A list of text applications that can be found in Linux Ubuntu – Part 1

To start off the exploration of the world of text orientated software I had a look at my own computer.

I am running Linux Ubuntu 9.04 at the moment and had OpenOffice.org Writer and gedit installed plus Wine (a program that makes it possible to run some Windows programs in Linux) with The Journal and for some reason Notepad.

In Linux there is a section where you can add and remove programs. These programs are just a selection of what can be installed on a Linux computer, but for some reason they are offered conveniently under this add/remove section.

When you click add/remove you’ll see a list of all the programs available and the different subsections that arrange the programs after subject.

I thought I could just name them in a post, but they are too many, so I will divide it into three posts:

  1. Programs that can be found under the header “Office”

  2. The ones found under “Accessories”

  3. and other programs found under “Internet”.

Part 1: Programs that can be found under Applications -> Add/remove.. -> Office

Besides OpenOffice Writer there were 13 other programs that I downloaded to have a look at. Many of them are LaTeX editors which I will mention briefly in the end.

I copy/pasted the text that is given for each program. The Screenshots are taken from my screen.



KWord is a FrameMaker-like word processing and desktop publishing application. KWord is capable of creating demanding and professional looking documents. It can be used for desktop publishing, but also for “normal” word processing, like writing letters, reports and so on.

This package is part of the KDE Office Suite.

Homepage: http://www.koffice.org

IBM Lotus Symphony.

IBM Lotus Symphony provides three powerful editors by which you can create, manage, and edit documents in Open Document Format(ODF): Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Presentation, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets. With Lotus Symphony Documents, you can create and edit simple or highly structured documents, graphics, tables, and charts. With Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets, you can perform standard and advanced spreadsheet functions to calculate, analyze, and manage your data. With Lotus Symphony Presentations, you can create and edit professional screen shows that include charts, drawing objects, and text. You can also import, edit, and export Oo 1.1 files and Microsoft(R) Office files in Lotus Symphony

Homepage: http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.nsf/home

This is a big office suite that comes with the above mentioned 3 programs in one. It opens with a “home” screen from where one can choose to open one of the three programs. Besides that is has a build in browser.

The second screenshot is the Lotus Symphony Documents wordprocessor.

It took a while for the program to open the first time, so I suspect it had a close look at the documents on my computer. After that all my .odt files open now by default in Lotus Symphony but I can choose “open with…” to choose another editor.

Go to the OpenOffice.org homepage Lotus Symphony is based on OpenOffice.org Technology and supports the ODF standard, ISO 26300


AbiWord is a full-featured, efficient word processing application. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks, and is extensible with a variety of plugins.

This package includes many of the available import/export plugins allowing AbiWord to interact with ODT, WordPerfect, and other formats. It also includes tools plugins, offering live collaboration with AbiWord users on Linux and Windows (using TCP or Jabber/XMPP), web translation and dictionary support, and more. Additional plugins that require significant amounts of extra software to function are in the various abiword-plugin-* packages.

Homepage: http://www.abisource.com/

Full Screen text-editor:


PyRoom is a free editor that stays out your way – and keeps other things out of your way, too. As a fullscreen editor without buttons, widgets, formatting options, menus and with only the minimum of required dialog windows, it doesn’t have any distractions and lets you focus on writing and only writing

Homepage: http://pyroom.org/

A simple fullscreen dark (text colour is customizable) texteditor. Does what is promises.

LaTeX editors:

(If you don’t know what LaTeX is than you very likely don’t need these editors).


Texmaker is a clean, highly configurable LaTeX editor with good hot key support and extensive LaTeX documentation. Texmaker integrates many tools needed to develop documents with LaTeX, in just one application. It has some nice features such as syntax highlighting, insertion of 370 mathematical symbols with only one click, and “structure view” of the document for easier navigation

Homepage: http://www.xm1math.net/texmaker/

LyX Document Proc

LyX is an almost WYSIWYG-frontend for LaTeX. It makes the power and typesetting quality of LaTeX available for people who are used to word processors. Since LyX supports LaTeX’s concept of general mark-ups, it is even easier and faster to create professional quality documents with it than with usual word processors. It is also possible to use LaTeX commands within LyX, so nothing of LaTeX’s power is lost.

