Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

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Dave+the +ref+73
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Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by Dave+the +ref+73 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:38 pm

I was previously using WIndows XP and had created a number of important documents in Publisher. My problem now is that Linux Mint will not open the Publisher files. Any suggestions as to what I could do to open them. I know I can convert them to pdf files but I need to be able to edit the documents which i cannot do in pdf. Dave L

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by austin.texas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:50 pm

I have not tried it, but pdfmod might work for you.

Code: Select all

dan@skynet1 ~ $ apt show pdfmod
Package: pdfmod
Version: 0.9.1-8
Priority: optional
Section: universe/gnome
Origin: Ubuntu
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Original-Maintainer: Debian CLI Applications Team <pkg-cli-apps-team@lists.alioth.debian.org>
Bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug
Installed-Size: 1,867 kB
Depends: mono-runtime (>= 3.0~), libc6 (>= 2.19) | libc6.1 (>= 2.19) | libc0.1 (>= 2.19), libcairo2 (>= 1.12.0), libgconf2.0-cil (>= 2.24.0), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.42.0), libglib2.0-cil (>= 2.12.10-1ubuntu1), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.24.0), libgtk2.0-cil (>= 2.12.10-1ubuntu1), libmono-cairo4.0-cil (>= 3.2.1), libmono-corlib4.5-cil (>= 3.2.8), libmono-posix4.0-cil (>= 3.2.3), libmono-system-core4.0-cil (>= 3.2.8), libmono-system-drawing4.0-cil (>= 3.0.6), libmono-system-xml4.0-cil (>= 3.2.1), libmono-system4.0-cil (>= 3.2.8), libpangocairo-1.0-0 (>= 1.36.6), libpoppler-glib8, libmono-i18n-west4.0-cil
Homepage: http://live.gnome.org/PdfMod
Task: edubuntu-desktop-gnome
Download-Size: 463 kB
APT-Sources: http://cosmos.cites.illinois.edu/pub/ubuntu xenial/universe amd64 Packages
Description: simple tool for modifying PDF documents
 PDF Mod is a simple tool for modifying PDF documents. It can rotate, extract,
 remove and reorder pages via drag and drop. Multiple documents may be combined
 via drag and drop. You may also edit the title, subject, author and keywords of
 a PDF document using PDF Mod.
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:23 pm

Dave+the +ref+73 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:38 pm
Any suggestions as to what I could do to open them.
You should be able to open them in LibreOffice Draw.

Also, there is a conversion utility called pub2odg that converts a .PUB file to an OpenDocument Draw .ODG that can be opened in Scribus. Both pub2odg and Scribus can be installed from Software Manager.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 pm

Hi "Dave",

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux Mint and its excellent forum!

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

+1 You can convert the publisher documents into an open document format (ie: docx, odt, rtf, html, etc...) rather than to pdf using various online conversion websites, Microsoft Online, Google Documents, etc...

PUB file Zamzar - Free online file conversion
https://www.zamzar.com/fileformats/pub

+1 for *** Scribus ***, there are various versions of this too. I use the "scribus-ng" version.
How to Install Scribus 1.5.3 or newer in Ubuntu 16.04 via PPA - Tips on Ubuntu
http://tipsonubuntu.com/2017/06/09/inst ... 4-via-ppa/


You can edit PDF files as well with apps like the excellent Master PDF Editor.

There are numerous Linux versions of MS office type packages that can open or import publisher documents without converting them, like LibreOffice (Draw/Impress), Calligra Stage, WPS, OnlyOffice, Scribus, etc... And of course, Microsoft Online which works from your browser on any operating system.

* Microsoft Publisher Online Alternative [Free for Everyone] can use Google Docs/Drive too...
https://www.lucidpress.com/pages/tour/f ... lternative

3 open source desktop publishing tools for Linux
https://opensource.com/alternatives/microsoft-publisher

The Best Alternatives to Microsoft Office | LibreOffice, iWork, and More | Digital Trends
https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing ... ernatives/



Hope this helps ...
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by Jim Hauser » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:05 am

BenTrabetere wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:23 pm
Dave+the +ref+73 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:38 pm
Any suggestions as to what I could do to open them.
You should be able to open them in LibreOffice Draw.

