Monday, September 8, 2014

Kingsoft Office on Linux

LibreOffice has always had a special place in my heart. I have been using it since OpenOffice was at version 1 and I have seen the project advance in leaps and bounds over the years.

Since then they branched off and now I use LibreOffice. Now they have some competition. I have been using Kingsoft Office (WPS) on my phone and tablet for a a few months now. Time to test their Linux version and see how it compares with LibreOffice. Know that this is an alpha release, meaning that it has not yet reached the beta testing phase - meaning that it is still very much in development. 

First, go to http://wps-community.org/download.html and download the .deb file and fonts .deb file under it. 

To install, double click on the .deb file you just downloaded. Then click on the Install Package button, in the top right corner of the window. Installation was not difficult or complicated. 

The interface looks similar to Microsoft Office, ie. The Ribbon. While LibreOffice still looks basically the same as Office 2003 (even after all this time). I will not break off into a discussion of whether the interface should have been left the way it was, the whole leave well enough alone vs update the interface to something more current as that is a very long story. 

Well, looks like you can choose your interface, which I think is cool:


I decided to open a document created in LibreOffice, to see how WPS office would render it. Well, it was not pretty. 

(this is after I set the paragraph spacing to single) Can I fault it for not being able to open a document created by a rival? No, after all this is an alpha release and just being able to create documents and export them to PDF is enough for a reasonable person.

The ribbon interface is pleasant and easy to use, I am not going to do an in depth test here as I don't have the time. But I am going to be using WPS Office regularly over the next few weeks I hope to have a follow up post or two mentioning my progress and any issues I have encountered.

Post your opinion in the comments below.