Open Source Musings The thoughts, ideas, and opinions of an open source guy

A few links of interest

A look at some Linux desktop tools for manipulating PDFs

Adobe Acrobat logo

By the way I talk and write about PDFs and tools for working with them, some people think I’m in love with the format.

I’m not. For a variety of reasons that I won’t go into here.

PDF files are a necessary … well, not-so-good in my personal and professional lives. In a number of cases, I have to use PDF even though there are better alternatives for delivering documents.

If you need to manipulate PDF files, there are tools out there to do just that. Here are my impressions of a couple of graphical tools for working with PDFs.

Taking screen captures from the command line with Scrot

An old film camera

Linux has some great tools for taking screen captures — tools like KSnapshot and Shutter. Even the simple utility that comes with the GNOME desktop does a pretty good job of capturing screens.

You might not need to take a screen capture all that often. Or your screen capture needs might be very simple. Or you might either be using a Linux distro without a built-in capture tool or on an older computer with limited resources.

So, what can you do? Turn to the command line and a little utility called Scrot. It does a great job of doing simple screen captures, and has a few features that might surprise you.

Three journaling apps for the Linux desktop

Hands writing in a paper journal

No matter what your reasons are for keeping a journal or a diary, there are any number of ways in which to keep that journal. You could go old school and use a paper notebook. You could use a web-based applications. Or you could take advantage of the humble text file.

Another option is to use a dedicated journaling application. There are several very flexible and very useful journaling tools for the Linux desktop.

Let’s take a look at three of them.

Advice that can help you choose a text editor

A pair of hands, typing

The humble (and often, not-so-humble) text editor. It can be a wonderful thing. I know more than a few people who are zealous about their editors, and view them in the same way that they view their toothbrushes. Yes, they’re that hardcore.

Having said that, I know more than a few people who actually shy away from text editors. Why? Because they view editors as strictly a programmer’s tool. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though I’m not a coder of any stripe, I find a text editor to be a valuable application. More than just valuable, actually. For me, a good text editor is indispensable.