ThinkFree is an online, Java-based office suite which allows users to create, upload, edit and share documents, spreadsheets and presentation files. Since it is written in Java, ThinkFree will operate on the Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Android platforms. Additionally, Thinkfree offers an online version called ThinkFree Online. Users are provided 1 GB of storage for their online documents. ThinkFree also enables its users to collaborate on projects or post directly to a web blog as well. In addition, ThinkFree's online version can support a utility that synchronizes a user's desktop files with the online versions. This update is done automatically in the background. Thinkfree works online, but there are also mobile versions of this app for iPhone, Android and Windows. It is a truly versatile product that users can access from anywhere, anytime.Show more screenshots »
ThinkFree Office started as a computer-based Office Suite written in Java in 2001. It was published online in April 2008. ThinkFree Office is owned by Haansoft ThinkFree Co. Ltd., a subsidiary company of Hancom. Hancom is based out of South Korea and is also notable for its popular Korean word processor product called Hangul.
ThinkFree Office includes a word processor (Write), a spreadsheet (Calc), a presentation program (Show), and an HTML and blog editor (Note). Files are saved in the common Microsoft formats of .doc, .xls and .ppt and the programs offer much of the same functionality as their Microsoft competitors.
ThinkFree Office differentiates itself from the other internet office suites through its increased functionality, making it one of the most advanced available. As well being able to set paper size, one can set both vertical and horizontal page margins. Also there is advanced tabbing and the page breaks are viewable while editing the document. Users can also select from any font that is installed on their computer, as opposed to being limited to a set number of fonts only available through the program. Another neat feature is the ability to open documents straight from one's PC, rather than having to upload them. Unfortunately all these extra features come at a cost to performance. Sometimes simple tasks such as scrolling through a document or selecting words can seem a bit slow.
The ThinkFree site, while appearing professional and like more expensive software packages, has some annoyances that making using the product a bit distracting. For example, in Write selecting a function from the menu seems a little foreign since once the user clicks on the parent function they can't just move their mouse to the sub-function. Instead it seems that once selecting the parent function, only the arrows on the keyboard would work for navigation from there. Strange. Once inside the application typing away is flawless, so for those who don't like to use their mouse and prefer using the keyboard and tab for many functions, this might be the application for them.
Thinkfree is similar to older versions of Office, but trimmed down slightly for improved performance online. Since it uses Java, end users need to make sure they have Java installed. There is an applet that also needs to be installed. This makes it so that when new projects are begun that they open in a separate pop-up window which provides it a look and feel to an offline program.
For users without a Gmail account and without Java installed, the entire registration and setup process could take up to 20 minutes. This is a bit long for a web app! However, ThinkFree is an advanced online office product which could satisfactorily replace more expensive software solutions for many users.
For users with a Gmail account, they can use that email address, accept the terms and conditions and as long as they have Java, they would be ready to go.
Registering for a Thinkfree account without Gmail takes a little longer and requires an email confirmation prior to use.
The ThinkFree Office Online suite is a free service. ThinkFree does offer a downloadable version of its application (which may help with some of the processing issues described) at http://product.thinkfree.com/office/buy for $49.95.
For those wanting an Office suite and not wanting to pay, this is a good choice since it has many functions. There use of tab functions vs a mouse can be strange for some users. However, for others this is a preferred and faster way of using applications. Also since it is online, using work spaces with other virtual users is possible through this app. However the common issue as with other advanced online apps is that it may stall or pause depending on one's internet connection.