Putting office suites to the test

Third-Party Support

So far, not unexpectedly, no industrial or commercial applications from Europe support the native file formats of the exotic species from China. WPS Office is able to communicate with many enterprise applications, however, via the import and export filters for Microsoft files. It would surely be even better for users and useful for companies if the source code were available.

Conclusion

This review shows that major office suites available on Linux are functionally the same as Microsoft's top dog, although interoperability in terms of non-native file format support leaves plenty to be desired.

The increasingly used OOXML format by Microsoft presented serious problems for all of the test candidates, with the exception of WPS Office, particularly with complex documents. The import and export filters of the two large free office suites, LibreOffice and OpenOffice, proved inadequate in the test – so much so that it seemed less time consuming to completely rebuild the document from scratch than to correct the erroneous formatting.

In terms of collaboration, except for OpenOffice and WPS Office, all candidates still have a lot of catching up to do if the documents originate in the Microsoft universe.

In the practical test, the SoftMaker Office Professional version was able to score points because it integrates dictionaries and can export documents to EPUB format. WPS Office, however, has the best conversion filters, but users will need a little more training because of some innovative concepts.

On the other hand, the free office suites impress, because industry software support is far superior to that for the two solutions by SoftMaker and Kingsoft. They also can connect to commercial ERP software without a problem.

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