SoftMaker Office 2018
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FreeOffice

The free alternative to
Microsoft Office

Tips & tricks: Linux


Installing FreeOffice 2018 for Linux

The applications in SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 for Linux come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, making them compatible with 32-bit (x86, 686) and 64-bit (x86_64, amd64) Linux.

We test SoftMaker FreeOffice with the current versions of the following distributions and recommend choosing one of them:

  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • Linux Mint
  • openSUSE
  • Fedora

 


Download

32-bit Linux systems

64-bit Linux systems

 


Installation on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

To install SoftMaker FreeOffice, simply double-click on the DEB installation package.

Setting up automatic updates on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 can be updated from this DEB repository:

http://shop.softmaker.com/repo/apt

You can configure your system to use this repository by first installing SoftMaker FreeOffice as described above, then opening a shell or terminal window and entering this command:

sudo /usr/share/freeoffice2018/add_apt_repo.sh

If you have set up automatic updates on your system, Linux will then keep SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 up-to-date automatically.

If you do not use automatic updates on your system, entering these commands will update SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 to the latest available revision:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

 


Installation on Debian

On Debian, you should install SoftMaker FreeOffice using the command line.

On 32-bit Debian, open a shell or terminal window and enter these commands:

su
apt-get update
dpkg -i softmaker-freeoffice-2018_934-01_i386.deb
apt-get install -f

On 64-bit Debian, open a shell or terminal window and enter these commands:

su
apt-get update
dpkg -i softmaker-freeoffice-2018_934-01_amd64.deb
apt-get install -f

Setting up automatic updates on Debian

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 can be updated from this DEB repository:

http://shop.softmaker.com/repo/apt

You can configure your system to use this repository by first installing SoftMaker FreeOffice as described above, then opening a shell or terminal window and entering these commands:

su
/usr/share/freeoffice2018/add_apt_repo.sh

If you have set up automatic updates on your system, Linux will then keep SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 up-to-date automatically.

If you do not use automatic updates on your system, entering these commands will update SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 to the latest available revision:

su
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

 


Installation on Fedora

The RPM installation packages are digitally signed by SoftMaker. Before installing SoftMaker FreeOffice, you should download our public GPG key and import it. Open a shell or terminal window and enter this command:

sudo rpm --import linux-repo-public.key

If you skip this step, you will still be able to install SoftMaker RPM packages, but you must press Ignore when being told about the missing GPG key.

Then install SoftMaker FreeOffice by double-clicking on the RPM installation package.

Setting up automatic updates on Fedora

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 can be updated from this RPM repository:

http://shop.softmaker.com/repo/rpm

You can configure your system to use this repository by first installing SoftMaker FreeOffice as described above, then opening a shell or terminal window and entering this command:

sudo /usr/share/freeoffice2018/add_rpm_repo.sh

If you have set up automatic updates on your system, Linux will then keep SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 up-to-date automatically.

If you do not use automatic updates on your system, entering these commands will update SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 to the latest available revision:

If you use yum:

sudo yum update

If you use dnf:

sudo dnf upgrade

 


Installation on openSUSE

The RPM installation packages are digitally signed by SoftMaker. Before installing SoftMaker FreeOffice, you should download our public GPG key and import it. Open a shell or terminal window and enter this command:

sudo rpm --import linux-repo-public.key

If you skip this step, you will still be able to install SoftMaker RPM packages, but you must press Ignore when being told about the missing GPG key.

Then install SoftMaker FreeOffice by right-clicking on the RPM installation package and choosing "Install or remove software."

Setting up automatic updates on openSUSE

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 can be updated from this RPM repository:

http://shop.softmaker.com/repo/rpm

You can configure your system to use this repository by first installing SoftMaker FreeOffice as described above, then opening a shell or terminal window and entering this command:

sudo /usr/share/freeoffice2018/add_rpm_repo.sh

If you have set up automatic updates on your system, Linux will then keep SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 up-to-date automatically.

