By: Kingsoft Software Inc.
In our day to day modern life, many things have changed since the advent of computers. Once upon a time, we used to put on piles of paper sheets in offices.
But now, hundreds and thousands of paper worth data can be stored in a small disk. Isn’t it an incredible evolution? Well, talk about that, we all have our needs when it comes to documenting stuff.
This includes people from all fields, as in students, teachers, office staff, corporates, and almost every pitch we can think of. All of us create, use, and share documents. These documents also have their own types like DOC files, text, PDF, sheets, presentations, etc.
To create, edit, and manage them, we need a combined package. Such a combined package capable of handling all types of document files is called an Office Suite. Widely used in every device, this package ensures we can give shape to certain ideas, calculations, presentations using the tools in an office suite.
Well, for all the office peeps, academics folk, as well as general public alike, who’ve come here; a famous office suite is to be reviewed by us here. Among many such office suites, we have on our plates WPS Office. So let’s open it up and taste it.
If you carefully look at the choice of words in their acronym, W stands for writer, P for presentations, and S for spreadsheets. And indeed, these three combine to form the core features in WPS Office.
Almost as old as MS Office, WPS Office was first known as SUPER-WPS. Being part of Kingsoft Corp, this suite started primarily within mainland China. It is believed to be launched in 1988, almost a year earlier than MS Word.
The early competition was in the interior market only. After this, MS Word has been known to sweep the market with its software. Even then, WPS Office goes toe to toe and has reached more than 1.2 billion installs over variety of devices.
After the first launch, it began updating its UI along with changing core systems. After 2004, it was able to deliver a product that can be supported on all operating systems. This elevated their status. They were one of the first to introduce the text-to-text & text-to-speech technology.
But now, WPS Office has evolved to be a top product in Office suites. With an integrated Cloud UI and full backward compatibility for most office files, we have a lot to test and review in it.
Currently, WPS Office has its service on all platforms like all desktops, Android, iOS, etc. Being such an old player in this market, we expect a great subtlety in it. That is why testing it properly and having a higher expectancy is crucial.
As we move on in this review, you will learn about unique perks in it as well as how well it performs compared to other office suites. So, it’s time to tame this dragon.
As far as the tale goes, we will follow up and chase every feature in this program. Now, unlike its initial release with only three programs in its office suite, WPS Office has grown over and now supplies a dedicated office cum cloud interface.
This type of interface is also shared by many non-Microsoft office suites like ONLYOFFICE, and Polaris Office. There are certain advantages of this combined setup. One of them includes the ability to easily navigate, share, or manage files across both cloud and local storage.
From this combined UI, we can manage files on cloud storage as well as on the local system. This interface is identical to a web browser. We can see a new tab button too on the top. Most hyperlinks are opened within this setup.
We can also manage WPS Cloud in it. Overall, it is a combined UI for most WPS services. Users need not roam over different setups to manage their stuff in it.
Now, on the left-side panel, we are endowed with shortcuts for the WPS Office programs. The good thing here is that we can import other .ink shortcut files. A better feature would be an option to group these shortcuts, which isn’t available yet.
Just beside this, we can access the most recent files, cloud files, local folders, and even blank templates. They currently offer free of cost 1 GB storage in their cloud storage. This is more than enough if you are using it to save documents.
We need to simply pick an old file, or use the + sign to create new documents. There are many themes available in it to choose from. Let us see them now.
As we said earlier, WPS Office has a unique interface in its suite altogether. Owing to that, unlike other programs where we have to open a particular document type and then pick a theme from there, WPS templates provide us with all necessary document themes.
We can get preset templates for all the types of documents like letters, resumes, portfolios, business plans, spreadsheets, chart collections, budget reports, and many more such popular document types.
They have categorized the three primary document types as Presentations, Writer, and Spreadsheets. It’s analogous to PowerPoint, Word, and Excel in MS Office.
You can browse through each of these tabs and find a template you need. Beyond this, they have also given premium templates. These templates usually have much better graphics and preset elements in them.
We can simply bookmark these templates with a Heart Icon. We can control the workspace from a button on the top. The small pop-up above configures the documents based on their type, and so we can switch easily to-and-fro.
The only thing lacking here is a sort button. If they give us sort function as well a filter button, with several choices based on size, views, uses, etc., it can become a wholesome setup.
Overall, it will be fun for you exploring these themes. Novice users are suggested to try these themes first. There are also plug and play themes, which need very little input and offer better looks.
As the name shows, this feature is akin to the MS Office’s Word program. It is used as an advanced text editor, just like other word programs. We can either edit current doc files, or choose any new template to start from scratch.
