Friday, February 17, 2012

Enabling RTL in Symphony and Libre Office

This one took awhile to figure out, and it was easy. I write in Arabic, my native language. Arabic is an RTL (Right-To-Left) language, which requires RTL support in my word processor.

By default, word processors do not show support for RTL directly, as their default language/languages are mostly LTR ones (English and Latin languages).

I use Ubuntu now, with both Libre Office and Symphony as my Office Packages (still trying to chose one of them permanently, and wishing it would Libre Office, since it is an Open Source Project). Again, by default, both Symphony and Libre Office Writer do not show support for RTL by default, and I had to look around a little bit to know that they include this in the CTL (Complex Text Layout) support.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Moving to Ubuntu Linux - pt.02

Being a technical editor, by day, means I do intensive document editing. I like to believe that I use the MS-Word features to the max. Even the buggy ones, like the Master Document. 

Sparing so much details, and although I tend to like the open source solutions, I couldn't find any of the available packages fully satisfying my editing needs. The closest was IBM's Lotus Symphony. It's a shame that there's not open source solution with such capabilities, but Lotus Symphony is freeware, anyway.

IBM doesn't provide a 64bit package for Symphony, but googling around brought up links to 64bit deb packaged by Dylan, in OMGUbuntu.

Symphony works just fine. It is true that it lacks some of the features, but having a macro mode helps. Personally, I would rate the experience a good 80% satisfaction for the word processor.