KOffice Forges Ahead

Although many pundits bemoan the lack of Linux office software, their

main grievance is really that Microsoft Office is not available for

Linux. Still, quite a few alternative office packages exist including

KOffice, an office suite that recently reached its 1.1 release.

KOffice (http://www.koffice.org) is an office software suite that runs

on top of the KDE desktop. Available in beta form for a long, long

time, the 1.0 and now 1.1 releases provide users with real office

tools. KOffice 1.1 includes a number of programs including:

* KWord -- The obligatory word processor, KWord is based around the

frames concept, much like Adobe's FrameMaker, and aimed at higher-

end functionality than Microsoft Word.

* KSpread -- A spreadsheet.

* KPresenter -- A presentation program similar to Microsoft

PowerPoint.

* Kivio -- A flow-charting application much like Microsoft's Visio.

The user interface will appear quite familiar to Visio users.

* Kontour -- The new name for the KIllustrator drawing program.

Kontour focuses on vector drawings.

* Krayon -- A bitmap drawing program sort of like the GIMP, which

also runs on Linux, or Adobe Photoshop.

* KChart -- a graphing and charting tool.

* Kugar -- A business quality report generator.

You can see from the contents that KOffice not only includes the basics

of an office suite, but it also includes more graphics-related programs

than most suites, such as Microsoft's Office. As the individual

applications mature, Linux users will end up with a much more extensive

suite than those available on Windows.

You can download KOffice from the main site at http://www.koffice.org,

but you'll likely need the latest and greatest QT and KDE libraries.

For most users, waiting for an upgraded Linux distribution that

includes KOffice, KDE, QT, and all other dependencies in one tested

configuration is easier. This makes the installation a lot easier. Just

about every major Linux distribution includes KDE, and most also

include KOffice now.

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