Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

linux office suiteMany people install Linux on their machines for its simplicity, believe it or not. Distributions like Ubuntu What's New In Ubuntu 10.10, "Maverick Meerkat"? [Linux] What's New In Ubuntu 10.10, "Maverick Meerkat"? [Linux] Read More and Mint Linux Mint: Your Best Choice for a Desktop Linux OS Linux Mint: Your Best Choice for a Desktop Linux OS Read More target the curious inexperienced user What's This "Linux" Thing and Why Should I Try It? What's This "Linux" Thing and Why Should I Try It? Read More and provide a complete suite of free software to tackle most PC-related tasks.

If you’re regularly tapping away on a word processor, balancing the books with a spreadsheet or knocking your boss’ socks off with a killer presentation then you’ll appreciate the importance of a decent office suite.

Here’s a selection of completely free work-related tools that you may or may not have heard about.

OpenOffice.org

linux office suite

Chances are you have heard of this one. It comes pre-installed on a myriad of Linux distributions, including the massively popular and newbie-friendly Ubuntu.

Ads by Google

Now at version 3.2 this freeware powerhouse provides a complete solution for any discerning Microsoft Office convert. Modules include:

  • Writer – a word processor that natively exports PDF files.
  • Calc – a spreadsheet application also with PDF support.
  • Impress – a presentation program which can export to SWF & PDF and handle PowerPoint files.
  • Base – a database program similar to Access.
  • Draw – a vector image editor.
  • Math – a tool for calculating mathematical formulae.

It also works on Windows and Mac, so if you’re thinking of making the switch you can try it out on your existing OS first.

Calligra Suite (formerly KOffice)

linux office

This year the KOffice team decided to rename their product Calligra Suite, with the aim of promoting the suite’s creative applications (as well as the boring office stuff you’d expect to find). This makes Calligra Suite a rich package, with 12 years of development behind it and a cracking line-up.

Some highlights from the package include:

  • Words (formerly KWord) – a word processor incorporating style sheets.
  • Tables (formerly KSpread) – a spreadsheet application with templates.
  • Stage (formerly KPresenter) – a presentation application.
  • Karbon – a new vector image package.
  • Krita (formerly KImageshop) – a bitmap graphics package.

There’s plenty more in the suite, which requires KDE and its libraries to function. This package also works on Windows and Mac.

GNOME Office

linux office

Comprising of several applications designed for the GNOME platform, GNOME Office provides a competent solution for your office needs.

Whilst not as feature-rich as the previous two, there’s still a tool for every job:

  • AbiWord – a word processor with support for the OpenOffice.org (.ODT) format.
  • Evince – included with your normal GNOME installation for viewing documents, including PDFs.
  • Evolution – an email client, also included as part of GNOME.
  • GNUMeric – a basic spreadsheet application.
  • Ease – for creating presentations, still in development.
  • Inkscape – a popular vector image editor and presentation tool.

You’ll need to download each individually, though if you’re using a distribution that uses GNOME you’ll notice a few of them on your machine already.

IBM Lotus Symphony

linux office

Symphony is a refreshing change from the usual approach to office software. Instead of providing several different applications to perform each task, Symphony uses a single application in several different ways.

The program can handle word documents, spreadsheets and presentations Easily Search Web for Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations & Images With Outwit Easily Search Web for Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations & Images With Outwit Read More and even has a built-in web browser (useful for checking links in documents without losing track of your work).

You’ll need to supply IBM with a little bit of information before downloading, but if you’re after a lightweight single program for office duties then you might be impressed with Symphony’s fairly unique approach.

Google Docs & Microsoft Office Web Apps

linux office suite

My wildcard! The two forerunners in cloud-based office and publishing solutions, both Google and Microsoft’s products will work on any PC with an internet connection and compatible browser.

They’re not strictly Linux applications, but they do function just as well on the Linux platform as they do on other operating systems.

