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Available as part of the SoftMaker office suite, PlanMaker is reasonably robust spreadsheet software. One big selling point of PlanMaker is its wide compatibility. It lets you open a variety of file formats, including Excel and WordPerfect or Quattro Pro files. This makes PlanMaker popular with those who need to work with a wide variety documents and older file types. Unlike some comparable programs, PlanMaker also opens password-protected Microsoft Excel files, provided you know the password.

With plenty of advanced features, PlanMaker can convert even complex spreadsheets relatively well. However, some advanced formatting, such as conditional formatting, may disappear or not render correctly, although the new editions of the spreadsheet software offer enhanced additional formatting that’s more in line with Microsoft Excel. PlanMaker’s user-friendly interface lets you easily export spreadsheets into PDF format too.

Each spreadsheet supports up to 1 million rows, allowing you to work with large data sets. To make vast quantities of data or particularly complex worksheets easy to manage, PlanMaker has a variety of tools, including pivot tables, data consolidation options, scenarios, filters and data grouping. The AutoSum, AutoProduct, AutoComplete and AutoFill functions speed up repetitive data-entry tasks and reduce input errors. The software also has over 350 calculations that are the same as Excel calculations, making transitions of formulas from one program to the other relatively painless.

With its syntax highlighting and formula auditing capabilities, PlanMaker quickly spots errors and troubleshoots spreadsheets. AutoFormat selects which format and layout PlanMaker feels is most appropriate, but you can change the format and layout of any worksheet manually and pull data into any of the 80-plus 2D and 3D chart options. You can also insert graphics and drawings into your worksheets, making use of the TextArt feature and symbols library.

One notable missing aspect of PlanMaker is collaboration features. It is desktop software, with no cloud or web-based offerings, so multiple users cannot access or edit spreadsheets simultaneously or see each other's edits in real time. The lack of live support could also be problematic when you need to resolve an issue quickly. Instead, you have to email SoftMaker for technical support or use the self-help pages or community forum.