THINKFREE DESIGNED ThinkFree Office 3 specifically to emulate Microsoft Office 2003 applications as exactly as possible, and the company managed to come close.
The look and feel of the three components, Write, Calc and Show, are about as close to their Microsoft counterparts as you can get. Every ruler, button and menu is nearly exactly in the place a Microsoft Office user would expect them to be.
With each of the ThinkFree applications, we were able to open a corresponding Microsoft file, make changes and save it without a problem, for the most part. The only area that ThinkFree fell short was with Calc, which was unable to keep certain Excel macros and data validation, but otherwise left everything intact.
We were pleased to see that ThinkFree Office came with 1G of free online storage. When we added files to the ThinkFree Manager, they automatically synchronized with that online space. These files could also be accessed by logging in to the My Office Web interface from anywhere. They also could be published and shared among other users of My Office.
There is a 10M limit to the file size you can upload, but only the most extravagant spreadsheet or presentation documents should approach that limit. Through the My Office interface we were also able to access a beta version of Workspace, which we found to be a versatile project management/online collaboration tool.
We were also able to save ThinkFree Office files as Adobe Acrobat PDF documents as easily as any other file format. The ability to do this without external software is definitely an advantage.
We found it unusual that, although ThinkFree programs could save in many different formats, they have absolutely no native file formats. Although this isn’t a particular advantage or disadvantage, we thought that it was worth mentioning.
ThinkFree Office can be installed on Linux and Mac computers in addition to Windows ones.
The retail price of ThinkFree Office is one of its best features. A retail price of $50 is a good one, and the government price of $15 is a fantastic bargain.
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