SoftMaker Office on a Chromebook!

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carandol
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:31 pm

SoftMaker Office on a Chromebook!

Post by carandol » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:38 am

After some experimentation and general messing about, I've got SoftMaker Office 2021 working perfectly on a Chromebook, and saving and loading files to and from Google Docs. It works great, it's remarkably easy, and requires no knowledge of Linux at all! Note that this requires a recent Chromebook that can run Linux. My Chromebook is currently on Version 86.0.4240.112 (Official Build) (64-bit), whether it works on earlier versions, I don't know. Here goes...

Step 1: Install Linux
Click on the task bar at bottom right, then click on the Settings icon. Scroll down to where it says “Linux (Beta)” and click “Turn On”. This will install Linux. (Your Chromebook will continue to work as normal, don't worry!)

Step 2: Install SoftMaker Office
Download the SoftMaker Office Linux .deb file from the SoftMaker website. Right-click on the file in the standard Chromebook Files app and choose “Install with Linux”. When it’s finished, the SoftMaker Office apps will be available on the apps screen (click on circle at left of taskbar) in a folder called Linux Apps. If you right click on them, you can pin them to the shelf. The programs will run directly from the shelf as if they were a Chrome OS app, without needing to use the Linux command line.

Step 3: Sharing Files with Google Cloud
Files saved by SM Office will be saved on the Linux partition, but it is possible to share folders between the Linux partition and Google Drive and/or the Chrome OS file system. Choose a folder or folders in the Files app (which can include a folder or folders in Google Drive). Right click on the folder and click Share with Linux. Any files saved in that folder will be available in both Chrome and Linux, and can be found by SoftMaker Office in the /mnt/chromeos directory. If the folder is on Google Drive, it will keep a copy on the computer and another in the cloud, and update them automatically. If the computer is offline when the file is saved, it will be uploaded the next time the computer goes online.

Slight Bug
Usually, if you click on a Word file in in the Chrome Files app, it will load it into Textmaker (unless you have the Android version of Word installed). But sometimes it will load it into Google Docs instead, in Word mode, for no apparent reason. So its best to load files directly from within the OpenOffice file manager.

With SoftMaker Office on your Chromebook, you suddenly have a *much* better, fully featured, office suite than anything available in Chrome (and I've tried them all!). And if SoftMaker Office is your main productivity tool, you may find your next laptop is rather cheaper. Enjoy! :D

PS - to the powers to be at SoftMaker, it might be worth advertising this fact - it really does seem to be ready for prime time. And it's way better than the dumbed down travesty that is Microsoft Office for Android.
carandol

martin-k
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Re: SoftMaker Office on a Chromebook!

Post by martin-k » Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:53 pm

Funny coincidence... we are preparing a blog article about this subject matter. :-)
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

carandol
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:31 pm

Re: SoftMaker Office on a Chromebook!

Post by carandol » Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:18 pm

:D
carandol

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