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April 14 2001

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Introduction

Starting & Running Simple Productivity Tools

kCalc

KEdit

Rich Text Editors

KPaint

KView

Working on Your Own

Conclusion

Resources & Links

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users #5: Simple Number Crunching, Word Processing, & Photo Viewing with the Windows-Like Desktop for Linux

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KEdit

The Linux, K desktop comes with several basic, simple, text editors or lightweight word processors. KEdit is one such text editor. (Please see Figure 3.)

To open KEdit, while in your K desktop, simply click on K > Editors, Text Editor (OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4) or K > Applications > Text Editor (Red Hat Linux 7).

Both the MS Windows Notepad and the KDE KEdit create only text (.txt) files. However, KEdit also has a spell checker. Neither Notepad nor WordPad include a spell checker.

Note: The KEdit version 1.2.2 spell checker works OK with Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4. However, it does not work correctly in our Red Hat Linux 7 installation.

Simple text editors such as Notepad and KEdit do not let you set text attributes such as fonts, font color, font style (regular, bold, italic, etc.), and font size (10pt., 12pt., 20pt., etc.).

In some simple text editors such as KEdit, you can set those attributes for the way text is displayed in the editor. However, when you save the .txt file, the attribute information is not saved. Then when you open that .txt file, it will be displayed in whatever text/font attribute set is active in the program in which you open that .txt file -- not whatever text/font attribute set was used in the text editor when you saved the .txt file.

If you want to control the text/font attribute information that is saved with your text files, then you need to use a text editor that can save files in attribute rich file formats such as RTF (Rich Text Format), HTML (HyperText Markup Language), .doc (MS Word document), XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and so forth.

Figure 3. KEdit with the Edit menu dropped.

Rich Text Editors

Note: Netscape 4.x is the version that comes pre-installed. However, the current version is Netscape 6.x. The latest Composer version is in Mozilla. Please see the Resources section at the end of this article for information about downloading and installing the latest Composer & Mozilla versions. Also, Netscape Composer is not part of the KDE collection of applications/applets. However, Caldera and Red Hat have added Netscape to the desktop menus in their Linux distributions for your convenience.

Netscape Composer is just such a rich text editor program that comes pre-installed on both the Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 and Red Hat Linux 7 distributions. For more information about Composer and using Composer please see our article Composer: The Netscape & Mozilla Graphical HTML Editor & Word Processor. (Link in the Resources section at the end of this article.)

To open Composer 4.x if you are using OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4, while in your K desktop, simply click on K > Editors > Composer. In Red Hat Linux 7, you can start Netscape Composer 4.x by clicking on K > Internet > Netscape. Then click on Communicator in the Netscape Menu bar and then on Composer.

AbiWord is a rich text editor that comes pre-installed with Red Hat Linux 7. It looks and feels lots like Microsoft Word. You can install AbiWord to other Linux distributions too. For more information about AbiWord, please see AbiWord - A Free, Decent, MS Word Clone for the Linux, MS Windows, & Other Platforms. (Link in the Resources section at the end of this article.)

KPaint

The KDE 1.1.2 applet that comes closest to the MS Windows Accessories Paint program is KPaint. You can open it by clicking on K > Graphics > Paint. Please see Figure 4.

Figure 4. KPaint.
Other than KPaint, the KDE applets discussed in this series of articles (Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #3, #4, & #5) look and feel lots like the comparable Windows 98 applets. And either their functionality is comparable or they are neat on their own.

KPaint is an exception. Although it looks lots like the MS Windows Accessory menu Paint program, KPaint lacks an undo feature and a paint-can tool. There are better Linux drawing and graphics programs. But that's another story. (KPaint version 0.4.3 is the version included with KDE 1.1.2. There is a newer version of KPaint included with KDE 2.x).

KView

The image viewer that comes with the MS Windows Accessories menu is Imaging for Windows from Kodak. KView is the comparable imaging applet that comes with KDE. You can open KView by clicking on K > Graphics > Image Viewer. Please see Figure 5.

Figure 5. KView.

(Adobe PhotoShop 5.5 and Extensis Intellihance Pro 4.0 were used to do the photo retouching and image editing. The Olympus D-340L digital camera was used to snap this Mantis-on-Thyme photo. PhotoShop now is up to version 6 and the Olympus D-340L camera has been replaced by the D-340R. PhotoShop is not available for Linux. However, both the Caldera and Red Hat Linux distributions come with GIMP, which is comparable to PhotoShop.)

KView does not look or feel much like Imaging for Windows. However, you can do pretty much the same basic image viewing and basic image editing with KView that you can do with Imaging for Windows. Unfortunately, KView lacks an undo feature.


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