Another video tutorial, this one on how to design and print business cards cheaply at home using LibreOffice Draw and Writer. Creating video tutorials like this with more editing work is something different that I am trying out. I edited and finalized everything on kdenlive which is an excellent Open Source non-linear video editor on Linux.
I am hoping to create many more like this in the future.
Video tutorial – how to maintain a fuel log with mileage calculator in LibreOffice Calc/Excel
Something different I tried recently. A video tutorial on how to maintain a fuel log with mileage calculator in LibreOffice Calc or Excel with simple formulae. Hopefully this provides some good information.
This is something I am still working on, especially my voice and recording clarity, so please do leave your feedback on the video.
A long time back, when I was writing a novel, I discovered WordGrinder, a console word processor that’s designed to string prose together without any distraction. In the creator’s own words:
WordGrinder is a word processor for processing words. It is not WYSIWYG. It is not point and click. It is not a desktop publisher. It is not a text editor. It does not do fonts and it barely does styles. What it does do is words. It’s designed for writing text. It gets out of your way and lets you type.
The author wrote it to have something to write novels on.
In my experience WordGrinder is quite as effective as advertised. I certainly managed to grind out many more chapters using WordGrinder than using LibreOffice Writer. There’s something strangely relaxing about typing away into a black console screen without menus, toolbars, widgets, context menus and other GUI distractions. Sadly my novel remains incomplete to this day, but that’s my own fault, not WordGrinder’s.
While WordGrinder is deceptively simple to use, just below the surface tucked away in a useful menu, it does expose features like semantic markup and basic character styles. Though WordGrinder uses a native format which cannot be opened by normal text editors, you can export your document to a bunch of useful formats for further processing, formatting or printing. In a way, WordGrinder is reminiscent of old DOS-based word processors like WordStar, but with modern semantic markup to allow clean document structuring. The best part is that, there’s really no learning curve — WordGrinder’s entire feature list is accessible from the menu and can be explored within a few minutes.
WordGrinder is still actively developed — the first release was in 2007 — thirteen years ago! The latest version, 0.8, released on 13th October 2020, not only has bug fixes, but new features as well. There is also a Windows version, though the application was originally developed on Linux. For a one-man open source project, that is quite impressive.
A while back, I searched for a decent Office suite for opening and editing documents on my iPad and found Collabora Office, a full-fledged port of LibreOffice for Android and iOS / iPadOS. This is one of the few Open Source office suites for mobile devices around and one of the few that are almost as functional as desktop equivalents — most mobile office suites I’ve found are (a) not open source, (b) feature-limited, (c) not free and/or (d) ad-supported in their free avatars.
You can see from the screenshot that Collabora is LibreOffice, with minor caveats and tweaks for the touch screen. In fact, it features the traditional desktop UI, complete with menubar and toolbar rather than a mobile-centric one, making it highly familiar for experienced LibreOffice users.
I often make slight edits/modifications to documents within Collabora on my iPad when I cannot be bothered to open my laptop. One minor issue that I found is that the on-screen iPadOS keyboard doesn’t seem as full featured as with native Apple software. With a compatible physical bluetooth keyboard, it might be possible to compose longer documents conveniently.
I’m surprised that Collabora Office doesn’t appear to be popular enough to merit an entry in most top-10 office suite lists for mobile devices that you can find with a simple internet search.
Collabora features the equivalent ports of LibreOffice Writer, Calc and Impress, which I guess is enough for most of us. LibreOffice Base and a few other components of the full LibreOffice desktop suite are conspicuously missing.[↩]
for example, missing auto-capitalization of the first word in a sentence, unable to type full-stop with two spaces and not working properly with some language keyboards like Tamil Anjal[↩]