First look: KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8

Another contender in the cross-platform free office suite space

One of the release goals of the next-generation KDE office suite, KOffice 2, is to make the package run on Windows and Mac OS X in addition to Debian Linux.

Just this week KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 was the first KOffice release with binary packages for all three operating systems, and TechWorld decided to give it a run to see how it is taking shape before the final 2.0 release.

Installation

The good news for people new to KOffice is the integrated installer makes downloading and installing the required software a breeze, even on Windows.

Linux users are well acquainted with downloading many packages at a time from the Internet in order to install software, but this experience is less frequent on Windows, where users tend to download a monolithic package or install software from a DVD.

KDE's Windows team has done an excellent job of making the KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 installation as seamless as possible. Simply download and run the installer script and all the required packages will be calculated, downloaded from the repository, and installed on the computer. TechWorld tried the installer with Windows XP.

Take a look at the screenshots to get an idea of how easy it is. The only manual step is to choose the install location.

What you get

KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 ships as a suite of applications.

In addition to the familiar word processor (KWord), spreadsheet (Kspread) and charting (Kchart), and presentation applications (KPresenter), KOffice has a wealth of tools for content design, manipulation and display.

For the creative professional, there's Krita a fully-fledged graphic design and image manipulation tool, Karbon14 a Scalable Vector Graphics editor, and Kivio for flowcharts and diagrams.

Also included is Kexi for database development (touted as "Microsoft Access for Linux"), and KPlato for project management. Other tools are KnetAttach, a network folder wizard, Kformula for mathematical formula editing, and a thesaurus.

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