric will be a pet and updated.


Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 14:46 by DaveS
Running via .sfs in Slacko. Seems nice.

Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 17:41 by ozsouth
Pretty good, but Textmaker won't open my simple docx & Presentations complained about ole objects with a simple pps, as well as asking for a document path on each startup. An appetiser for 2010 version?

Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 20:33 by ICPUG
SoftMaker Office Licence
I prefer my software to be free as in freedom not free as in price.

SoftMaker Office 2008 is proprietary and will never update. It is free as a taster to the product that does update (and cost money), SoftMaker 2010?

SoftMaker seem to be following a policy of charging for their latest release and making previous releases free of charge. Consequently you never have the latest functionality with SoftMaker Office if you get the free version.

There are a number of things deficient in SoftMaker Office 2008 - lack of support for open document formats in all but the wordprocessor is one.

I think Puppy should encourage the use of open document formats and FOSS software.

Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 20:52 by Terryphi
Not compatible with OO/LO
It runs and installs without problems but ....

Apart from MS refugees most users will be coming from Open Office or LibreOffice with files saved in the Open Document format. It does not open spreadsheets (.ods) and documents (.odt). That is a real problem. Not many people would bother saving all their work in OO/LO into a different format just to open files in Softmaker.

Also, it comes with language English (US) and spellchecker English (US). I can't see any option to change this or download appropriate language file and dictionary for (in my case) English (UK).

Abiword has severe limitations for serious use but Softmaker is no better - and probably worse.

Posted on 24 Aug 2011, 21:02 by Terryphi
Looking closer I see that Softmaker is compatible with .odt documents but not .ods spreadsheets. That still makes it a showstopper for me.

Posted on 25 Aug 2011, 4:44 by zigbert
I can understand why you aren't satisfied with Abiword, but Gnumeric is an amazing spreadsheet. I use spreadsheets a lot in my business and have gone from Excel via Open Office Calc to Gnumeric. I have never looked back!!!


Posted on 25 Aug 2011, 9:19 by playdayz
As I recall it doesn't open docx files at all. It's MS Word compatibility covers only doc files.

But it is nice to have as a choice--it has been requested I know, and some people will be very happy.

Posted on 25 Aug 2011, 21:20 by mave_org
No, SoftMaker Office 2008 could never open these documents. This was a feature first coming in V2010. Here in Germany, they have announced beginning infos about V2012 and had the offer (in july) to upgrade from 2008 to 2010 for only 12,99 EUR. Any registered 2008 is upgradable for less. Opening odt's etc. is in V2010 quit good. But many documnents I wanted to see with Abiword or Gnumeric were opened but not good looking and hard work manually to correct. So using a payed Softmaker is my decision since years...

Posted on 26 Aug 2011, 8:45 by Dewbie
How about this?
Wouldn't it be simpler to just include Abiword and Gnumeric, along with instructions for uninstalling and removing them from the menu, to accommodate those who prefer SoftMaker?

ttuuxxx did something similar here, for those who prefer a different browser with 2.14x:

Posted on 26 Aug 2011, 8:18 by BarryK
Re How about this
My SoftMaker PET package does what is needed -- install it and it becomes the default word processor and spreadsheet application. There is no need to remove Abiword and Gnumeric from the menu.

Posted on 29 Aug 2011, 18:52 by ozsouth
softmaker 2010
I coughed up the $21 aud for the Softmaker 2010 upgrade - good, & it opens all Office files, but is 143mb downloasd & screen fonts still a bit rough. By removing all non-english settings & help files I reduced it to a 22mb bzip file. Name & email add of regd user embedded in programs.

Posted on 29 Aug 2011, 19:09 by Terryphi
Softmaker spam
I registered with Softmaker to test Barry's pet. Now I have received promotional email for the paid for product. Fair enough except that they ignore the unsubscribe request. A filter was necessary to dispose of the junk!

