The Calligra suite of applications hit the ‘stable’ milestone today, marking the software’s first release.

The Qt-based application stack offer a wide range of apps; everything from a fully-featured word processor and spreadsheet app to a comprehensive digital drawing programme are included in Calligra.

“It’s the most comprehensive free suite of applications anywhere,” boasts the Calligra website,

“And we expect the number of applications to grow as the project matures. Calligra offers its applications on both desktop computers and mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones.”

Calligra Wordprocessor

File format fans will be pleased to hear that the suite uses the Open Document Format (ODF) where needed. This means Calligra files can be opened in LibreOffice and Microsoft Office with few issues. It also supports the opening of Microsoft Office file formats ‘with great accuracy’.

The Calligra suite offerings in full: –

  • Calligra Words Word processor
  • Calligra Sheets Spreadsheet
  • Calligra Stage Presentation
  • Calligra Flow Diagrams and Flowcharts
  • Kexi Visual Database Creator
  • Braindump Note Taking
  • Krita Drawing Application
  • Karbon Vector Graphics
  • Calligra Plan Project Management

Calligra Apps

Any Good?

I have little reason to use a “proper” set of office applications these days, and certainly have no need for all of the ones provided by Calligra.

But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate what the project is doing. Words, Krita and Stage are well designed, fully-featured tools in particular. I much preferred using the former of these over the LibreOffice equivalent.

Sadly this doesn’t apply to all of the apps. The tersely titled ‘Braindump note-taking tool is a bit of a mess. I felt like I needed to take notes on how to use it because options and settings were either un-intuitively placed or didn’t do what I expected.

The vector-graphics tool Karbon is promising, but lacking in features an avid Inkscape user would consider ‘basic’.


Ubuntu 12.04 users can install all or just some of the Calligra suite via the Ubuntu Software Center. Just search ‘calligra’.

Ubuntu 11.10 users will first need to add the KDE Beta PPA.

Thanks to Hai

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