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lightweight and aesthetically pleasing word alternatives?

Submitted by buzz in freeAsInFreedom

After using LibreOffice Writer for a bit, I have been displeased by the amount of input lag and general clunkyness of it, but cannot find any good alternatives. The qualities of a good word processor I find are: can read and write .docx files, and export to .pdf, doesn't look like it is from 1999, is offline, and has the same input delay as notepad++ or something similar.

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4

Freux wrote

I don't think there is a better alternative unfortunately but you can always use neovim or emacs and use pandoc to convert format?

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hjek wrote (edited )

There is Abiword, which is just that: A lightweight free/libre Word.

But I also can't recommend Pandoc strongly enough. It can convert between all MS Office / LibreOffice formats as well as Markdown and PDF, and it's great for slideshows too.

You need a text editor to go with Pandoc, but you can just stick to what you're already comfortable with: Notepad++. If you want to switch to another text editor in the future, you won't have to worry about .docx support, because Pandoc will work with that editor, too.

I think that probably the only major Office functionality missing from Pandoc is spreadsheets (but you can use the SQLite CLI for most of that).

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buzz wrote

i have been using abiword, but i dont know how to center the document when the zoom is reduced ):

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hjek wrote

Use web layout instead of print layout when writing.

There are innumerable issues with exaggerated skeuomorphism, in this case displaying your writing a virtual A4 sheet on the screen by default.

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Fossidarity wrote

How exactly does making a spreadsheet in SQLite work? I understand that there's rows and columns but isn't that about it?

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hjek wrote (edited )

Literally "making a spreadsheet", as in exporting something to Excel format so it can be viewed by others is done like this on the SQLite CLI: Type .excel (and press enter), and then enter some query (like `SELECT "foo", "bar"; ) and you get the result in a spreadsheet.

I understand that there's rows and columns but isn't that about it?

You can also perform operations on the data in a similar way. Assume you want the sum of the row foo in a table called bar. In a spreadsheet you'd do this by entering =SUM(bar!foo) in a cell whereas in SQL you'd write SELECT SUM(foo) FROM bar;.

Of course SQL is less point-and-click and less bells and whistles. For example, you can't change the font or colour of the cells in SQL, which is a good thing. But there are graphical interfaces for working with databases, too.

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Fossidarity wrote

Heh I guess that could actually work, most datatypes are just TEXT and but when you need numbers you can use the types for that to do math. The only problem with the math then that it's always a direct result of the current data, instead of what other math operations did before this.

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hjek wrote

The only problem with the math then that it's always a direct result of the current data, instead of what other math operations did before this.

You can operate on derived data in databases as well. That is done by creating a view, e.g. CREATE VIEW baz AS SELECT SUM(foo) FROM bar;

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote (edited )

you could try shifting through the arch wiki list

calligra is the other word processor that I have on my computer, but I dont use it much at all since I'm satisfied with libreoffice. When I work on docx and with other people I use google drive most of the time.

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hjek wrote

with other people I use google drive most of the time.

Since we're on the free/libre software forum here, I think it's appropriate that I point out that neither Google Drive or Google Docs are free/libre.

If you need a free/libre text editor similar to Google Docs, there's EtherPad, which does actually support docx import/export (built on Abiword).

If you run it yourself, you can also use it offline, or on a ad hoc that's not connected to the internet (which can be useful if you and some other people in the same place are collaborating on a document but you don't have internet access).

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote (edited )

aha I knew somebody was gonna reply something like this. BTW there's also Nextcloud/collabora-online that's a cloud version of libreoffice, and a little closer to google docks while also being libre.

I've also used overleaf for collaborative latex editing, and I think it's floss too.

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buzz wrote

I'll try calligra among others ~~ thanks for the nice list!