Posted on 31 Aug 2011, 23:12 by jrb
I had previously bought the Softmaker 2010 package and managed to trim it down to 29 Mb. Following your lead with 2008 I have managed to get it down to 16 Mb. I also included a "defaultpresentation" so ppt files open by default in the Presentations program.

As for spam, I recommend setting up a seperate email account just to be used for program registrations. I check mine once a month (or less).

Thanks for this package Barry. I find Textmaker far more usable than anything else out there, including the latest MSO's.

Posted on 11 Sep 2011, 14:02 by Dewbie
Could this work with 4.x?

I tested your Softmaker .pet with Puppy Linux 4.1.2 and 4.3.1.

In both cases, they install with no listed dependencies and appear in the menus, but they will not launch.

Are there any packages that might help?
(I tried, but in both cases, no luck.)


Posted on 16 Sep 2011, 12:27 by Dewbie
Problem also affects Wary 5.1.1
OK, SoftMaker .pet also wonít work with Wary 5.1.1 k2.6.31.14 and k2.6.30.5 on this (my only) box.
(Compaq Deskpro PII / 350mhz / 320MB RAM / 267MB swap)

I didnít even think to test with Wary till now; just assumed it would work.

Again, everything is there in the menus after installation, but it just wonít launch. Only the browser will, to get the license key.

Also (same as above) no listed missing dependencies or libraries.

Posted on 19 Sep 2011, 10:30 by Moss Bliss
I don't understand your compatibility issues. I've been using Softmaker Office (aka Ashampoo Office) for years, and it not only has opened every MS Office file I've ever tried it on but - unlike OpenOffice, AbiWord, etc. - a file saved using SO is still manageable when you load it in MS Office. I worked for two years for a small publishing company, and you have no idea how many hours we had to spend to fight with OOo files, mostly caused by the difference in setting styles. Just because a file is labeled DOC doesn't mean it's MS Office compatible -- but SO files are (if saved as DOC).

Posted on 6 Oct 2011, 11:58 by Dewbie
OK, figured it out:

Posted on 25 Oct 2011, 2:46 by Frank Cox
SM Rocks
I am amazed at all the negative responses , I have had few problems with SM and it is fast. If docx files are something you deal with a lot you can install 2008 and a converter and wait until they offer you 2010 for 12.00 or the 2012 for around 40.00.
OO was a nightmare when it came to compatibility with MSOffice but MS and SM are very compatible.
The compatibility with powerpoint is perfect as well.

I had no luck with the new pet either in 431, this is the error:

/usr/bin/softmaker_1st_start: line 39: gtkdialog: command not found

Sounds like a library is missing, maybe someone could suggest which one I need?

In the mean time shrinking the tarball to around 30 megs is easy and then it will install easily into any Puppy or any other Linux distro.

Posted on 25 Oct 2011, 2:55 by Frank Cox
Wasn't paying attention , thanks Dewbie, the fix worked great!

Posted on 27 Oct 2011, 17:42 by Ramachandran
Printing Problem
I am using softmaker office 2008.sfs file. However, I am not getting my network printer. all other programs getting this printer. Kindly solve this problem.

Posted on 28 Oct 2011, 8:47 by Dewbie
Re: printing problem
This thread is for BarryK's SoftMaker Office 2008.
It's a .pet, not an .sfs.

The only .sfs version I know of is here:
User Name: Puppy
Password: Linux
I believe it was compiled by someone else.

Posted on 28 Oct 2011, 12:43 by Ramachandran
Please note that in Both cases, the printer is not working for me. I have tested pet as well as sfs. Please provide a solution.

Posted on 15 Jul 2012, 7:07 by tuxtoo
Re: UK English spelling
From above.

"Also, it comes with language English (US) and spellchecker English (US). I can't see any option to change this or download appropriate language file and dictionary for (in my case) English (UK)."

I have made a dotpet to fix this problem and it can be found here:

Posted on 17 Aug 2012, 13:33 by vicmz
Softmaker 2012 beta for Linux
This is being offered for free at softmaker site: