7.3. Productivity

When it comes to productivity, new users often look for an office suite or an easy-to-use word processor. While some desktop environments like KDE provide an office suite, there is no default productivity package. Several office suites and graphical word processors are available for FreeBSD, regardless of the installed window manager.

This section demonstrates how to install the following popular productivity software and indicates if the application is resource-heavy, takes time to compile from ports, or has any major dependencies.

Application NameResources NeededInstallation from PortsMajor Dependencies
CalligralightheavyKDE
AbiWordlightlightGtk+ or GNOME
The GimplightheavyGtk+
Apache OpenOfficeheavyhugeJDK and Mozilla
LibreOfficesomewhat heavyhugeGtk+, or KDE/ GNOME, or JDK

7.3.1. Calligra

The KDE desktop environment includes an office suite which can be installed separately from KDE. Calligra includes standard components that can be found in other office suites. Words is the word processor, Sheets is the spreadsheet program, Stage manages slide presentations, and Karbon is used to draw graphical documents.

In FreeBSD, editors/calligra can be installed as a package or a port. To install the package:

# pkg install calligra

If the package is not available, use the Ports Collection instead:

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

7.3.2. AbiWord

AbiWord is a free word processing program similar in look and feel to Microsoft® Word. It is fast, contains many features, and is user-friendly.

AbiWord can import or export many file formats, including some proprietary ones like Microsoft® .rtf.

To install the AbiWord package:

# pkg install abiword

If the package is not available, it can be compiled from the Ports Collection:

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

7.3.3. The GIMP

For image authoring or picture retouching, The GIMP provides a 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 plugins and features a scripting interface. The GIMP can read and write a wide range of file formats and supports interfaces with scanners and tablets.

To install the package:

# pkg install gimp

Alternately, use the Ports Collection:

# cd /usr/ports/graphics/gimp
# make install clean

The graphics category (freebsd.org/ports/graphics.html) of the Ports Collection contains several GIMP-related plugins, help files, and user manuals.

7.3.4. Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice is an open source office suite which is developed under the wing of the Apache Software Foundation's Incubator. It includes all of the applications found in a complete office productivity suite: a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program. Its user interface is 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 and internationalization has been extended to interfaces, spell checkers, and dictionaries.

The word processor of Apache OpenOffice uses a native XML file format for increased portability and flexibility. The spreadsheet program features a macro language which can be interfaced with external databases. Apache OpenOffice is stable and runs natively on Windows®, Solaris™, Linux®, FreeBSD, and Mac OS® X. More information about Apache OpenOffice can be found at openoffice.org. For FreeBSD specific information refer to porting.openoffice.org/freebsd/.

To install the Apache OpenOffice package:

# pkg install apache-openoffice

Once the package is installed, type the following command to launch Apache OpenOffice:

% openoffice-X.Y.Z

where X.Y.Z is the version number of the installed version of Apache OpenOffice. The first time Apache OpenOffice launches, some questions will be asked and a .openoffice.org folder will be created in the user's home directory.

If the desired Apache OpenOffice package is not available, compiling the port is still an option. However, this requires a lot of disk space and a fairly long time to compile:

# cd /usr/ports/editors/openoffice-4
# make install clean

Note:

To build a localized version, replace the previous command with:

# make LOCALIZED_LANG=your_language install clean

Replace your_language with the correct language ISO-code. A list of supported language codes is available in files/Makefile.localized, located in the port's directory.

7.3.5. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free software office suite developed by documentfoundation.org. It is compatible with other major office suites and available on a variety of platforms. It is a rebranded fork of OpenOffice.org and includes applications found in a complete office productivity suite: a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, drawing program, database management program, and a tool for creating and editing mathematical formulę. It is available in a number of different languages and 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 which can be interfaced with external databases. LibreOffice is stable and runs natively on Windows®, Linux®, FreeBSD, and Mac OS® X. More information about LibreOffice can be found at libreoffice.org.

To install the English version of the LibreOffice package:

# pkg install libreoffice

The editors category (freebsd.org/ports/editors.html) of the Ports Collection contains several localizations for LibreOffice. When installing a localized package, replace libreoffice with the name of the localized package.

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

% libreoffice

During the first launch, some questions will be asked and a .libreoffice folder will be created in the user's home directory.

If the desired LibreOffice package is not available, compiling the port is still an option. However, this requires a lot of disk space and a fairly long time to compile. This example compiles the English version:

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

Note:

To build a localized version, cd into the port directory of the desired language. Supported languages can be found in the editors category (freebsd.org/ports/editors.html) of the Ports Collection.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at http://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/

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