If you do not use automatic updates on your system, entering these commands will update SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 to the latest available revision:

If you use zypper:

sudo zypper update

If you use yum:

sudo yum update

If you use dnf:

sudo dnf upgrade

If you have set up automatic updates on your system, you can skip this step, as Linux will update SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 automatically for you.

 


Installation on other systems

If your system is not listed here and you cannot run the installation with the instructions given above, you can install SoftMaker FreeOffice using our .tgz-based installation packages.

Depending on your system, download the 32-bit or 64-bit .tgz installation package. Then uncompress and untar it, and finally run the installation script inside:

If you use a 32-bit Linux system:

tar xvzf softmaker-freeoffice-2018-934-i386.tgz
./installfreeoffice

If you use a 64-bit Linux system:

tar xvzf softmaker-freeoffice-2018-934-amd64.tgz
./installfreeoffice

Tips & tricks: Portable installation


FreeOffice for Windows

If you want to carry FreeOffice for Windows and important documents with you, you can copy FreeOffice to a USB flash drive. You can then run FreeOffice from the USB flash drive on any Windows-based computer (a borrowed or public computer, for instance). Once you unplug the USB flash drive, no trace of FreeOffice is left behind on the PC.

Here's how it works:

  1. Install FreeOffice on your regular PC's built-in hard drive. This lets you work with the applications in the regular way, even without a USB flash drive.
  2. Click on the Windows Start button, then select Programs > SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 > Utilities > Install SoftMaker FreeOffice on a USB stick.
  3. Follow the prompts, and the program copies the complete SoftMaker FreeOffice folder and the complete folder My Documents\SoftMaker to your USB flash drive. This gives you access to the FreeOffice program files, as well as all of your documents and settings from My Documents\SoftMaker on the USB flash drive.

When the program is done, your USB flash drive contains a fully functional copy of FreeOffice which does not register itself in Windows, in addition to all of your documents and configuration files.

To launch one of the programs, open the FreeOffice folder on the USB flash drive and click on the program you want to run (for example, TextMaker.exe or PlanMaker.exe).

FreeOffice for Linux

You can run FreeOffice for Linux from a USB flash drive, too. Here's how it works:

  1. Install FreeOffice on the built-in hard drive of your Linux PC. This lets you work with FreeOffice in the regular way, even without a USB flash drive.
  2. Create a folder on the USB flash drive and copy the contents of the FreeOffice application folder (usually /usr/share/freeoffice2018) to this folder:
mkdir /media/disk/freeoffice (replace /media/disk with the path of your USB flash drive)
cd /usr/share/freeoffice2018
cp -Rv * /media/disk/freeoffice (replace /media/disk with the path of your USB flash drive)
  1. In the new folder on the USB flash drive, create a file with the name portable.txt. Its content does not matter:
cd /media/disk/freeoffice (replace /media/disk with the path of your USB flash drive)
touch portable.txt

The portable.txt file is just a "marker file" that informs FreeOffice that it should run in portable mode and not leave any configuration files on the host operating system.

  1. Launch TextMaker:
textmaker

TextMaker then creates the folder /media/disk/freeoffice/SoftMaker for your documents, templates and settings. Next, TextMaker copies its default document templates and configuration files into this folder. Once the installation is complete, TextMaker starts.

If you want, you can now copy additional documents and templates to the flash drive. Put documents in /media/disk/freeoffice/SoftMaker and templates in /media/disk/freeoffice/SoftMaker/Templates 2018.

To launch one of the programs, open the FreeOffice folder on the USB flash drive and double-click on the program you want to launch.

Tips & tricks: PlanMaker


Localized function names

Microsoft Excel uses localized function names, as does PlanMaker when you switch to a user interface language other than English. For example, the English SUM function is called SOMME in French, SUMA in Spanish, and Сумм in Russian.

The English PlanMaker manual lists only the English function names, so you might have to look up localized function names. This PlanMaker .pmd file contains a cross-reference of all PlanMaker functions.

