A PhD on Open Source on Open Source Part 4 – Desktop Tools

In the previous parts (1 2 3) of this series I have primarily written about how to write articles and thesis using the typeset system LaTeX. Using LaTeX is very convenient for some kinds of documents, in particular large good looking documents where you want to add references. For simpler kinds of documents a WYSIWYG editor is perhaps a better choice.

My editor or tool package of choice is of course OpenOffice. OpenOffice is very much like MS Office and it contains a text editor, a spreadsheet program and a program for making presentations. These should cover most users needs. I have used both the text editor and the spreadsheets quite a lot and in the latest version of OpenOffice, editing .doc (the MS Word document format) also works like a charm. In previous versions of OpenOffice I have experienced some problems editing the same document with both OpenOffice and MS Word but this seems to be resolved.

Probably the two programs I use the most is my web browser and my email client. Thank you Mozilla for Firefox and Thunderbird. I have been using both for several years and they are in my eyes way better than the alternatives, and they are open source. You should not need any other reasons for using them. Pair Thunderbird with Lightning, the calendar plugin, and you have a very good organizer.

FreeMind the mind mapping tool

If a calendar isn’t enough to organize your thoughts you might consider, FreeMind. FreeMind is an exelent mind mapping software which I use quite often to brain storm and to structure thoughts.

I will probably come back to other desktop tools when, or if, I write about any Linux distributions. Most such distributions come with a lot of useful tools and applications right out of the box and ready to use.





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