To survive as a desktop system, an operating system must be able to perform at least one task well: produce documents. It’s no accident that, after Windows, Microsoft Word (often bundled into Microsoft Office) is the foundation of Microsoft’s success on the desktop. Fedora includes tools for producing documents, manipulating images, scanning, and printing. Almost everything you would expect a publishing system to do, you can do with Fedora.
OpenOffice.org is a powerful open-source office suite available as part of the Fedora distribution. Based on the Sun Microsystems Star Office productivity suite, OpenOffice.org includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and other personal productivity tools. In many cases, OpenOffice.org can act as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office.
The first document and graphics tools for Linux were mostly built on older, text-based tools. Recently, more sophisticated tools for writing, formatting pages, and integrating graphics have been added. Despite their age, many of the older publishing tools (such as Groff and LaTeX) are still used by people in the technical community.
In this chapter, I describe both text-based and GUI-based document preparation software for Fedora. I also describe tools for printing and displaying documents, as well as software for working with images.