For now, we pick a new template. In the writer tab of WPS Templates, the main categories are resumes, cards, letters, invitations, and business documents.
We feel they can add more categories here like academics, research papers, reviews, office work documents, flyers, holidays, reports, etc.
When you pick a template, you are shown a preview of that document. There are more color-based choices in this pop-up to choose from. On the top, number of views and net downloads are shown.
Click Use Now, and it will open the WPS Writer interface. In it, we can view the preset elements arranged as per the picked template. In our theme, we chose a joint venture agreement template.
For that, there was absolutely no need for us to edit anything since it was a preformatted template. We just needed to fill in details like name, address, date, etc.
The same was the case with almost every other template you can pick from here. It is very similar to the themes we can select in MS Word when we use the new file option.
Similarly, users can pick blank pages too. If you observe, WPS Writer has an identical UI to MS Word. If you have used a couple of office programs before, you won’t be much surprised.
Why is that? This is because every other advanced word editor has similar functions and concepts embedded in them. Most of these functions are crucial and, therefore prevalent in most editors.
It is like those cooking recipes. A single recipe uses almost the same ingredients all over the globe; the only difference we can do is alter few things here and there. Like that, Office suites share common functions, and the main difference we’ll notice is in their execution and other UI changes.
Since both MS Office and WPS Office originated around the same time, there are very few differences in terms of core functionality. As in other tools, users can see unique function sets.
The main tab, i.e. Home Tab, contains the general font formatting stuff. It has regular options to adjust font format, size, color, and more things like justifying, indentation, highlights, superscript, subscripts, etc.
It can also be used to alter the heading styles. These headings are already fixed, as we can see here. Even though we can edit them in our own format here, only a few office suites permit changing them.
We can add as many as headings we want here and modify them all. Now, in the Insert tab, we can add any item on our page. Here too, both the office suites possess almost the same selections.
One extra thing we can insert with WPS Writer is form fields. We can input checkboxes, radio buttons, plain text form, and even secure them. However, it lacked 3D models, extra add-ons, and had limited chart functions.
The Page Layout tab, too, had cloned selections. Following it, the References Tab had citations & bibliography choices missing. You can still insert notes, citations, TOC, cross-references, etc.
Unlike MS Word, the mail merge settings are given in the references tab itself. MS Word has given a separate tab for that. Both are quite handy in collaborating with the mails, merge mails, and so on.
The Review Section differed a bit. WPS Writer needed a language translator here. Also, it has given an exclusive option to traditional Chinese into simplified one. This is due to their high popularity in their origin country.
Other than that, the track changes feature and the word compare tools are remarkable. They also have a thesaurus, which is rarely given by other office suites.
Now, in the View Section, WPS Writer has included a unique option, i.e., Eye Protection Mode. With this, they put a green filter on the writing screen to reduce the glare from white space. However, we cannot edit the color and intensity in it.
It lacks an Immersive Mode to focus on reading a file. It has a read-aloud feature, which is quite handy when we are writing a book and look for a narration.
Lastly, we can use the Tools Section in WPS Writer to conduct various operations on the current file. These tools include options to share the data, convert it into other formats like word, image, excel, text, and even repair corrupt files.
Now, all of the above-reviewed features were among the core feature of a word editor. Other than that, there are some UI features we need to look for in it.
The first thing you will notice here is a Task Window on the right-hand side. Such a dedicated task pane is not present in MS Word. However, we can see it in office products like ONLYOFFICE, Polaris Office, LibreOffice, etc.
So the question is, what can this task pane do? Well, for starters, it has some small UI options which we don’t have in the top feature-ribbon. First of all, it has a drop-down list from which we can pick various options.
These options are style & formatting, selection pane, restricted editing, XML mapping & structure, formatting, and backup management. Each of these choices has unique functions to alter a document accordingly.
For instance, Style & Formatting consists of heading styles. It contains a list of all the styles we can apply to the text like normal sentences, title text, subtitle texts, headings, quotes, letter salutations, signatures, footnotes, etc.
These can be directly used in a file without searching for a specific template. The selection panel is used to control the objects, shapes, and other media files you’ve added in the setup. There is a Formatting option that can add shadows, reflections, glow, or 3D effect to the text.
Now, like MS Word, the auto-correct option also helps to correct the common spelling mistakes automatically. We can also add frequent typos in the settings, and it will automatically replace them.
After that, the bottommost tab displays general data like word count, character count, macros used, spell checks, rows & columns, etc. These options are common in both of them. The right-click context menu is same too.
