KOffice Meets the Users

Are you using KOffice? What are you using KOffice for? Why did you decide to use KOffice? What are your main problems? We want to know who uses KOffice and we are especially interested in companies and people using KOffice applications in the course of their business. We have done usability testing with OpenUsability on some of the KOffice programs and will be working more with them. Now we want to reach our users directly and ask them what they think.

The KOffice hackers have been working on KOffice for quite a few years now and we've received quite a lot of great and useful feedback from users. KOffice is picking up a lot of momentum now and in the run-on towards the 1.5 release we would like to get to know our users a lot better.

So... Are you using KOffice? What are you using KOffice for? Why did you decide to use KOffice? What are your main problems? Please not too many comments about reading MS Office files and the difficulties of loading large files, we are continuing to work hard on these areas.

As we wrote above, we want to know who uses KOffice right now. We are especially interested in companies and people using KOffice applications in the course of their business. If you are using KOffice and want to help us, please leave a comment below or contact our marketing guy Inge Wallin ([email protected]) and give him your story.


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For writing papers, I still use LaTeX, because it has the most convenient way to adhere to the typesetting of a publisher. For alot of other things, I find KOffice a really nice suite to work with.

I must say that KOffice is a comming along nicely, I prefer to use it over OO, since koffice has a better integration with the K desktop and generally runs faster (ie: no (legacy)java stuff to hog your system). Though I still have some gripes with it two of which come to mind:

* Creating tables in KWord is still a major pain. Especially if you wish to customize the looks and layout of a table. You cannot simply resize an entire table, making all cells larger, while staying equally spaced. Also, if you did resize all cells manually, KWord tends to 'reset' the table and impose its own rules on your table. (usually undoing everything you were trying to achieve)

* KChart (1.4.1) isn't even able to do draw simple scatter- and/or XY-plots. ie: have one column of data (X-coordinates) plotted against another column of data (Y-coordinates). I can see that the current capabilities are sufficient for some simplistic statistics, but if you want to include it for any (scientific) presentation in the field of engineering for example, it is completely useless. (I still have to import pictures made in gnuplot into kpresenter.)

What KChart should minimally be able to support (in addition of the current plots) is:
- XY-charts (column1 = X) (column2 = Y)
- XY-charts with error-bars (column1 = X, column2 = DX, column3 = Y, column4 = DY)
- scatterplots (similar to XY, only no lines between points)
- some form of control on how 'points' look. (dots, boxes, triangles, diamonds etc...)

I hope these remarks will contribute to further improving this promising project.

Kind regards,

I join your demand about the lack KChart features. Because of that, I have to use OOo. Anyhow, this wish has been well known for the developers for years, and hopefully will be satisfied soon.

by Tim Folger (not verified)

I use kword for nearly all my work. I like the integration with kde and the wordnet thesaurus. As others have mentioned, the default appearance of kword could use some work. Why not have a gray border on all sides like most other word-processing apps? My wife is an editor, and she would use kword if it had a "track changes" feature like OpenOffice or MSWord. That feature is vital for the work of editors, so if you would like to see kword used in publishing, you'll need to implement it at some point.
I'm looking forward to future releases. Thanks for all your hard work.


by NSK (not verified)

What attracts me to KOffice is that it is supported by a true free/libre open-source software community (as opposed to a mixture of corporate sponsorship and open-source as in OpenOffice.org), it is fast and integrates well with KDE.

What I don't like in KOffice is that it's not as mature as OpenOffice.org, yet, but I am sure it will mature soon. I use KOffice, especially KSpread and the graphics applications, in non-critical jobs. For mission-critical work I use OpenOffice.org, but what I really love is KOffice. I don't see the time to ditch OpenOffice.org in favour of KOffice when the latter becomes more matured software.

I believe that KOffice will gain momentum if 4 things come into realisation:

First, the software must mature and the community should pay more attention to end user perceivable quality in future releases. KOffice 1.4 was a good step, and I hope that future versions will be even better.

Second, KOffice must target Microsoft Windows users, because these are the users who urgently need fast office software, since both OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office are slow. A fast KOffice under MS Windows could attract more users into the free software world, and could help them to migrate to GNU/Linux or BSD later.

Third, KOffice must offer more and innovative office applications. I believe that accountancy software like KMyMoney (or a KDE version of Gnucash) should be incorporated into the KOffice suite. New applications not present in MS Office or OpenOffice.org could attract even more users.

Fourth, KOffice must attract more developers and provide development tutorials for new contributors.

I am sure KOffice can become a major office application in the near future, and I wish good luck to everyone involved in this wonderful project!

NSK, http://nsk.wikinerds.org/

by Christof (not verified)

KOffice is promising but there is still a really large headroom for improvements. I'll list here a few:
1/ Currently there is no way to embed object from files. Imaging you have work on this kivio diagram and you saved a local copy of it. Then, you start to make a report (with kword) and suppose you want to include your previously created diagram. So far, I could not find a way of accomplishing this. I would be nice to have a menu like 'Insert->Object from file'. This way we would be able to include previous created charts,diagram,spreadsheet tables.... into kword (or kspread)
2/ The above could be also solved if the copy and paste of object would be better controlled. Currently I can not select the previous made diagram, copy it (Ctrl-C) and past it in word (Ctrl-V). When you do this, you can only paste it as a image or as text (this gives you the actual xml code !?). The same holds when trying to copy&paste a selected region of spreadsheet.
3/ I would be really nice to have tracking features. They way MS Word handles is in my opinion really good.
4/ Some connection from latex formula would be nice. Are there large difficulties in adopting the same kind of rendering TeX is using for formulas... nothing beats a formula rendering of knuth's code.

Hope it helps.

by Dan Buchanan (not verified)

I use KOffice pretty much on a daily basis to keeptrack of things. I run a small computer business and the workspace saves me a lot of time when switching back and forth from an invoice to email and back to a letter. great app, what would be nice is a bigger selection of templates and such to get users going

Dan Buchanan


by Robert Debusschere (not verified)

I like Koffice as well. However, I've encountered the same problems as others with the file corruption issue.

Open Office is a bit more stable. I would really like to see Koffice overtake Open Office because I really like Koffice. One critical application for me that is missing from Koffice is a database program. I need such a program in my home office and am forced to rely on Access through my virtual machine. I would definitely ditch Access if there were a Koffice replacement.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Give Kexi a try :-).

by Guilherme (not verified)

I would love to use kpresenter, except that I need the ability to render latex formula inside the slides easily. There is a macro to do that in OpenOffice. Kformula is not a good way to typeset formulas if you do that often. Besides that, the ability to copy and paste formulas from latex source is important. I personally believe that Kformula should be rewritten to work as a well integrated latex front end, but if not, latex formulas need to be a possibility too.

by tonny sofijan (not verified)

Can't find 'insert image' facility on kivio? when that will appear in kivio?

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

With KOffice 2.1: Peter Simonssen has been too busy with konversation and other projects to spend much time on Kivio. But all the basics are already done, it's just finishing the application that needs lots of work.