Working with KOffice

There is a third major open source office suite, developed by the people behind KDE. While it s best to run KOffice applications in KDE, you can also run many of these applications in GNOME. The menu steps for starting each KOffice application are the same; they are accessible when you select Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications.


The Main Menu button in GNOME is also known as the K Menu button in KDE. In Red Hat Linux, both buttons normally have a Red Hat icon in the lower-left corner of the GUI desktop.

The KOffice suite includes several applications, built mostly as a series of integrated applications. You can take a brief look at the list in Table 18.13.

Table 18.13: KOffice Applications




Lets you draw lines and shapes


Supports drawing graphs and charts


Allows you to create and edit mathematical formulas


Permits the creation of flow charts

KOffice Workspace

Opens a GUI front end to other KOffice applications


Supports drawing lines and shapes; similar to Karbon14


Opens a presentation program


Starts the KDE spreadsheet program


Begins the KDE thesaurus


Supports generation of business reports


Opens the KDE word processor


If you need to install KDE, use the redhat-config-packages utility described in Chapter 19 . If you have installed KDE, you can make it your default GUI with the switchdesk utility described in Chapter 15 .


Many KOffice applications are experimental and may not be ready for production use. 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.


One of the KDE drawing programs is known as Karbon14. It includes several basic drawing functions. You can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ Karbon14, or by running the karbon command.

As of this writing, the version of Red Hat Linux 9 that I m using includes Karbon14 version 0.0.1, and is thus not ready for production use. It is a work in progress. However, the potential is good, as you can see in Figure 18.10, which is from a later version of Karbon14. It will probably be available if you update the koffice-* RPM package from Red Hat in 2003.

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Figure 18.10: Karbon14 at work


KChart is charting software that primarily is used with KSpread, the KDE spreadsheet application. You can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ KChart, or by running the kchart command.

Once you ve created a chart, it s easy to organize data in views such as a pie chart, a graph, or colored areas. Figure 18.11 illustrates a bar chart.

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Figure 18.11: A bar chart in KChart


Kivio is the KDE diagram editor. As you d expect, it allows you to draw diagrams. It is similar to the GNOME Dia and Microsoft Visio programs. You can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ Kivio, or by running the kivio command.


When you create a presentation, you re essentially creating a slide show. Presentation applications are basically specialized word processors with graphics, and they support a slide show to a large audience in a room or online. You can start KPresenter by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ KPresenter, or by running the kpresenter command.

You can use KPresenter to build the same types of presentations as you might with other applications, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or StarOffice Impress. Figure 18.12 illustrates a presentation imported from a Microsoft PowerPoint file.

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Figure 18.12: A Microsoft PowerPoint file open in KPresenter

As you can see in the figure, KPresenter includes a wide variety of toolbars, some that allow you to manage color and others that let you draw, manage text, and add objects. The toolbars are described in Table 18.14.

Table 18.14: KPresenter Toolbars




Includes edit and zoom functions


Adds basic file, print, and slideshow functions


Includes functions to manage the look of lines and shapes


Supports adding text, tables, pictures, lines, and more


Lets you manage the organization of your slides


Supports management of text in the presentation


Adds zoom, rotate, and object management functions

When you first start KPresenter, you ll be able to select from different templates or existing documents. If neither choice works for you, KPresenter can start you with an empty document.

While KPresenter s ability to import files is limited to KPresenter, XML, and PowerPoint files, it can export presentations in a variety of formats, including KWord ( .kwd ), HTML, and RTF.


A spreadsheet lets you define a range of numbers . With the equations of your choice, you can set up a spreadsheet to perform a variety of calculations in various scenarios. It s useful for everything from statistical analysis to business modeling and projections.

You can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications ˜ KSpread, or by running the kspread command. Figure 18.13 illustrates KSpread and some basic population data from the year 2000 U.S. census.

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Figure 18.13: KSpread and the census

As you can see in the figure, KSpread has the basic look and feel of a spreadsheet. It includes several toolbars, described in Table 18.15.

Table 18.15: KSpread Toolbars




Allows you to configure the look and feel of cell and table borders


Includes edit, sort , and chart functions


Adds basic file and print functions


Supports basic formats for text and numbers in each cell


Lets you configure basic math functions for a cell

KSpread works with many types of spreadsheets, including the formats described in Table 18.16. As you can see, KSpread works with spreadsheets from Microsoft Excel, Applix Spreadsheets, Gnumeric , and Quattro Pro, among others. You can also set up KSpread with text files in comma-separated format.

Table 18.16: KSpread File Formats




Applix spreadsheet format


Comma-separated format; a spreadsheet in a text file


Gnumeric spreadsheet format


Web page


Kspread spreadsheet


Quattro Pro spreadsheet format


Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP or Excel 95/5.0


One of the banes of computing is the different word processing formats. You need converters to translate Microsoft Word documents to Corel WordPerfect documents to AbiWord documents. While converters are built into most word processing programs, including KWord, every word processing application includes special features that aren t always translated.

There are a number of special features used by people in a number of areas that KWord does not handle properly. Nevertheless, KWord is good enough for most applications, businesses, and more. New documents created in KWord can include all of the features that you might find in most Microsoft Word documents.

You can start it by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications KWord, or by running the kword command. Figure 18.14 illustrates a typical document.

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Figure 18.14: KWord showing a Microsoft Word document

As you can see in the figure, KWord includes five default toolbars: File, Edit, Insert, Paragraph, and Format. KWord can accommodate up to eight different toolbars described in Table 18.17.

Table 18.17: KWord Toolbars




Allows you to configure the look and feel of borders


Includes edit, sort, zoom, and size functions


Adds basic file and print functions


Supports basic formats for text and color


Includes math functions


Lets you add tables, pictures, and other objects


Supports styles, alignment, and bullets


Allows you to set up a table in the document

KWord works with files from other word processors, including those listed in Table 18.18.

Table 18.18: KWord File Formats




KWord document


Microsoft Word


Hypertext Markup Language, suitable for a web page


Rich Text Format; a relatively universal format readable by several word processors


AmiPro document


TeX-formatted file


Regular text


WordPerfect document

Other KOffice Tools

Other KOffice tools of note are accessible through the Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ More Office Applications submenu:

  • KFormula allows you to create and document equations of varying complexity; it supports trigonometric functions, integrals, limits, exponents, and more. It is functionally similar to OpenOffice Math. You can start it with the kformula command.

  • KOffice Workspace is a front end to other KOffice applications. You can start it with the koshell command.

  • Kontour supports drawings; it can also take input from scanners . You can start it with the kontour command.

  • KThesaurus lists comparable words in three categories: synonyms, more general words (hypernyms), and more specific words (hyponyms). You can start it with the kthesaurus command.

  • Kugar is a report manager; the companion Kugar Designer is a report-creation tool; sample files are available in the /usr/share/apps/kugar/templates directory.


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

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