March 3, 2021
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KIllustrator is the vector drawing program included with KDE. KIllustrator can import SVG, EPS, and other file formats. The main screen for KIllustrator is shown below.

The KIllustrator main screen

A vector drawing program like KIllustrator allows the user to draw via straight lines and points and angles. This allows for very accurate blueprints, diagrams, circuit board layouts, and more. The difference between a vector program other drawing programs is that a regular drawing program allows the user to draw curves, and basically any other shape that can be drawn with the mouse. While the other programs allow a little more freedom, it is harder to be precise when drawing to a scale.


KPresenter is the presentation manager for KDE and KOffice. With KPresenter you can create and display slideshows, papers, and more. Like other KDE applications, KPresenter also uses the DCOP database, and thus allows you to use scripted presentations. With the correct timing and audio WAV files you are able to generate a full multimedia application. The scripts can be written at the shell script level, which makes all these functions accessible to even the newest user.

KPresenter main window, showing toolbar and slide sorter

One of the things you will notice in KPresenter is the slide sorter on the left of the screen. There are also additional toolbars you can turn on and off via the View menu option (available in all of the KOffice products). Additional features in KPresenter allow the user to draw figures, and insert pictures, clipart, and data from other KOffice applications. This makes KPresenter a truly robust presentation manager,


Kivio is the latest addition to the KOffice family. While Kivio was originally developed by TheKompany.com, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., it has now joined the KDE CVS as a part of KOffice. Kivio is a fully functioning flowchart program.

Kivio main screen with a flowchart example

In the above screen capture you will see an example of a flowchart. A flowchart is a timeline or schematic diagram of what a process or program will do. While flowcharting is not used by programmers that often anymore, it is still a sign of good planning and is used very frequently in mechanical engineering and robotics.

In addition to flowcharting, Kivio can be used to create circuit diagrams, and other line drawings. While a full-fledged UML (Unified Modeling Language) tool is under development, Kivio provides a way to fill the gap for the time being.

What's Missing

To be fair, it is important to note two items that are missing in the KOffice suite. The first is a database tool or manager such as Microsoft Access. There is currently a project underway at TheKompany.com (www.thekompany.com) to solve this gap. The author has tried a current snapshot of the CVS and it failed to compile.

Also missing in the KOffice application suite is a program similar to QuickBooks or Quicken. This type of software would allow a small business to migrate their invoicing to KDE and to interface with the other KOffice and KDE products. It is rumored that GNUCash is working on a port to KDE, and this may solve the problem. As always, the KDE team is looking for programmers who wish to help with the project. If you are so inclined, please visit http://www.kde.org and check out the "How to Help" pages.

About Author:

Christopher Molnar is the North American training coordinator for MandrakeSoft Inc., and is based in Hartford, Conn. You can reach Chris at molnarc@mandrakesoft.com or molnarc@nebsllc.com, and most days you can catch him on IRC chat at irc.kde.org, on the #kde channel.

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This article was originally published on December 28, 2000

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