Calligra 2.5 Office and Graphics Suite Arrives

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 15, 2012

The team behind Calligra, the graphic art and office suite for KDE, created from KOffice, has just announced the release of version 2.5 of its suite. This release has many new and improved features, and may be especially useful for people who want strong graphics and diagramming features in a suite of applications that includes productivity apps such as a word processor and a spreadsheet.

You can get Calligra here.  Among the suite's productivity applications, Words--the word processor--and Sheets--the spreadsheet application--are most notable. Words has much improved features for editing tables, tight run-around of text around images, manipulation of table borders, and dragging of text. There are also a number of new features in the bibliography tools. Words, like the whole Calligra suite, uses Open Document Format (ODF) as its default file format and imports Microsoft Office formats. 

According to the version 2.5 announcement: 

"Sheets, the spreadsheet application, has a new stand-alone docker for the cell editor. In Version 2.4 of Calligra Sheets, the cell editor was a standard tool docker, which meant that most people kept it in the side bar. Some users thought this was a disadvantage because the editor area was too narrow. In version 2.5 the cell editor is now contained in its own dock window which means that it can be placed above the work area similar to other spreadsheet applications, or left or right or even torn off into its own window. Sheets also has a new cell tool window with cell formatting controls. In version 2.4 Sheets used mostly menus and dialogs for formatting cells. In version 2.5 the most common formatting options are collected into a cell tool option window much like the text formatting controls in Words."

The Calligra suite also has a presentation package, a note-taking package, and a database. But many users will be especially taken with Flow, which is the suite's diagramming application. In the open source world, there have been few diagramming applications that have been really competitive with offerings such as Microsoft's Visio. Dia is one example, but Calligra Flow is a very powerful diagramming application, and a complementary printing application called Krita even includes an import filter for Visio files.

Calligra is completely free and open source, and worth downloading and tinkering with, especially if you have graphical leanings.