Overall, MS Word, as well as WPS Writer, have very detailed interface. Both of them focused on adding as many features as possible. Compared to other office suites like LibreOffice, ONLYOFFICE, Polaris Office, OpenOffice, Apache Suite, etc., these two have the most specific UI functions.
There are some minor perks in MS Word, though. The cloud interface gives WPS a slight edge over other products.
Moving on to other office suite tools, we can now review the spreadsheet maker in WPS Office.
After going through the word editor, we have on our hands another crucial feature to review. This feature is required to manage all kinds of data involving spreadsheets.
Once again, we have tons of themes to pick from. We can select from categories like invoices, data recording, financial reports, budget reports, projects, charts, schedules, forms, etc.
From there, you can search for a required theme and start editing them. We used a project task report, to begin with. We will review every feature of this spreadsheet maker.
In these themes, the cells are already modified and linked together. If you are lucky, you will just have to input your data into these cells, and it will generate the report and final data automatically. The graphs attached in it will also be updated corresponding to the data you’ve inputted.
This made it quite enjoyable to use. Now, let us see what things are different in it than other spreadsheet tools. The initial impression is the same as we have told you before.
It is highly identical to the MS Excel interface. Both programs carry the same toolset. There were only a handful distinct features in them. Regardless of that, we will still review it, and also compare it to other office suites.
Like a usual spreadsheet, it has cells, with defined columns and rows, a formula bar on the top, formatting options for cells, and other similar functions.
Now, in the Home tab, we are equipped with many useful functions commonly utilized while making spreadsheets. Other than the usual font formatting choices, we can choose many tasks like merging cells, conditional formatting, auto-sum, auto-filters, adjusting formats, rows, and columns, and so on.
All of these aren’t exquisite functions, and we can see them in most spreadsheet makers in suites. However, internal to these, they have given intricate options to manage the sheets.
Below this setup, there is a quick launch menu too. The options in this menu were conventional like new file, open file, save, undo/redo, & print.
Like Polaris Office, they can add more options in here as in charts, graphs, or other useful spreadsheet features for quick access. In the above product, we can insert pivot tables, charts, 3d shapes, icons, word-arts, equations, etc. from a quick access bar.
Apart from that, we can even input various types of choice selection buttons. This includes radio buttons, checkboxes, group boxes, list bars, and scroll boxes. Even MS Excel does not offer it in the insert section.
Users need to add it via the developer tab in Excel separately. Instead, WPS Office has given it upright. The Page Layout allows adjusting the page parameters like its size, margins, print settings, color, etc.
Moving to another crucial feature in spreadsheets, we have the Formula Ribbon. So, why all these formulae are so vital for worksheets? How much exhaustive they need to be?
Well, if you can remember all the formulas used in making complex spreadsheets, data analysis, or creating sales reports, good for you because most people in the world cannot remember every type of sheet formula.
For that reason, we need a dedicated section to help us generate complex calculations for our sheets. Now, most of the formulas given here are the same as in other Office suites.
This section has very limited differences. The good part was that unlike some spreadsheet makers, which do not give much info on the formula selected, they have made it easier for novice folks.
This is done by adding a new pop-up menu after you pick a formula. In this pop-up, you need to add relevant data, after which it will auto-calculate the results into the selected cells.
For now, these pop-ups only support up to 5 data, which is common all over. But, we can use the formula bar on the top and add more data after the comma icon.
They have also given the feature to do sheet formula auditing. This helps find errors in our sheets, and even point out any mistake made while using the formula.
The Data Manager Ribbon can be used to process the sheet data. We can even extract data from other sources like text files, CSV files, JSON, SQL servers, MS Access, and ODBC/OLEBD. For that, use the option Import Data.
This menu has different versions of the data mentioned above programs. Now, instead of that, we can also open many such files directly when we use the Open function from the file menu.
This is really great of WPS Office to include such a detailed setup here. Moving on, we can also add data forms, do forecasting, and what-if analysis.
We can adjust the view parameters of the current sheets with the View Ribbon. Like another setup, they have allocated the eye-protection mode here too.
Like the WPS Writer, they have given a panel on the right side. This panel is used to manage pivot tables, selection panels, general formatting, and backup management. The interlinking of sheets, data, and graphs was smooth.
Overall, every core and sub-features in the Ribbon were up to the mark. This proves that the WPS Office is among the top Office Suites.
We did not find any issues while using this feature, and it was definitely better than its colleagues like ONLYOFFICE, Polaris Office, LibreOffice, etc.
Now, after doc files and spreadsheets, we can now evaluate one more imperative tool in every Office Suite, i.e., Presentation Maker.
Now, we all are very much aware of a presentation maker. Almost everyone has used them once so far. Leave that; there are tons of cloud, as well as offline presentation makers in the market.
