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Free CAD software for Linux, Mac and Windows


DraftSight is a free 2D CAD product that lets you create, edit and view your DWG files.

Based on an advanced architecture, DraftSight has a small footprint, should take less than a few minutes to download, and runs on multiple operating systems including Microsoft® Windows XP®, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7 (general release), Mac® and Linux®** (Mac and Linux currently in Beta).

You can download your copy HERE.

Converting Office Documents !


Now and then, office-type documents need to be converted. The latex users have always been able to produce a variety of formats from the command line, but for the OpenOffice/LibreOffice users, manual labor has been the solution. That changes with unoconv. Now you can convert to most file formats directly from the command line.

Unoconv is handy for many tasks. I commonly use it to convert all documents in a directory to PDFs, or MS Office compatible formats for clients. The beauty of it is that these previously tedious tasks are now one-liners.

If you’re on ubuntu or derivates (I’m on kubuntu) you can install unoconv from the command prompt:

$ sudo apt-get install unoconv

Having done that, you need to start the server half of unoconv.

$ unoconv --listener

Give this a few seconds to settle. It starts an instance of OpenOffice in the background which it ties into. To use this instance of OpenOffice for format conversion, now try the following:

$ unoconv -f pdf *.odp *.odt

This will convert all text documents and presentations to pdfs. There isn’t much control in the process, but if you want the standard output, it is a great help.

When it comes to exporting to MS Office formats, you have slightly more control. You can, for instance, target the format doc, doc6 and doc95, meaning Word 97/2000/XP, Word 6.0 and Word 95 respectively.

The project is alive, so there is good hope to have the final glitches sorted out. The tool spits out a couple of scary warnings now and then, but the documents seem to turn out well.

The conversion is based entirely on OpenOffice’s conversion, so the quality is what you know from there. Since the conversion is automatic, you might have to limit yourself at times. For instance, I’ve learned that not using the arrow connectors, but instead relying on lines, helps in odp to ppt conversion. Also, the ppts produced are not compatible with the very latest MS Office on Mac – but then you can create PDF’s just as easy.

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