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Nov 28

Gnumeric

gnumericGnumeric is the spreadsheet component of GNOME Office. It’s a lightweight spreadsheet application that supports all the familiar functions, calculation modes and charts as seen in most spreadsheet applications.

As part of GNOME Office, it follows the GNOME usage guidelines, so it should be familar to most users in general, but GIMP users will notice the same dialogs, and Excel, OpenOffice and Lotus 1-2-3 users will find the whole spreadsheet paradgm familiar (even if “freeze panes” is on the “View” menu in gnumeric).

While Gnumeric is stable, and quite easy to use, it’s not as advanced as LibreOffice or OpenOffice. While it supports charts, there aren’t the volunteers yet to implement features such as conditional formatting, or pivot charts.

It won’t please the die-hard Excel user that creates page-long formulas for cells, and codes VBA macros so complex they make War and Peace look like a Mills and Boon. But then those power users are probably already complaining about the changes in the latest Office 2010 service pack…

What made me look for Gnumeric was using a computer with less memory than I’m used to while my other computer was being repaired. Satisfyingly, while Libre Office is a hefty 100MB in use even with no documents open, Gnumeric is using only a thrifty 20MB with four open. It’s impressive, genuinely free software, and the download (for Windows) is only 17MB. Linux users, check your repositories – it’s probably already ready to install!

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