To survive as a desktop system, an operating system must be able to perform at least one task well: produce documents. It's no accident that, after Windows, Word (now bundled into Microsoft Office) is the foundation of Microsoft's success on the desktop. Red Hat Linux includes tools for producing documents, manipulating images, scanning, and printing. Almost everything you would expect a publishing system to do, you can do with Red Hat Linux.
OpenOffice is a powerful open-source office suite available for the first time as part of the Red Hat Linux distribution. Based on Sun Microsystem's Star Office, OpenOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and other personal productivity tools.
The first document and graphics tools for Linux were mostly built on older, text-based tools. Recently, more sophisticated tools for writing, formatting pages, and integrating graphics have been added. Despite their age, many of the older publishing tools (such as Groff and LaTeX) are still used by people in the technical community.
In this chapter, I describe both text-based and GUI-based document preparation software for Red Hat Linux. I also describe tools for printing and displaying documents, as well as software for working with images.