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Improved Layout, Scriptability and Filters Highlight KOffice Beta Release for GNU/Linux and Other UNIXes

Thursday, 25 April 2002


KDE Ships Beta Test Release of Free Integrated Office Suite

Improved Layout, Scriptability and Filters Highlight KOffice Beta Release for GNU/Linux and Other UNIXes April 25, 2002 (The INTERNET). The KDE Project today announced the immediate release of KOffice 1.2beta1, the first preview release for KOffice 1.2, scheduled for release this September. KOffice is an integrated office suite for KDE which utilizes free and open standards for its document formats, component communication and component embedding. This release is principally a public testing and developer solicitation release (more help is welcome!).

This release

includes a frame-based, full-featured word processor (KWord); a presentation application; (KPresenter); a spreadsheet application; (KSpread); a flowchart application; (Kivio); business quality reporting software; (Kugar); and two vector-drawing applications (alpha) (Kontour and Karbon14). Additionally, KOffice includes robust embeddable charts (KChart) and formulas (KFormula) as well as a built-in thesaurus (KThesaurus) and numerous import and export filters. KOffice 1.2beta1 is available only in English; translations are expected to have caught up by the next beta release.

KOffice 1.2beta1 complements the release of KDE 3.0 late last month. KDE is a powerful and easy-to-use Internet-enabled desktop for GNU/Linux and other UNIXes, and together with KOffice constitutes the only Open Source project to provide a complete desktop and productivity environment for GNU/Linux - UNIX.

KOffice and all its components (including KDE) are available for free under Open Source licenses from the KDE http or ftp mirrors.

Principal Improvements

The principal improvements over KOffice 1.1.1 are as follows:


    * WYSIWYG. KWord, KPresenter and the formula objects have received an overhaul in the presentation: text layout and painting have been redesigned around the popular and intuitive WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) design concept.
    • SVG Support. KOffice components can now handle many SVG images (animation is not yet supported).

    • DCOP (Remote Control). All KOffice components have a greatly enhanced DCOP scriptability. For example, DCOP can be used to insert or reformat text in KWord and KPresenter.

    • Spell checking. KPresenter and KSpread now have a spell checker.

    • Thesaurus. KThesaurus is a new KOffice component. It is a thesaurus which can also be used on a stand-alone basis as a frontend to a local installation of WordNet.

    • Word Completion. KWord and KPresenter offer a word completion feature. By using a key shortcut, these office applications will try to complete the word using a word-list, consisting of the words in the current document or compiled from another document.

    • File Format. KOffice has switched to zip (instead of tar and gzip) for archiving/compressing its native file format and to using "relative paths" for objects included in the archive (such as images or embedded components). This provides greatly improved document compatability with other Open Source office suites, while enhancing performance. For backwards compatability, KOffice 1.2 will support saving in the KOffice 1.1 format, and KOffice 1.1 users can download a utility to convert from the KOffice 1.2 to the KOffice 1.1 format.

    • Bi-Di. KWord and KPresenter now feature full support for reading and writing bi-directional text, such as Arabic and Hebrew (screenshot).

    • Auto-hide Cursor. Both KWord and KPresenter now hide the cursor when the mouse has been idle for some time.

KWord (Word Processor).

    * Image handling. You can replace the image in a frame (rather than having to create a new frame to replace an image).
    • Tables. Table borders have been properly implemented. The sizing of variable width table cells has been greatly improved.

    • Frames. You can now choose where to inline a new frame. Frames now have a "z-order", so they can be lowered and raised. Layered frames are currently opaque.

    • Text. KWord now supports double underline, text shadow, soft hyphens, non-breaking spaces and a text background color. In addition, comments can be added to text.

    • Filters. KWord has a number of new import/export filters for enhanced compatibility with other office suites.

    • The new export/import filters are AbiWord (substantial support), PalmDoc (full support), Unicode or plain text (full support), WML (limited support) and Lotus AmiPro (limited support).

    • The new import filters (with limited support) are MSWrite and WordPerfect.

    • The new export filter is SGML (substantial support).

    • HTML export/import has been greatly enhanced, though for this release HTML tables are ignored. Latex export has also greatly improved.

    • XSLT support for mapping to other XML-based office formats.

    • Shortcuts. You can now assign a style to a key shortcut. New shortcuts have been added for non-breakable spaces and soft hyphens. A triple-click now selects a paragraph. The PageUp/PageDown keys now default to moving only the scrollbars, not the cursor.

    • Miscellaneous. KWord now supports hyperlinks (an Internet, email or file link). The handling of tabs in the ruler has been improved.

KPresenter (Presentation Tool).

    * Sound. KPresenter has become a multimedia application with the addition of sound support.
    • New tools. A set of new tools for creating professional presentations: freehand, polyline, quadric bezier curve, cubic bezier curve and convex/concave polygon. A new "Configure Image" dialog supports a number of operations on images, such as flip/mirror, color depth, RGB to BGR conversion and brightness control.

    Page views. A new thumbnail view of each page in the presentation is now displayed in the sidebar, and a larger view of the current page is displayed _.

    • Note bar. A new notebar allows you to add comments to each page of a presentation.

    • Zooming. KPresenter now has zooming support. Besides the standard percentage zoom, you can zoom to a region selected with the mouse.

    • Layout. Improved page layout, so changes in one page no longer cause other pages to misalign. The position and size of an object can now be set to fit on the page. A grid system has been implemented.

