A nicely or­gan­ised free of­fice suite. FREE | WWW.BIT.LY/2CA44PA

APC Australia - - Software -

When Linux users ask us to help with the choice of an of­fice suite, it’s dif­fi­cult for us to come up with a re­ally in­trigu­ing of­fer, be­cause ev­ery­one knows that it will still be Li­breOf­fice. This is the most pow­er­ful and ad­vanced set of of­fice ap­pli­ca­tions that proudly bears the ban­ner of ‘open source’ around the world. How­ever, no mat­ter how de­vel­op­ers op­ti­mise it, it still re­mains a big and re­source-in­ten­sive pack­age, which may not even work on old com­put­ers. Re­cently, small boxes like the Rasp­berry Pi have been gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, and many peo­ple would like to be able to per­form of­fice tasks on these low­power de­vices.

FLTK Of­fice Suite, or FLOf­fice for short, doesn’t pre­tend to be a fully fledged al­ter­na­tive to Li­breOf­fice or other pro­duc­tiv­ity suites, but it adds very valu­able fea­tures to min­i­mal­ist Linux dis­tros that com­monly run on Rasp­berry Pi boxes by pro­vid­ing some ba­sic of­fice ap­pli­ca­tions. It’s much bet­ter than noth­ing, af­ter all.

FLOf­fice is based on the FLTK li­brary, where FL means ‘fast as light’. You wouldn’t no­tice a big per­for­mance gain on nor­mal desk­top ma­chines, but on low-end de­vices, it re­ally means a lot: FLTK-based apps are way faster than those based on GTK or Qt.

FLOf­fice has a ‘home’ screen or a shell — a cen­tral point with quick links to fre­quently used ap­pli­ca­tions. The of­fice suite it­self bun­dles a text edi­tor, a spread­sheet app, a maths for­mula edi­tor, a pic­ture viewer, a scan­ner tool and a sim­ple file man­ager, plus a bunch of less in­trigu­ing bi­nary apps. The home screen, how­ever, comes with quick links to some other ap­pli­ca­tions that are not part of FLOf­fice, in­clud­ing: Chromium, AbiWord, XPaint, Rox and few more, which you are sup­posed to in­stall your­self.

Once you set it up, FLOf­fice will be ready for ev­ery­day use. It proved to be quite handy and use­ful in our tests, and very light on re­sources.

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