Inserting the current date and time

Question: How do I insert the current date or time into a worksheet? I don't want to use the functions TODAY() and NOW() because they are continuously updated.

Answer: Press Ctrl+. for the date and Ctrl+Shift+. for the time.

Changing the zoom level with the mouse

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can use it to quickly change the zoom level at which a worksheet is displayed. Press the Ctrl button on your keyboard, keep it depressed, and move the scroll wheel on your mouse up or down.

Multiple currencies in a document

Unlike other spreadsheets, PlanMaker lets you use any number of different currencies in each document.

To display a number as a currency amount, select the cells which should be formatted, right-click on the selected area and choose the entry Cell from the context menu. In the dialog box that now appears, select the number format Currency and pick the desired currency (such as euro, sFr, US Dollar etc.).

You can also simply enter a number with a currency symbol. For example, if you type € 42 or 19.50 € in a cell, PlanMaker recognizes automatically that this is a euro amount and formats it in the currency format "€".

Combining two columns into one

Question: I have a worksheet with area codes (for example 123) in column A and phone numbers (for example 456-7890) in column B. How do I combine them into a single column as "123-456-7890"?

Answer: Enter the formula =A1&"-"&B1 in cell C1, then copy this formula to the cells below as many times as you have phone numbers.

Now you have the combined phone numbers, but only as formulas. If you want to convert them to literal values, select the new formulas and copy them with Home | Copy to the clipboard. Leave the formulas selected and execute the command Home | Paste | Paste values. Now your worksheet contains the phone numbers as literal values.

Tips & tricks: TextMaker


Setting the default font and size

If you do not want to start your documents in Times New Roman 10 pt but use a different font by default, this is easy to change. Simply right-click in the document window to open the context menu and select the menu entry Character. In the dialog box "Character", you can now choose your preferred font settings and make them your new default by clicking on the button Set as default. In the following dialog box, choose Change for all new documents based on the default template. All future documents that you base on the default template will now use the chosen font settings.

Setting other default formatting options

Here's how to set a different default zoom level or paper size for all of your future documents: Open the default template Normal.tmvx using the File | Open command and make the desired changes. When done, save the document template. All of the future documents that use this template will have the chosen settings.

Changing the zoom level with the mouse

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can use it to quickly change the zoom level at which a document is displayed. Press the Ctrl button on your keyboard, keep it depressed, and move the scroll wheel on your mouse up or down.

Use paragraph spacing!

Even if you think it is annoying, don't insert blank lines between paragraphs. Instead, set the spacing between paragraphs using Paragraph spacing before and Paragraph spacing after. You will find these options in the dialog boxes Paragraph and Paragraph style. Right-click in the document window and pick the respective command from the context menu. The advantage of paragraph spacing is that it lets TextMaker suppress unnecessary empty space at the tops and bottoms of pages.

Non-breaking spaces prevent unwanted word wrapping

If you want to prevent two words from being separated by a line break or page break between them, just enter a "non-breaking space" between the words. To do this, just type Ctrl+Shift+Space.

Saving printer ink when printing drafts

For draft prints, you can choose the option Drop pictures in the Print dialog. Your document will print faster and use less ink because all of the pictures are skipped.

Using multiple paper trays

If you want the first page of your document or chapter to be pulled from a different paper tray of your printer, you can set up the paper trays using the page setup. To get to this dialog box, switch to the Layout tab of the ribbon and click on the small triangle to the right of the section label "Page setup".

Sharing document templates

If you work in a local area network and you want all users to access the same set of document templates, you can set a shared template path in File | Options | Files.

Picture frames and embedded pictures

TextMaker lets you insert pictures either as frames or as embedded pictures. Picture frames are positioned absolutely on the page or in relation to a paragraph, whereas embedded pictures simply "wander along" with the paragraph where they're placed.

If you want to convert an already-inserted embedded pictures to a picture frame (or vice-versa), simply select the picture in TextMaker, press the right mouse button and choose the command Convert to picture frame or Convert to embedded object.