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13.8. Office Suites

Office software has long been seen as lacking in the free software world. Users have long asked for replacements for Microsoft tools such as Word and Excel, but these are so complex that replacements were hard to develop. The situation changed when the project started (following Sun's release of the StarOffice code under a free license). Nowadays Debian contains Libre Office, a fork of The GNOME and KDE projects are still working on their offerings (GNOME Office and Calligra Suite), and the friendly competition leads to interesting results. For instance, the Gnumeric spreadsheet (part of GNOME Office) is even better than Office in some domains, notably the precision of its calculations. On the word processing front, the and Libre Office suites still lead the way.
Another important feature for users is the ability to import Word and Excel documents received from contacts or found in archives. Even though all office suites have filters which allow working on these formats, only the ones found in and Libre Office are functional enough for daily use.
Libre Office and Calligra Suite are, respectively, available in the libreoffice and calligra Debian packages. There is no more package for GNOME Office (it was gnome-office). Language-specific packs for Libre Office are distributed in separate packages: libreoffice-l10n-* and libreoffice-help-* most notably; some features such as spelling dictionaries, hyphenation patterns and thesauri are in separate packages, such as myspell-*/hunspell-*, hyphen-* and mythes-*. Note that Calligra Suite used to be called KOffice.