Overview of KDE’s Calligra 2.8 Office Suite

Calligra, the KDE office suite, has reached version 2.8 a few days ago. In this article I will overview each component this office suite comprises of, so if you want to try something different than LibreOffice, or you’re using KDE and want a set of applications to blend well in the environment, read on.


Calligra is a full-fledged office suite with support for the OpenDocument format, the components it includes covering everything you would expect from an office suite. You can create rich content with the powerful word processor, create tables and make calculations with the spreadsheet component, make presentations with Stage, the presentation component, create and edit databases, make diagrams or edit and manipulate images with Krita.

The latest version, Calligra 2.8, brings many new features and improvements. Words has received support for comments in the document, Sheets now has improved support for pivot tables, Kexi focused on improving stability of the already existing features, Flow has support for SVG-based stencils, and Krita, probably the highlight of this release, has benefited of a new high-quality scaling mode for OpenGL canvas, support for touchscreens, as well as many other bug fixes and improvements. Krita 2.8 will also be available in Windows. Two new applications were introduced with this version of Krita, Krita Sketch and Krita Gemini.

Calligra currently contains the following components:

Words, the word processor
Sheets, the spreadsheet application
Stage, the presentation application
Plan, the project management application
Krita, the painting and image editor application
Kexi, the visual database creator
Karbon, the vector drawing application
Flow, the diagrams and charts application
Braindump, the notes and content organization application

Let’s have a look at each of these individual applications that compose Calligra.

Calligra Words is the word processor, and it uses the OpenDocument format to save its files, and will open MS Office documents but it will not be able to save them under the same format. It supports the usual text formatting tools, as well as inserting images and tables. Most of the functions are available in the toolbar, by default located in the right panel.


Sheets is the spreadsheet application, and has similar functionality with that of LibreOffice or MS Excel. You can create tables and use formulas, apply mathematical functions as well as creating charts from the data provided.

Sheets, the spreadsheet creator, allows you to apply formulas and create charts:


Calligra Stage offers everything you need to get you started when creating presentations, which can be exported to PDF and HTML too. Stage also comes bundled with several templates to choose from.

The presentation creator is full-featured:


Stage comes with various templates:


Calligra Plan is a project planning application offering task dependencies and timing constraints.


Probably the most popular component of the suite, Krita, the image editor application, has received many new features, and it has also been greenlit on Steam, which means we’ll be able to download and install it directly from Steam for Linux soon enough. Krita includes layer support and image manipulation filters.

Krita has been recently greenlit on Steam:


Kexi allows you to create databases graphically, giving you the means to insert of edit data, process data and perform queries. Kexi comes as an alternative to MS Access or LibreOffice Base.


Karbon is a vector graphics creator which allows you save your work as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), PNG, JPG or OpenDocument Drawing. Karbon is an alternative to Inkscape, for example.


Calligra Flow creates charts and diagrams, having various predefined shapes and models ranging from categories like chemistry up to electronics or networking.


Braindump allows you to collect and organize ideas, like a notes-taking application, but with few more features and possibilities, and a different content-related approach. The interface of this version has been buggy for me, in that the scrollbar seems to appear and disappear under certain circumstances.

Installing Calligra 2.8 in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.04 will ship with Calligra 2.8. To install it in Ubuntu 13.10, use the backports PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install calligra