If you’re torn between the two I’d recommend Google Docs as it allows you to download your work in a variety of formats, rather than Microsoft’s limited proprietary Office file types. Both allow you to print directly from the application and support collaborative editing.

If you’re really after that “application feel” try using Chrome and creating Web Shortcuts. You’ll might even forget they’re running on the cloud!

Conclusion

There should be at least one or two offerings here that take your fancy if you’re looking for that perfect-fit office solution. Considering they’re free, you might as well try them all till you find the one that fits. With selections like this, it’s a wonder why you’d ever pay for an office suite again really.

Do you have a favourite office suite? Do you prefer cloud-based or locally installed software? Any on the list that don’t cut the mustard? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Anonymous
    January 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    It's worth mentioning Softmaker Office - http://www.softmaker.de It's closed source and you must pay a small fee for it, but I find it faster and better than Libreoffice, and its import of Microsoft documents is much better. It also loads up faster.

  2. Anonymous
    January 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    It's worth mentioning Softmaker Office - http://www.softmaker.de It's closed source and you must pay a small fee for it, but I find it faster and better than Libreoffice, and its import of Microsoft documents is much better. It also loads up faster.

  3. Lakelse
    January 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    It might have been useful to some to mention in the Calligra section that the Koffice suite was forked and now there is both Calligra and Koffice, and also to mention that Openoffice.org has been forked into LIbreoffice. I think both are important, as Koffice is still in existence as a stable suite and Libreoffice, although still at the RC stage, is expected to become important in the LInux community this year as it is expected to replace OO in some high profile distribution releases.

  4. Lakelse
    January 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    It might have been useful to some to mention in the Calligra section that the Koffice suite was forked and now there is both Calligra and Koffice, and also to mention that Openoffice.org has been forked into LIbreoffice. I think both are important, as Koffice is still in existence as a stable suite and Libreoffice, although still at the RC stage, is expected to become important in the LInux community this year as it is expected to replace OO in some high profile distribution releases.

  5. Guest
    January 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Yeah, what's up with that? LibreOffice is a great suite, and may become more popular after Oracle's buyout of Sun (including OpenOffice.org). Oracle is getting to be as bad as Microsoft, from my point of view.

    http://www.documentfoundation.org/

  6. Guest
    January 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Yeah, what's up with that? LibreOffice is a great suite, and may become more popular after Oracle's buyout of Sun (including OpenOffice.org). Oracle is getting to be as bad as Microsoft, from my point of view.

    http://www.documentfoundation....

  7. Helder
    December 31, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    You may want to try it again now. It works for me on Mint and Firefox. Maybe they actually fixed that issue. Although I have no use for a web app that forces me to use the dreadful *x document formats. I use Google Docs for some quick previewing and simple editing, and OpenOffice.org for more complex stuff.

  8. allanaminbarbosa
    December 31, 2010 at 10:53 am

    If you are really after "the application feel" trying to use Chrome and creating shortcuts. You may even forget that run in the cloud!

    Motorcycle Parts

  9. Anamitra Saha
    December 31, 2010 at 8:30 am

    No LibreOffice!!!

  10. Jessica Cam W.
    December 31, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Great list!

  11. Mickey
    December 31, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Iv'e tried in the past to use Microsoft Office Web Apps on Ubuntu with firefox, you get a message that you need to use IE. http://digwor.blogspot.com/2009/11/its-not-browser-its-operating-system.html

    • Helder
      December 31, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      You may want to try it again now. It works for me on Mint and Firefox. Maybe they actually fixed that issue. Although I have no use for a web app that forces me to use the dreadful *x document formats. I use Google Docs for some quick previewing and simple editing, and OpenOffice.org for more complex stuff.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm

      Odd, I can access it fine from Chrome on Ubuntu 10.10!

  12. Mickey
    December 31, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Iv'e tried in the past to use Microsoft Office Web Apps on Ubuntu with firefox, you get a message that you need to use IE. http://digwor.blogspot.com/200...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *