September 13, 2001, 12:00 AM — 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
* 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.