You can extend the functionality of LyX by installing these packages:

* chktex: check for typographical errors

* dvipost: display tracked changes in DVI format output

* gnuhtml2latex: import HTML documents

* groff: improved table formatting in plain text exports

* linuxdoc-tools: export SGML LinuxDoc documents

* noweb: import noweb files

* rcs: integrated version control

* sgmltools-lite: export SGML DocBook documents

* tex4ht, hevea, tth, or latex2html: export HTML documents

* texlive-latex-extra: more styles and packages

* wv: import MS Word documents

Homepage: http://www.lyx.org/

I found it on my computer after installing by right-clicking on a text file and then choosing “open with…” – > “Open with Other Application….”


Kile is a user-friendly LaTeX source editor and TeX shell for KDE.

The source editor is a multi-document editor designed for .tex and .bib files. Menus, wizards and auto-completion are provided to assist with tag insertion and code generation. A structural view of the document assists with navigation within source files. The TeX shell integrates the various tools required for TeX processing. It assists with LaTeX compilation, DVI and postscript document viewing, generation of bibliographies and indices and other common tasks. Kile can support large projects consisting of several smaller files.

Homepage: http://kile.sourceforge.net

I wasn’t able to open the kile handbook that is mentioned in the help section of the program, but it can be found at this address: http://kile.sourceforge.net/Documentation/html/index.html

Winefisch LaTeX Editor.

Winefish is a GTK+ based LaTeX editor, which was forked from Bluefish. The main features are autotext, auto-completion, function references, syntax highlighting, customizable external tools and UTF-8 support.

Homepage: http://winefish.berlios.de

Has a very clean look out-of-the-box.


JabRef is a GUI to manage BibTeX databases, the standard LaTeX bibliography reference format. JabRef is built to be platform independent (requires Java 1.5). It merges and extends the functionalities of BibKeeper (Morten O. Alver) and JBibtexManager (Nizar Batada)

Homepage: http://jabref.sourceforge.net/

GNU TeXmacs editor

GNU TeXmacs is a free scientific text editor, which was both inspired by TeX and GNU Emacs.

The editor allows you to write structured documents via a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) and a user friendly interface. New styles may be created by the user. The program implements high-quality typesetting algorithms and TeX fonts, which help you to produce professionally looking documents. The high typesetting quality still goes through for automatically generated formulas, which makes TeXmacs suitable as an interface for computer algebra systems. TeXmacs also supports the Guile/Scheme extension language, so that you may customize the interface and write your own extensions to the editor. This package contains the architecture dependent files.

Homepage: http://www.texmacs.org

After downloading it can be found under Applications -> Accessories



Referencer is a GNOME application to organise documents or references, and ultimately generate a BibTeX bibliography file. Referencer includes a number of features to make this process easier:

* Automatic metadata retrieval from PubMed, CrossRef and ArXiv

* Smart web links

* Import from BibTeX, Reference Manager and EndNote

* Tagging

Homepage: http://icculus.org/referencer/index.html

I have to find this one out – available when you (right mouse) click on a document -> “open with” -> Open with Other Application…

Txt Reader

Txt Reader is a general text viewer, especially suited for reading novels.


* Automatically remember the place before you closed

* Support fullscreen mode

* Support hiding reader to tray with Esc

* Support page-scrolling with arrow keys

* Support bookmark

* Support encoding selection

Homepage: –

Txt Reader had a slight problem for me (see first screenshot)

It is possible to change the language of the gnome desktop icon. (see second screenshot).

This program is not a text editor. At a first glance this seems to be a rather simple reader.

Update aug. 2010 -The homepage (http://www.minisrc.com/?q=taxonomy/term/2) is no longer connected to Txt Reader


Link to part 2 of the three posts: Software found under “Accessories”

Link to part 3 of these three posts: Software found under “internet”


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