10 Desktop Productivity Must-Haves (That Aren't OpenOffice.org)

Desktop productivity tool No. 2: Scribus 1.3.8
Scribus is a free open source desktop publishing program, one written with the kind of attention to the UI as displayed in Inkscape and Paint.NET. It sports layout and design tools that are on a par with commercial competitors, has a macro language à la GIMP with a number of prepackaged macros (for example, a calendar generator), can produce professional-quality CMYK PDFs, and even includes a "preflight check" function to make sure what you see really is what you get. Note that you get the best results when you use Scribus in conjunction with a dedicated text processing system; it's not a word processor in its own right and isn't suited yet to automatically laying out long-form documents. Also, as with Inkscape, internal support for color-matching systems like Pantone is missing, although you can partly work around this limitation.

Scribus comes with a number of templates for reuse, such as this newsletter template. Note the story editor window, which is designed for direct editing of the contents of text frames.

Desktop productivity tool No. 3: SeaMonkey 2.0.6
Mozilla's "suite" product, which bundles Web browsing, email, IRC chat, and an HTML editor in one application, hasn't received nearly as much attention as
Firefox or Thunderbird, both of which are now incorporated as part of the SeaMonkey bundle. Much of that disinterest has been due to SeaMonkey not being updated as aggressively as other Mozilla programs, but the new 2.0 branch -- which started coming out late last year -- is worth a look. Apart from the plug-in friendly browser and email client, the most useful portion of SeaMonkey is the HTML editor, which is slightly more polished than KompoZer but isn't available separately. It's no substitute for a full-blown page design app like DreamWeaver (what is?), but it works well for basic HTML assembly and cleanup, and also as a way to examine the tag structure of existing pages. If you're already sold on Firefox and Thunderbird, SeaMonkey serves them with an extra helping.

In addition to Firefox and Thunderbird, Mozilla's SeaMonkey includes a useful HTML editor, shown here editing a page in HTML tag viewing mode. The attributes for the selected <SPAN> are shown in the pop-up window.

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