You May Be Surprised to Know
Linux has within it several solutions for making documents, even large documents like books.
Linux tools generally have a philosophy of re-usability. While some of the
newer products, like Open Office, are made to deliver the complete environments
that computer users are used to, most Linux tools follow a more modular
For example, in word processing the most common fundamental unit is the
Postscript files are read and written by most of the word and
image processing utilities. Postscript is a handy medium because it is so
Postscript -- The Underlying Standard
Postscript files are ASCII files, an you can load them into a text processor
and actually read and even manipulate some of the control statements (if you
know what you are doing). Postscript can also embody bit maps, but even these
appear as a sequence of seemingly meaningless characters.
Products that directly output postscript files often use a vector type
notation for characters, allowing the fonts to be re-written by a display or
print utility to any size without distortion. Graphical information is usually
Open Office, Koffice, and even Abiword, the WYSIWYG word processors in Linux
can all produce postscript output. Tex and LaTex produce an intermediate file
type called a dvi file, but the dvips utility converts these files into
postscript. And Lout, another text markup language, outputs postscript
Use this custom search engine to find document software for you system:
Even Graphics Utilities Can Use Postscript
Most graphics plotting packages in Linux, like Gri, pgplot, xmgrace, and
gnuplot to name but a few, can all output postscript files. Xpaint, a Linux
drawing program, and GIMP, an image rendering program can both import and
export postscript files. The postscript utilities packages provides many
programs for working directly with postscript files.
Many printers have a mode specifically for handling postscript files
efficiently. And the gv utility is a handy postscript rendering and printing
program for use with files produced by any of the numerous postscript file
Linux is Rich, Not Poor, In Document Processing Capability
So if you thought a move to Linux would lead to a more limited capability
for creating documents, you can rest at ease. Linux has at its disposal
virtually all of the accumulated document handling products from the Unix
world, as well as the newer WYSIWYG products more familiar to many users. Linux
doesn't offer a reduced set of document tools, but a vastly expanded set.
You just have to be willing to learn about them.
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