Understanding GNOME Office

There are a number of applications that are part of the GNOME Office suite. While they were not originally built as an integrated suite, they are integrated today. GNOME Office includes office applications developed by groups within the GNOME project. You can take a brief look at the list in Table 18.10.

Table 18.10: GNOME Office Applications




Word processor


Presentation manager; not currently available in RPM format, thus, not included with Red Hat Linux


E-mail client


Diagramming program


Personal information manager


Web browser


Image editing


Personal finance manager




Plotting; closely associated with Gnumeric


Project management tool


Vector drawing package; not included with Red Hat Linux


Vector drawing package; not included with Red Hat Linux


Project management tool; not included with Red Hat Linux

Not all of the tools are addressed here; for example, we covered Galeon and Evolution in Chapter 16 , and we ll look at The GIMP later in this chapter. Not all of these tools are included with the Red Hat Linux 9 packages. For example, while the Agnubis presentation manager is part of the GNOME Office suite, it is still under development and has no official RPM package.

As of this writing, the GNOME website at www.gnome.org/gnome-office states that all of the OpenOffice applications will become part of GNOME Office. Yet development work on GNOME Office applications will continue.


A number of GNOME Office applications are experimental and may not be ready for production uses. To see the status of your application, open it and then select Help ˜ About application. Generally, applications of version 1.0 and above are production ready; however, this does not preclude the problems. Most of these applications are developed and maintained by volunteers, and are under development even after version 1.0 is released.


The GNOME word processor is known as AbiWord. It can open and close documents in many formats. Its capabilities are sufficient for most users and applications. Unfortunately, its support of Microsoft Word documents, in my opinion, is not as good as that of OpenOffice Writer. For example, Figure 18.5 illustrates a view of Chapter 16 that was formatted as a table.

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Figure 18.5: AbiWord reads a Microsoft Word document.

Unlike most OpenOffice applications, you need to select Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications before you can select AbiWord. Or you can start AbiWord with the abiword command in a GUI. This word processor supports a wide variety of formats, as shown in Table 18.11.

Table 18.11: AbiWord Document Formats




AbiWord native format


Applix Words


AbiWord template




Microsoft Word


Extensible Stylesheet Language

.html, .htm

Hypertext Markup Language


Extensible Hypertext Markup Language

.isc, .iscii

Indian script code for information interchange


KOffice word document


LaTeX; Lamport TeX tool to format text documents



.psitext, .psiword

Psion palm handheld computer document


Rich Text Format

.txt, .text

Text; may also be encoded text


Newsgroup formatted text


Wireless Markup Language


Balsa is a standard e-mail manager. Like the other e-mail applications we described in Chapters 16 and 17 , it includes standard views of folders, as well as incoming and outgoing e-mail. Normally, it s set to the local account; Figure 18.6 illustrates incoming e-mail for the root user .

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Figure 18.6: The Balsa e-mail manager

To start Balsa, select Main Menu ˜ Internet ˜ More Internet Applications ˜ Balsa. Alternately, you can start it from a command-line interface in the GUI with the balsa command.

The first time you run Balsa, you re prompted to set up incoming and outgoing settings for an e-mail account. You can configure it later with additional e-mail addresses from the Settings menu. All you need to do is configure a new identity for each account.


Dia, shown in Figure 18.7, is a diagram editor. As suggested by the name , it allows you to draw diagrams. As you can see in the figure, it supports the creation of different kinds of shapes in a diagram, similar to Microsoft Visio.

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Figure 18.7: Dia, the diagram editor

To start Dia, select Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ Dia Diagrams, or run the dia command from a GUI command-line interface.


GnuCash is an open source personal finance manager that can help you work with Quicken files.

To start GnuCash, select Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ GnuCash; or you can start it from a command-line interface in the GUI by using the gnucash command.

The first time you run GnuCash, you ll be prompted to set up a new account for your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. You can also import files even from Quicken 2002; Figure 18.8 illustrates the import of a simple Quicken test file.

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Figure 18.8: GnuCash imports a Quicken file


The GNOME spreadsheet application, shown in Figure 18.9, is known as Gnumeric. As with AbiWord, you can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ Gnumeric Spreadsheet. Or you can start it from a command-line interface in the GUI with the gnumeric command. This spreadsheet does support a wide variety of formats, as shown in Table 18.12.

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Figure 18.9: Gnumeric
Table 18.12: Gnumeric File Formats




Data Interchange Format


From a groff text processor




Requires the GNOME glossary plug-in


Gnumeric default XML format


LaTeX 2e file


Microsoft Excel format


Text export to a comma-separated format


From a Troff text processor


One component of a spreadsheet is a plotting program. The standard most closely associated with Gnumeric is known as Guppi. Unfortunately, the Guppi home page available at the time of this writing ( www.gnome.org/projects/guppi/ ) recommends "other free plot programs" available at www.gnome.org/projects/guppi/otherprogs.shtml


The GNOME project management application is known as MrProject. You can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ Project Management. Or you can start it from a command-line interface in the GUI with the mrproject command. It includes the basic tools of setting up a project: resource lists, Gantt charts , and task lists. However, it stands on its own; as of this writing, it does not import or export from other project management applications such as Microsoft Project.


Mastering Red Hat Linux 9
Building Tablet PC Applications (Pro-Developer)
ISBN: 078214179X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 220

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