7.3 Productivity

When it comes to productivity, new users often look for a good office suite or a friendly word processor. While some desktop environments like KDE already provide an office suite, there is no default productivity package. FreeBSD can provide all that is needed, regardless of your desktop environment.

This section covers these applications:

Application Name Resources Needed Installation from Ports Major Dependencies
KOffice light heavy KDE
AbiWord light light Gtk+ or GNOME
The Gimp light heavy Gtk+
OpenOffice.org heavy huge JDK", Mozilla
LibreOffice somewhat heavy huge Gtk+, or KDE/ GNOME, or JDK

7.3.1 KOffice

The KDE community has provided its desktop environment with an office suite which can be used outside KDE. It includes the four standard components that can be found in other office suites. KWord is the word processor, KSpread is the spreadsheet program, KPresenter manages slide presentations, and Kontour lets you draw graphical documents.

Before installing the latest KOffice, make sure you have an up-to-date version of KDE.

To install KOffice as a package, issue the following command:

# pkg_add -r koffice

If the package is not available, you can use the Ports Collection. For instance, to install KOffice for KDE3, do:

# cd /usr/ports/editors/koffice-kde3
# make install clean

7.3.2 AbiWord

AbiWord is a free word processing program similar in look and feel to Microsoft® Word. It is suitable for typing papers, letters, reports, memos, and so forth. It is very fast, contains many features, and is very user-friendly.

AbiWord can import or export many file formats, including some proprietary ones like Microsoft's .doc.

AbiWord is available as a package. You can install it by:

# pkg_add -r abiword

If the package is not available, it can be compiled from the Ports Collection. The Ports Collection should be more up to date. It can be done as follows:

# cd /usr/ports/editors/abiword
# make install clean

7.3.3 The GIMP

For image authoring or picture retouching, The GIMP is a very sophisticated image manipulation program. It can be used as a simple paint program or as a quality photo retouching suite. It supports a large number of plug-ins and features a scripting interface. The GIMP can read and write a wide range of file formats. It supports interfaces with scanners and tablets.

You can install the package by issuing this command:

# pkg_add -r gimp

If your FTP site does not have this package, you can use the Ports Collection. The graphics directory of the Ports Collection also contains The Gimp Manual. Here is how to get them installed:

# cd /usr/ports/graphics/gimp
# make install clean
# cd /usr/ports/graphics/gimp-manual-pdf
# make install clean

Note: The graphics directory of the Ports Collection holds the development version of The GIMP in graphics/gimp-devel. An HTML version of The Gimp Manual is available from graphics/gimp-manual-html.

7.3.4 OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org includes all of the mandatory applications in a complete office productivity suite: a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation manager, and a drawing program. Its user interface is very similar to other office suites, and it can import and export in various popular file formats. It is available in a number of different languages -- internationalization has been extended to interfaces, spell checkers, and dictionaries.

The word processor of OpenOffice.org uses a native XML file format for increased portability and flexibility. The spreadsheet program features a macro language and it can be interfaced with external databases. OpenOffice.org is already stable and runs natively on Windows®, Solaris", Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS® X. More information about OpenOffice.org can be found on the OpenOffice.org web site. For FreeBSD specific information, and to directly download packages, use the FreeBSD OpenOffice.org Porting Team's web site.

To install OpenOffice.org, do:

# pkg_add -r openoffice.org

Note: When running a -RELEASE version of FreeBSD, this should work. Otherwise, you should look on the FreeBSD OpenOffice.org Porting Team's web site to download and install the appropriate package using pkg_add(1). Both the current release and development version are available for download at this location.

Once the package is installed, you just have to type the following command to run OpenOffice.org:

% openoffice.org

Note: During the first launch, you will be asked some questions and a .openoffice.org folder will be created in your home directory.

If the OpenOffice.org packages are not available, you still have the option to compile the port. However, you must bear in mind that it requires a lot of disk space and a fairly long time to compile.

# cd /usr/ports/editors/openoffice.org-3
# make install clean

Note: If you want to build a localized version, replace the previous command line with the following:

# make LOCALIZED_LANG=your_language install clean

You have to replace your_language with the correct language ISO-code. A list of supported language codes is available in the files/Makefile.localized file, located in the port directory.

Once this is done, OpenOffice.org can be launched with the command:

% openoffice.org

7.3.5 LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free software office suite developed by The Document Foundation that is compatible with other major office suites and available on a variety of platforms. It is a rebranded fork of OpenOffice.org which includes all of the mandatory applications in a complete office productivity suite: a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation manager, a drawing program, a database management program, and a tool for creating and editing mathematical formula. It is available in a number of different languages -- internationalization has been extended to interfaces, spell checkers, and dictionaries.

The word processor of LibreOffice uses a native XML file format for increased portability and flexibility. The spreadsheet program features a macro language and it can be interfaced with external databases. LibreOffice is already stable and runs natively on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X. More information about LibreOffice can be found on the LibreOffice web site.

To install LibreOffice as package, do:

# pkg_add -r libreoffice

Note: When running a -RELEASE version of FreeBSD, this should work.

Once the package is installed, you need to type the following command to run LibreOffice:

% libreoffice

Note: During the first launch, you will be asked some questions and a .libreoffice folder will be created in your home directory.

If the LibreOffice packages are not available, you still have the option to compile the port. However, you must bear in mind that it requires a lot of disk space and a fairly long time to compile.

# cd /usr/ports/editors/libreoffice
# make install clean

Note: If you want to build a localized version, replace the previous command line with the following:

# make LOCALIZED_LANG=your_language install clean

You have to replace your_language with the correct language ISO-code. A list of supported language codes are available in the pre-fetch target of the port Makefile.

Once this is done, LibreOffice can be launched with the command:

% libreoffice