For that reason, the benchmark is going to be pretty much high. Now, they have given so many templates in simple spreadsheets and writer setup, imagine how much stock they might be possessing here?
Well, as expected, they have a plethora of presentation slides at their disposal, like presentation slides for business presentations, photo albums, activity plans, education, fashion slides, and many such amazing templates.
Each of them allows preset templates, animations, transitions effects, and text fields. Most of the time, we will have to just replace the existing content with our own.
Now, as for these presentations, our review must be focused on inbuilt editing perks given by WPS Office. Only copy-pasting stuff won’t work. Many video creators' websites support advanced presentation makers.
Owning to all these expectations, we begin reviewing this presentation maker.
If you can find a worthy template, great! But if you cannot, worry not, we can try making a beautiful presentation from scratch with WPS Presentation.
The setup in the presentation templates is pretty basic. Similar to the above configurations reviewed before, the interface here is divided into multiple zones.
On the left side, we have a slide-view panel. The right side has a unique navigation bar. The top section has a feature ribbon. The status bar at the bottom will list the total slides, different slide views, notes, and slideshow button.
Overall, this is akin to the setup in MS PowerPoint. The first tab, as usual, will show basic modification items like text editor, adding shapes, objects, pictures, arranging slides, managing slide layout and so on.
There are only three slide layouts. Comparatively, other software like MS PowerPoint has around 15 unique slide layouts. The only workaround is manually adding objects and arranging them.
Here, we can add a variety of things into the slides like tables, pictures, videos, shapes, screenshots, icons, equations, symbols, flash files, GIFs, etc. All of these are more than enough to be engaging for the users of all types.
The data in the charts can be edited too. Just select a chart to be inserted. After that, pick an option to edit the data. This will open another file in WPS Spreadsheets, where you will have to input the desired data in them.
Now, in the insert menu, we can add specific actions in these slides. This can be based on either simple mouse interactions. After which, we can command to redirect them to other slides, external slides, URL, etc. This can be finished via Action Settings on the top insert menu.
The designs in the slides are limited. But there is a silver lining here. We can even use the Import Template button to import slides and themes from other programs. From this Design Menu, users can set color schemes, backgrounds, page setup, use bulk settings for fonts, and so on.
There was one surprise factor here, though. If you see, we talked earlier that it lacked proper stock for slide layouts. Now, in this section too, there is a layout option. Here, slide layouts similar to MS Word are given.
To be honest, these can be given in the first step itself. Putting them so late isn’t a good idea. Guess better late than never.
After this, two more factors judge the capacity of a presentation maker. These are the transitions and animations of the slide. The slide transition is used to control how slides appear on their entry/exit points.
In that matter, WPS Office has given creative effects in slides transitions. When you switch to Transition Panel on the top ribbon, you are shown the transition styles on the right-side navigation pane.
There are a few advanced settings given in this panel. First of all, we can give them some fantastic effects. After that, we can also manage the speed of a transition effect. If you want, you can augment sound too.
Next was the slide advancement checks. It can be set either per mouse click or can be put after a time interval. We hoped that the WPS Office would give us some better options here, but it’s the same average stuff here.
Once you are done with these transition settings, we can pick the Animation Tab. As we have all know, this section is set to impart animation effects on a particular component of the slide. This can be either the text fields, images, icons, arts, etc.
For that, they have once again given advanced setup in the navigation pane on the side. From here, select a component and then pick the animations you want. We can even regulate the speed and timing of animations.
When it comes to timing adjustments, they haven’t left even minute details here. How can you say that? Well, just check the advanced settings and select the animation frame from the side navigation bar.
Following that, click the Effects option. In this pop-up, we can adjust the sound of animation, its timing and also control the animated texts. In another tab of this pop-up, you can pick the start timing of the animation effect.
This can be on-click, or after/with the previous slide. You can also set delays, speed, repetition, and even choose triggers based on the elements accessed on the slide. Isn’t it detailed enough?
The concluding sections viz. Slideshow, Review, and View are equipped with the most basic options. Once again, users can smell a close similarity between both MS Office and WPS Office here.
But still, WPS Office has managed to add some fantastic flavor to this cuisine.
The last part of the WPS Office Suite is a PDF manager. This section is dedicated to PDF files only.MS Office does not even have a dedicated PDF manager in its suite. For that reason alone, WPS Office gets an extra edge over it.
Now, the question in our minds is that for what purposes this PDF Manager can be used for? To manage PDF files, but how? Well, if you do not explore the setup first, you aren’t going to know about it.
