Archive for the 'Office' Category

Creating an email sized PDF newsletter with Scribus on Kubuntu (Ubuntu) 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)

Here are some notes I took while learning how to use Scribus to create our first family email newsletter.

Here’s a little bit about Scribus from the home page:

Scribus :: Open Source Desktop Publishing for Linux, Mac OS® X and Windows®

“Scribus is an open-source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/Unix, MacOS X, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of “press-ready” output and new approaches to page layout.

Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.” (http://www.scribus.net/).

Basically what follows is an emphasis on optimizing the output for an email sized attachment after I enjoyed using Scribus to do the layout of the newsletter.

  1. Layout newsletter
  2. Install latest version of Ghostscript
    sudo aptitude install gs-gpl
  3. Export as PDF (1.3 or 1.4)
    1. General Tab:
      1. Resolution for EPS Graphics: 300
      2. Compress Text and Vector Graphics: [X]
      3. Compression Method: Automatic
      4. Compression Quaity: Maximum
      5. Resample Images to: 115 dpi
    2. Fonts Tab:
      1. Embed all fonts
    3. Save file to news.pdf [~ 315KB]
      1. If size and quality are good enough then you are done, else
      2. Re-process the pdf file through ghostscript [~70kB]
        gs-gpl -r115 -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=newsletter.pdf news.pdf

        (-r115 sets the resolution or DPI to 115 pixels per square inch)

  4. If you feel like it, you can also use pdfopt to linearize the PDF, so Acroread can start showing the first pages while the rest is still being downloaded.

Comparing Pseudo OpenXML to the Open Document Format

Hi everyone: I just came across the following paragraph in a review of word processors I felt was pretty compelling:

  • “Let us be clear: the choice is not between being able to interoperate with Microsoft— thanks to Novell and Corel doing interoperability work for them — or being stuck in some ODF ghetto, unable to read Microsoft documents. Everyone wants to interoperate. The question is how. The problem is Microsoft. The solution lies with Microsoft. It’s 2007, and it’s time that Microsoft followed the same standards everyone else, instead of insisting the world bend to their ways. Microsoft’s OXML doesn’t disrupt this propensity. It’s not only unacceptable, but quite strange that even now we can’t all freely share documents with one another, no matter what operating system we like to use. We can send each other email, read each others’ blogs and websites, even if you are on Windows, I’m on Linux, and Uncle Fester is using OS X. Why isn’t that the norm for everything? It ought to be. The bottleneck is Microsoft. FOSS software is happy to interoperate with any other software. Why won’t Microsoft? That is the $64,000 question in 2007. All this only matters if you intend to use Microsoft Word. The good news is that there are many good alternatives” (DonationCoder.com, 2007.02.16).

What do you think?

Vista vs. Kubuntu Linux (the saga continues)

  1. Vista failed to recognize my USB memory stick (rebooting to Kubuntu Linux I was able use it again).
  2. Browsing to a PDF file, Vista had no idea what to do with it–even when I saved it to the desktop and clicked on it (out of the box Kubuntu Linux opened it in the most useful PDF viewer (Kpdf) I have ever seen–referring to the awsomely efficient select tool).
  3. Installing previous applications, they now fail to start–some complaining of missing MSVCR71.dll, while others complain that .NET 1.1 or greater is required (!?!).
    1. Using Google I found the following help: “I ran into a missing msvcr71.dll while trying to use Password Safe. Since I was dual booting with XP on another partition, I copied over the file from \Windows\System32 on the XP partition. Next it was msvcp70.dll and then finally msvcp71.dll. After that the application came up fine. Soooo…if you’re missing any of these three, grab a copy of them from an XP installation and just simply drop them into \Windows\system32 in the Vista partition…” (source).
    2. Using WinXP to patch up Vista solved the missing dll dilema (twenty minutes later). Now I just need to figure out how Vista either managed to come out without .NET installed (can you imagine?), or how it somehow managed to hide what version it had from applications that ran comfortably on WinXP… Wow…
  4. The poorly rendered fonts are really beginning to bother me (Kubuntu Linux offers no such visual grief). Did I mention the blurry fonts are getting really tiresome yet?
  5. I installed Office 2007–Outlook is unable to connect to our Exchange server with the exact same settings I have in Outlook 2003 on my other system. Out of the box experience? Broken.
  6. Finally I had to give up testing for the day as my eyes couldn’t take it anymore.
  7. Giving my eyes a break, I rebooted to Kubuntu Linux… Whew time to be productive again…

OpenOffice 2.1 on Ubuntu (Kubuntu)

Here’s a quick reference I adapted from another blog that had covered the need at an earlier time, but had become somewhat in need of updating. So here is the basic steps to installing OpenOffice 2.1 on Kubuntu (both Edgy 6.10 and Feisty Fawn 7.04):

  1. Download and install The Java SE Development Kit (JDK)
    1. I chose the link for Java(TM) SE Development Kit 6
    2. I then chose the link for the Linux self-extracting file (jdk-6-linux-i586.bin)
    3. run “sh jdk-6-linux-i586.bin” as normal user.
    4. I moved the resulting jdk1.6.0 directory to /home/username/bin/jdk1.6.0
    5. cd ~/bin && ln -s jdk1.6.0/jre jre
  2. Download OpenOffice 2.1 for Linux
  3. Remove previous version of OpenOffice 2.0
    1. sudo apt-get remove --purge openoffice.org-*
  4. Convert OpenOffice 2.1 RPM packages to Debian packages:
    1. sudo apt-get install fakeroot alien
    2. tar zxvf OOo_2.1.0_LinuxIntel_install_en-US.tar.gz
    3. cd OOE680_m6_native_packed-1_en-US.9095/RPMS
    4. Convert the .rpm packages to .deb (debian packages)
    5. fakeroot alien -d *.rpm
  5. Now install the new Debian packages
    1. sudo dpkg -i *.deb
    2. cd desktop-integration/
    3. sudo dpkg -i openoffice.org-debian-menus_2.1-5_all.deb
  6. Profit. ;-)

Adapted from: Techno Wizah: Debian HOW-TO: OpenOffice 2.0