Also, there is a conversion utility called pub2odg that converts a .PUB file to an OpenDocument Draw .ODG that can be opened in Scribus. Both pub2odg and Scribus can be installed from Software Manager.
I just tried BenTrabetere's suggestion by opening an "old" Publisher addressed envelope file with LibreOffice Draw and it does not work 100% as the graphics do not come through. It works fine on all of the printed sections but in my case the graphics are important.
I have been by running Publisher on XP in Virtual Box for this type of thing.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by Pierre » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:51 am

those Microsoft Publisher documents are tricky to open at the best of times,
& even using their own Microsoft Word, before the two were incorporated into Microsoft Office.

you would be better off, to use an online converter, like that pub2odg,
- that converts a .PUB file to an OpenDocument Draw .ODG

you may not get the editing ability of Microsoft Publisher in Libre Draw, though.
:(
Image
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:32 pm

Today is cold, wet and dreary. It is my day off, and I am stuck indoors with nothing to do.

I have Office 2003 installed to a Win7 virtualbox, and just for giggles I slapped together a 3-page Publisher document that uses nearly every whizbang element Publisher 2003 has to offer. It is what I imagine when I hear ‘I did it in Publisher.’ I saved it as a .PUB and exported it as a .PDF and as a PostScript (.PS) file.

TL:DR
I think the best option is to edit .PUBs in Publisher from Windows or in a Windows virtual machine ... I have never been able to get Office to run properly in a ReactOS vm (see https://www.reactos.org/), but you might try it if you do not have a copy of Windows available for a vm. Second, use Scribus for any new projects. Third, LO-Draw did an okay job of editing the .PDF, but I found MasterPDF Editor to be better-suited for the task. Finally, saving it as a .PS and converting it to .ODG was pretty much a wasted effort.

The Full Review
Opening the .PUB file in LO-Draw was a bust. The file opened, almost all of the elements were present, and I could work with and edit most of them. WordArt did not make it across. Even worse, everything was flattened to one page, so trying to get anything useful out of the mess would be too much trouble.

LO-Draw handled the .PDF surprisingly well. It opened to a 3-page document with only one problem - the WordArt was hopelessly garbled. Even the fonts were rendered correctly. It wasn't fun, but I could edit the file.

MasterPDF Editor did an even better job with the file. Everything came across perfectly, even the WordArt, and editing the file was much easier than with LO Draw. More informatin and downloads for MasterPDF Editor is here https://code-industry.net/free-pdf-editor/.


I then threw the .PUB to pub2odg. It was a moderate success, but in the end the results were not worth the trouble.

LO-Draw opened the converted file as a 3-page docuement, but Tables lost their borders, text box border effects were inconsistent, not all of the fonts were rendered correctly ... and the WordArt was lost.

Scribus was a complete bust. The .PDF opened to a garbled mess, and the converted .ODG opened to nothing useful at all.

The .PS file was also a bust. LO would only open it as a text document (no surprise), and Scribus only opened the first page of the file. The first page rendered perfectly, but that does not make it any more useful because could not edit the file. Plus, how many Publisher users know what PostScript is save their work as a PostScript file? :)

I was surprised at how well the .PDF and .PS files opened in Okular. It displayed all 3 pages, and all of the elements, even the fonts and WordArt, were displayed correctly. Unfortunately, you cannot edit files in Okular, so it really isn't a viable solution.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:01 pm

Hi BenTrabetere,

Thanks for doing that quick review.

Can you please upload or post a download link to your Publisher file that you created, so that we can try it? Thanks...

I have read very good things about Scribus and it works great. As for Scribus and MS Publisher files, what version of Scribus are you using and did you import the publisher file or just try to open it?
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by jimallyn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:04 pm

The new LibreOffice 6 has improved import of .pub documents, but I'm not sure how good that makes it. It could mean it just went from completely unusable to mostly unusable. Or maybe some files will import just fine now. May be worth a try.
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:04 pm

phd21 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:01 pm
Can you please upload or post a download link to your Publisher file that you created, so that we can try it? Thanks...
Can't do it right now, but I'll post a link later. Remind me if I forget.
As for Scribus and MS Publisher files, what version of Scribus are you using and did you import the publisher file or just try to open it?
I am using Scribus v1.4.6 - that is what is in the repos, and I am pretty sure it is the current stable version. I tried opening the .ODG and .PS files and importing them in a blank document from File>Import>Get Vector File... - slightly different results, but none of them were useful.

