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7 KOffice Tips and Tricks

Applications, Fonts, Toolbars

January 21, 2010

OpenOffice.org (OOo) is the popular Linux office suite. But if you're looking for something a bit leaner, faster, and with an efficient modern interface, give KOffice a try. It might already be your default office suite in Linux distributions loaded with the KDE desktop. In this article, we'll discuss a few tips and tricks to help make your KOffice experience as great as possible. Now let's get started!

First you might want to check your KOffice version: open a KOffice application, click Help > About KOffice.

At the time of this writing, the most current version is 2.1.1. This might give you an idea if you should upgrade. You can check your distributions package repositories, but you might have to manually download and install the office suite if you want the most current release. Keep in mind, the GUI had significant changes from version 1.x to 2.x.

#1 Check out all the applications

KOffice offers more than a word processor. Though it might not be as feature-rich as Microsoft Office, or even OpenOffice.org, it serves most desktops fine. The following are the components included so far in the KOffice 2 versions:

  • KWord: Word processor
  • KSpread: Spreadsheet calculator
  • KPresenter: Presentation manager
  • KPlato: Project management software
  • Karbon: Vector graphics editor
  • Krita: Raster graphics editor

The chart application, KChart, has now been integrated as a plugin for all the KOffice applications. The database application, Kexi, has not been included in KOffice 2 yet but is scheduled for KOffice 2.2. The diagraming and flowcharting project, Kivio, is looking for developers before a release date is announced for KOffice 2.

#2 Find the font and text toolbar

One of the first things you might look for when writing up a paper or editing a document is the font and text settings on the toolbars. That way you can change the font type, size, and color. However, if you're using an earlier KOffice version, such as 1.6.3, you might not see the Font toolbar after opening KWord.

Luckily, it's easy to get the Font toolbar back. Just click Settings > Toolbars > Font. Magically, it will appear on the toolbar menu.

In 2.x versions of KWord, you should see the font settings in the Tool Options area of the dock on the right.

#3 Import more fonts

If you haven't manually installed any fonts onto your Linux distribution, you probably won't recognize many of the fonts in KOffice. If you're used to Windows, you might miss Arial, Time New Roman, and other classic Microsoft fonts. However, you can manually install the Microsoft True Type font set, which contains the following:

  • Andale Mono
  • Arial Black
  • Arial
  • Comic Sans MS
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Impact
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet
  • Verdana
  • Webdings

In Ubuntu, for instance, installing these core fonts only takes one command line:

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer