Review: Enjoy "Office" documents with Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013

Edit Office docs without Office with this widely compatible productivity suite.

Kingsoft's Office Suite Professional 2013 offers affordable compatibility with Microsoft Office. Building on Kingsoft's popular Office Suite Free, the Pro version adds a new tabbed interface, VBA macros, intuitive table and paragraph tools, and improved exporting. And, unlike the freeware, no pop-ups. Office Suite Professional bundles Writer, Spreadsheets, and Presentation. It runs in Windows XP to 8 and works best with at least 512MB of RAM and 1GB of free disk space.

We had several choices to make when installing Kingsoft Office Suite Pro, including associating it with Office formats like DOC and XLS and choosing from three interface styles: the new-for-2013 Elegant Black and Water Blue, and Classic, which has the familiar look of previous Office Suite releases. We have no faults with any of them: Both the new and old looks pack a lot of controls and features into the available space yet manage to do so without overwhelming the user; it's something they share with Microsoft's suite but not with some other would-be Office alternatives. Though not as extensive as Microsoft's options, Kingsoft's suite offers plenty of support, including a Help file, forums, and feedback tools.

With Microsoft Office alternatives, compatibility is the crucial factor, and Kingsoft's Office Suite tools excel in that department. We created, edited, and saved compatible documents in both Kingsoft and Microsoft's tools. Kingsoft's tools acquitted themselves well in looks and performance. Of course, Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013 isn't Microsoft Office; there are differences, and some entities require Office. But if you're looking for a productivity suite that goes head-to-head with Office in nearly every category except cost, try Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Kingsoft Office Free 2013 The trial version includes pop-ups.

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