Open the new tab from the WPS Office interface and select the PDF tab. In this tab, you can see many operations linked to PDF files. What are these operations?
Preliminary, we can do multiple operations like create PDF files, convert PDF files to Word, Excel, Picture, and PPT, and even edit the existing ones.
After that, we can also import the above file types to create a PDF file from them. This includes all kinds of Word files, PowerPoint files, and Excel files.
There are more options left viz., picture to PDF, merge, or split PDFs. Now, let us begin with a blank template and see what it offers?
The Create New PDF will open the basic PDF Editor Interface. This PDF editor can be used either to import or edit other files into it, or we can also create a PDF file from scratch.
The interface is quite sleek and contains some usual options, as we see in the WPS Writer. The Home Tab contains conventional options like pdf to word, pdf to photo, play slide, zoom, rotation, and background option.
The background option is similar to the various color filters we see in eye-protection mode. It can color the background light, dark, sepia, etc.
Following it, the Insert Tab lets us input multiple components into a PDF file. These components are fundamental like adding images, highlights, text boxes, shapes, notes, signatures, graffiti, etc.
These are also common on many other PDF creators tools like Nitro PDF, Foxit PDF, Adobe Acrobat, etc. After this, from the Edit Tab, we can utilize common PDF operations like merge PDF, split PDF, insert pages, extract pages, edit current PDF, and so on.
After this, we have the tool to encrypt our PDF files and protect them. The final section viz. Tools Tab, has more functions for managing PDF files.
Adding to the PDF file operations mentioned above, we can convert PDF files to word, excel, ppt, text, images, or in screenshot form. Other than that, you can also convert photos to PDF files.
Other than that, the normal text editor was decent. It only had three font types viz., Calibri, Arial, and Times New Roman. Other detailed text formatting options were missing.
Overall, it was a decent PDF manager tool. It wasn’t as detailed as the dedicated PDF creators. This was a simple PDF manager. There is also another setup that controls the way we can conjoin multiple images into a single PDF.
For that, use the Image to PDF button from the top. The first step is to add images to the setup. After that, it will show a slideshow type interface.
From here, we can choose the export format, orientation, and margins for a PDF. This setup is elementary too. You can simply drag and rearrange the images.
Nonetheless, having a dedicated PDF manager in its office suite is also worth it. It can be useful for regular PDF editing. The other exciting stuff we noticed was the speed of the interface.
Most PDF readers are known to be resource-heavy, and so, we usually see some lag in the system. This wasn’t in WPS PDF Manager. The scrolling through pages of long PDF was very smooth.
Even we edited the PDF files imported from other programs, and it did work very smoothly.
With this, we have finally come to a conclusion about the programs supported by WPS Office. Compared to other Office suites like MS Office, ONLYOFFICE, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, etc., they have indeed given one of the top interfaces for everyone.
Each of the above mentioned four sub-programs were exhaustive. There was hardly any function we felt missing while testing them.
Now, if you move to their cloud setup, the UI is more pleasing than the desktop interface. Even though there are many features trimmed from it, it will still work best for frenzied users.
The setups on cloud in all three main programs, i.e. WPS Writer, Spreadsheets, and Presentation were substantially manageable. For the PDF manager in the cloud, we cannot do any editing like in offline setup.
Finally, in the team section, we can create an admin folder, and from there we can share our files with our company members. The URL does not have password protection for now.
We hope they add it in the future. When it comes to cloud setup and team collaborations so far, ONLYOFFICE is by far the best. WPS Cloud can fit-in many team collaboration features like them.
Coming to the end of our journey reviewing the WPS Office, we can now give our final input on their services.
Evaluating every feature, we noticed a striking similarity with some top office suites. Although the looks were different, the list of features, functions, and other minor QOL features were almost the same.
The best part was a smooth editing experience. Never once in our test, we experienced any lags or other issues with any of the above tools.
However, when it comes to the number of products we get in the WPS package, they haven’t included programs similar to MS Access, Publisher, Skype, and Outlook. When it comes to simple comparison, MS Office packages offer a bit more value.
However, WPS Office is no less. Fighting toe to toe, their features are totally worth the shot. They also provide users with a lifetime free version, which is difficult to hold in MS Office.
They have included every possible detail in their setup. With that, we can definitely recommend you trying WPS Office. For some users, the main three installations in office suite, i.e., writer, presentation, and spreadsheet are more critical.
And for that, WPS is the best choice out there in the market. We wish they add more programs to their office suite.
Apart from mainland China, this office suite has now been among the top preferred alternative to MS Office. So, if you are mindful of something more exotic you’ve perceived in it, feel free to mention it below.