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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Gnumeric: Spreadsheet

From humble beginnings the spreadsheet has become one of the most useful tools on the computer desktop. Serving very many different purposes, all essentially dealing with numbers, spreadsheets provide a platform for tabulating numbers and automatically peforming operations on those numbers. Spreadsheets today provide a comprehensive array of functions for all kinds of purposes, together with impressive graphical reporting facilities.

The Gnome desktop supplies the gnumeric spreadsheet modeled on Excel.

When you start gnumeric for the first time you will get an empty spreadsheet ready for your to work with, as in Figure 41.1.

Figure 41.1: Initial gnumeric screen with an empty spreadsheet.
Image gnumeric-startup

A simple spreadsheet is used to illustrate the basic functionality of gnumeric. The spreadsheet acts as a simple timesheet to monitor time spent on particular tasks and to keep an accumulated total earned. You might imagine your child keeping track of their pocket money!

Figure 41.2: A simple gnumeric spreadsheet illustrating thew basic operation of the spreadsheet.
Image gnumeric-simple-timesheet

The Gnumeric spreadsheet is part of the Gnome desktop environment: a project to create a free, user friendly desktop environment. As every other component of Gnome, Gnumeric is free software (Some other people like to call this OpenSource software) and it is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Gnumeric will import your existing Excel, 1-2-3, Sylk, XBase and Oleo files. If you are a developer and you want to contribute new importers (or polishing and perfect existing importers) we welcome your patches.

Gnumeric is intended to be a replacement for a commercial spreadsheet, so a lot of effort and work has still to go into it, but I believe we have the right framework to do it.

Figure 41.3: Sample Gnumeric screen
Image gnumeric01


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