Ashampoo Office 2010

Perform the usual office productivity tasks with Ashampoo Office 2010, a cheaper but somewhat less feature-rich alternative to Microsoft Office.

Ashampoo Office 2010
  • Ashampoo Office 2010
  • Ashampoo Office 2010
  • Ashampoo Office 2010
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Cheap

Cons

  • Imperfect compatibility with Office 2007

Bottom Line

As a standalone office suite for most users, Ashampoo Office 2010 has all the general functionality you'd expect for a very low price. If you regularly interchange files with users of Office 2007, though, the not-quite-perfect compatibility could cause problems of varying severity. The 30-day trial should be enough to determine how well Ashampoo Office 2010 fits your needs.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 97.99 (AUD)

Microsoft Office is the de facto standard for productivity tools, to the point at which word processors and spreadsheets are now called "office programs". But Office is costly, and it's bloated with features few users ever need or even know about. Budget-conscious users and system-resource skinflints can look to several alternatives: One such is Office 2010 by Ashampoo and/or SoftMaker. In this review, we examine Ashampoo Office 2010.

Both Ashampoo and SoftMaker offer an Office 2010 suite; the included TextMaker and PlanMaker programs are identical, and Ashampoo's Help file even refers to SoftMaker Office in several places. The sole difference is that Ashampoo's version is less expensive and does not include BasicMaker, the programming language add-on. This review focuses on TextMaker and PlanMaker.

TextMaker is the word processing component, the equivalent of Microsoft Word. Well, the relationship is more like own brand supermarket cola as compared to Coke. It's almost as good and a lot cheaper, but you can tell the difference right off.

TextMaker will open, edit, and save Word 2007 files, but a side-by-side comparison shows discrepancies that could be important in a format-heavy environment - for example, the same file had different pagination when opened in both programs. For inter-office memos, this doesn't matter much, but if you're doing desktop publishing, it could be critical. TextMaker also lacks many of Office 2007's deeper features.

While you can manually format tables well enough, you can't do things like setting odd-numbered rows automatically to one colour and even-numbered rows to another, so the format remains consistent even if you add/delete rows. There are many such areas in which TextMaker offers a subset of Word's features, but the equivalent version of Microsoft Office is a great deal more expensive, of course.

PlanMaker is the spreadsheet component, occupying Excel's place. Like TextMaker, it provides some, but not all, functionality found in Microsoft Office. One of the crucial changed made in Office 2007 was the removal of Windows-95 era limits on the size of spreadsheets in Excel; Ashampoo Office 2010 retains the 65536 row/256 column limit despite claiming full compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007.

Furthermore, Ahsampoo Office 2010 does not warn you when a sheet you open exceeds those limits; it silently truncates it, despite the claim of "lossless" import of XSLX. In a mixed-program environment, this could lead to serious and costly errors, especially if truncated file is saved and then passed back to Excel - the data will be lost and the Excel user may not know it was ever there.

On the plus side, Ashampoo Office 2010 has some nice features which aren't found in Microsoft, the most visible of which is tabbed windows - a major boon for anyone who regularly works with multiple files.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?