    • Transition effect. New transition effects include Blinds, Box In/Out, Checkboard, Cover, Uncover, Dissolve, Random and more.

    • Styles. KPresenter now supports styles for text and paragraph formatting.

    • Miscellaneous. KPresenter now has a useful status bar. The undo/redo functionality was extended to include page insertion, deletion, pasting and duplication. The search and replace functions work over all pages. KPresenter has new "guide lines" and "guide points" for helping to layout objects on the page. It can also report the duration of a slide-show presentation.

KSpread (Spreadsheet).

    * Columns/rows. KSpread can now handle over 32,000 rows and over 32,000 columns. * Filters. KSpread has a new dBASE import filter. * Functions. Function names are now case-insensitive. The formula editor has a new "Related Function" feature. Thirty-seven new built-in functions have been added: integer/boolean/text conversion functions, 7 new math functions, 5 new text functions, 4 new date/time functions, 4 new financial functions (including a EURO function for converting between the Euro and other currencies), and 20 new statistical functions.

Karbon14. Karbon14 is a new vector drawing application, which, while still immature, is being released in an alpha state in this release. Its current features include: basic path based shapes; basic affine transformations; anti-aliased rendering with transparency; Illustrator file import; Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) import and export; and SVG export.

A more complete list of changes and notes about the release are available at the KOffice web site.

Installing KOffice 1.2beta1 Binary Packages

Binary Packages. Some GNU/Linux - UNIX OS vendors have kindly provided binary packages of KDE 3.0 for some versions of their distribution, and in other cases community volunteers have done so. Some of these binary packages are available for free download from KDE's http or ftp mirrors. Additional binary packages, as well as updates to the packages now available, may become available over the coming weeks.

Please note that the KDE Project makes these packages available from the KDE web site as a convenience to KDE users. The KDE Project is not responsible for these packages as they are provided by third parties - typically, but not always, the distributor of the relevant distribution - using tools, compilers, library versions and quality assurance procedures over which KDE exercises no control. If you cannot find a binary package for your OS, or you are displeased with the quality of binary packages available for your system, please read the KDE Binary Package Policy and/or contact your OS vendor.

Library Requirements / Options. The library requirements for a particular binary package vary with the system on which the package was compiled. Please bear in mind that some binary packages may require a newer version of Qt and other libraries than was shipped with the system (e.g., LinuxDistro X.Y may have shipped with Qt-3.0.0 but the packages below may require Qt-3.0.3). For general library requirements for KDE, please see the text at Source Code - Library Requirements below.

Package Locations. At the time of this release, pre-compiled packages are available for:

Please check the servers periodically for pre-compiled packages for other distributions. More binary packages will become available over the coming days and weeks.

Compiling KOffice 1.2beta1

Library Requirements. KOffice 1.2beta1 requires the following libraries:

Compiler Requirements. Please note that some components of KOffice 1.2beta1 (such as the Quattro Pro import filter and KChart) will not compile with older versions of gcc/egcs, such as egcs-1.1.2 or gcc-2.7.2. At a minimum gcc-2.95-* is required.

Source Code/SRPMs. The complete source code for KOffice 1.2beta1 is available for free download via one of the KDE http or ftp mirrors. Additionally, source rpms are available for the following distributions:

Further Information. For further instructions on compiling and installing KOffice, please consult the KOffice installation instructions. For problems with SRPMs, please contact the person listed in the applicable .spec file.

Corporate KOffice Sponsors

Besides the valuable and excellent efforts by the KOffice developers themselves, significant support for KOffice development has been provided by MandrakeSoft (which sponsors KOffice developers David Faure and Laurent Montel), (which has contributed Kivio and Kugar to KOffice), and Klarälvdalens Datakonsult AB (which has contributed KChart to KOffice). In addition, the members of the KDE League, as well as individual sponsors (donate), provide significant support for KDE and KOffice. Thanks!

About KOffice/KDE

KOffice is part of the KDE Project. KDE is an independent project of hundreds of developers, translators, artists and professionals worldwide collaborating over the Internet to create and freely distribute a sophisticated, customizable and stable desktop and office environment employing a flexible, component-based, network-transparent architecture and offering an outstanding development platform. KDE provides a stable, mature desktop, a full, component-based office suite (KOffice), a large set of networking and administration tools and utilities, and an efficient, intuitive development environment featuring the excellent IDE KDevelop. KDE is working proof that the Open Source "Bazaar-style" software development model can yield first-rate technologies on par with and superior to even the most complex commercial software.

Please visit the KDE family of web sites for the KDE FAQ, screenshots, KOffice information and developer information. Much more information about KDE is available from KDE's family of web sites.

Release Coordinator: Thanks to David Faure for his excellent services as release coordinator. Press Release: Written by Andreas Pour from the KDE League, with the invaluable assistance of numerous gifted volunteers from the KDE Project. Trademarks Notices.

KDE, K Desktop Environment and KOffice are trademarks of KDE e.V. Incorporated.

Adobe Illustrator and PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems

dBASE is a registered trademark of dBASE Inc.

Corel, Quattro Pro and WordPerfect are registered trademarks of Corel Corporation or Corel Corporation Limited.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Trolltech and Qt are trademarks of Trolltech AS.

UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.

Press Contacts:
United States:Andreas Pour
KDE League, Inc.
(1) 917 312 3122
Europe (French and English):David Faure
(33) 4 3250 1445
Europe (German and English):Ralf Nolden
(49) 2421 502758
Europe (English):Jono Bacon