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Office Suites

Open Office

Open Office is installed by default in older versions of (K)Ubuntu, with Writer (Word equivalent), Presentation (PowerPoint equivalent), Calc spreadsheet (Excel equivalent), and Base relational database (Access equivalent).

Open Word 2007 Documents in Open Office

The latest edition of OpenOffice opens .docx (i.e. Word 2007) documents by default.


LibreOffice is a free and open source (GPL-licensed) office suite similar to OpenOffice. Install:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libreoffice libreoffice-gnome


The KOffice suite is part of the KDE project and is meant to provide the capabilities of the OpenOffice suite without the licensing restrictions of OpenOffice. It can be used in any version of Ubuntu. Install:

sudo apt-get install koffice


AbiWord is a fast, collaboration-enabled word processor. For the most current version see the AbiWord web site. To install from the repositories:

sudo apt-get install abiword

GoldenDict (Multi-lingual Dictionary and Translator)

GoldenDict is multi-lingual dictionary and translator that supports Babylon and StarDict translation dictionary files and has multiple modular plugins. Install:

sudo apt-get install goldendict


Xournal is a free (GPL-licensed) GTK/Gnome-based application for notetaking, sketching, or keeping a journal using a stylus. Install (universe repositories must be enabled):

sudo apt-get install xournal

PDF Files

PDF is the file format used by Adobe Acrobat (which can be read by many e-book readers as well). There are many PDF-oriented utilities available in Ubuntu. In the Synaptic Package Manager, search for "pdf".

Print to a PDF file

(K)Ubuntu allows printing of any document to the PDF format by default. From any application:

File -> Print -> Print to File -> Output: PDF

View a PDF document

Evince is the default PDF document viewer in Ubuntu. PDF files are associated by default with Evince, so clicking on a PDF file (from a file manager such as Nautilus) will open it with Evince. Evince can also be started:

Menu -> Office -> Evince

Scan to a PDF file

Gscan2pdf is a utility to do exactly that: scan to a PDF file. Multiple options for scanning can be set. Install:

sudo apt-get install gscan2pdf

PDF-Shuffler (PDF file management)

PDF-Shuffler is a free GTK-based utility to manipulate multiple PDF files, allowing individual pages or entire PDF documents to be re-arranged, rotated, merged, or deleted. This is an essential tool for working with PDF files. Install:

sudo apt-get install pdf-shuffler
Menu -> Office -> PDF-Shuffler

MaxView (PDF file management)

MaxView is a utility to capture, manipulate and rearrange, and print .pdf and .max files. Written in Qt, it is similar in some respects to Paperport.

  • Download and install the .deb package (use i386 instead of amd64 if using a 32-bit OS):
wget -O maxview_current.deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/maxview/files/maxview0.7-2/maxview_0.7-2_amd64_maverick.deb/download
sudo dpkg -i maxview_current.deb
  • Start MaxView in a GUI by creating a menu item with the Command: maxview /home/user, where /home/user is the directory in which you wish MaxView to start.

PDFMod (PDF file management)

PdfMod is a Gnome-based application to reorder, rotate, and remove pages, export images from a document, edit the title, subject, author, and keywords, and combine documents via drag and drop. Install:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pdfmod-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pdfmod

PDFedit (PDF file editor)

PDFedit is a free (GPL-licensed), Qt-based PDF file editing and manipulation program that uses a GUI for editing. Install:

sudo apt-get install pdfedit

Import PDF files into a word processor

Import PDF files into OpenOffice Writer

PDF files can be imported into the OpenOffice Writer word processor as a hybrid document (not a scanned character document) by installing:

sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-pdfimport
Import PDF files into KWord

Kword is the Word Processor package in KOffice. It allows the importing of PDF files by default.

PDF-XChange (PDF file editor)

PDF-XChange is a free Windows-based application to view, modify, or perform simple editing of PDF files. It works under Wine.


FBReader (e-book reader)

FBReader is a free cross-platform e-book reader, based on the GTK platform. Install:

sudo apt-get install fbreader

Calibre (eBook conversion)

Calibre is an eBook reader, library manager, and tool for conversion between many eBook formats (including the .epub format). Install:

sudo apt-get install calibre
  • eBook conversion examples and tips are here.

Sigil (eBook editing and conversion)

Sigil allows creation and editing of an eBook in .epub format and conversion from other formats. Download and install the binary from the website.

eCub (eBook editing and conversion)

eCub allows creation and editing of an eBook in .epub format and conversion from other formats. Download and install the .deb package from the website.

Personal Information Managers

Kontact Personal Information Manager

Kontact is the default PIM included with Kubuntu. Kontact includes email, an address book, a calendar, reminders, pop-up notes, a link to the Akregator News/RSS reader, time-tracking, and more. Its many functions resemble MS-Outlook. Through connectors it interfaces with many groupware servers (such as Kolab and eGroupware). Install:

sudo apt-get install kontact

Mozilla Sunbird (Calendar)

Sunbird is a standalone group calendar client that in the future will be replaced by the Lightning extension for Thunderbird and Firefox. (It is available in a 64-bit and 32-bit version, whereas the Lightning extension is currently only available in a 32-bit version.) Download from the website and install by clicking on the downloaded file to extract, or:

sudo mkdir /etc/sunbird
cd /etc/sunbird
sudo wget -O sunbird-current.tar.bz2 http://download.mozilla.org/?product=sunbird-1.0b1&os=linux64&lang=en-US
tar -xvjf sunbird-current.tar.bz2
Replace os=linux64 with os=linux if using a 32-bit OS.
  • Then create a menu item named Sunbird to point to the Command: /etc/sunbird/sunbird

BasKet Note Pads

BasKet Note Pads is a personal note-taking application that resides on your computer and can be used for creating "to-do" lists. It is great for centralising your thoughts in one place. Install it:

sudo apt-get install basket

Planner (Project planning & management)

Planner is an MS-Project-like planning and management tool.

sudo apt-get install planner

Time Tracker

You can keep track how long you use an application with TimeTracker. Keep records for billing or simply limit your Internet usage.

Personal tools