@jimallyn
I am using LO v6.0 - if there is an improvement in the way it handle .PUB files, it isn't enough. I agree with Pierre's comment about Publisher files being tricky to open in the best of times. IMO, the best way for Microsoft to improve Publisher is to remove it from Office, bundle it with MS-Works ... and once there is just one target, nuke it from orbit.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by Jim Hauser » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:38 am

I hope Dave finds a solution!

I am no longer using Publisher to create new documents, just to read and print old ones. My version is Publisher 97 that came on it's own CD. When I can quit using that then my XP on VB will only be good for games and fractal programs.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:10 am

Hi "Jim Hauser" and "BenTrabetere",

If either of you have one or more MS Publisher documents that you can upload to the forum or provide download links to them, that would help. It would also help to know which version of MS Publisher was used to create the documents. You can use a cloud provider to upload the file(s) to that and get a secure shared link to share them with us, like one of these free and or paid for excellent cloud providers Google Drive, pCLoud, Mega.nz, etc....

I use the newer but stable Scribus 1.5.3 (scribus-ng) and would like to try it and some other options mentioned in this post and replies with some MS Publisher files.

Thanks,
Phil
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:00 pm

Hi "Jim Hauser" and "BenTrabetere", & anyone else interested,

While waiting for some MS Publisher examples from forum members, I decided to search the Internet where there are many free (& paid for) templates for MS Publisher and other "publisher" type software.

It has been a long time (4+ years) since I used MS Publisher or MS Windows since I started using the superb Linux Mint, so I do not have MS Publisher installed anywhere. And, I did not want to search through older backups to try and find any MS Publisher files I created before.

- I downloaded some free samples from the link below, and they "opened" right up in Scribus-ng v 1.5.3, and were converted and editable.

Free Publisher Templates | 2500+ Sample Layouts & Downloads
https://www.stocklayouts.com/Templates/ ... px#series1

- The samples also opened right up in LibreOffice Draw v6.x




...
Scribus_NG_1.jpg
Scribus 1.5.3 opening a Publisher document
LibreOffice_Draw1.jpg
LibreOffice Draw v6.x.x
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:13 pm

phd21 wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:00 pm
Hi "Jim Hauser" and "BenTrabetere", & anyone else interested,
I am not sure LO-Draw and Scribus were able to correctly open the .PUB you downloaded. The "Simplifying" text box is different, and that textbox is "Simplifying IT" in the original. Also, the LO-Draw version has a gray trapezoid element.

I created a couple of Publisher documents for your experimessing pleasure - a 3-page ManyBridges.pub, and a 1-page ManyBridges2.pub. I also created in Publisher 2003 a .PDF and a .PS for each document. I used pub2odg to convert the .PUBs to .ODGs. The Screenshot files are how they looked on my system when opened in LibreOffice Draw (v6.0.1.1) and Scribus (v1.4.6). The window was resized for the Scribus screenshots to show all three pages.

Here is a link.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XZGRN ... B-K9kJlQ9T

The screenshots show LO-Draw and Scribus were not able to open the .PDFs accurately. (They displayed properly in Xreader, Okular and MasterPDF Editor.) LO-Draw and Scribus had trouble with the .ODG, and neither could open the .PS. LO-Draw was not able to open the .PUB file accurately, and Scribus could not open it all.

Conclusion: The best tool for working with Publisher files is Publisher. And that is the only time I will claim Publisher is the best tool for anything. For anything.

And credit where credit is due....
The images and bridge information is from https://bridgehunter.com, a database of historic or notable bridges in the United States. I did not take any of the photographs.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:50 pm

Hi "BenTrabetere", & anyone else interested,
BenTrabetere wrote:I am not sure LO-Draw and Scribus were able to correctly open the .PUB you downloaded. The "Simplifying" text box is different, and that textbox is "Simplifying IT" in the original. Also, the LO-Draw version has a gray trapezoid element.
After your comment, I rechecked the samples I downloaded and all I had to do was to extend (stretch) the text box a little in Scribus to show the full text in the text boxes.
BenTrabetere wrote:I created a couple of Publisher documents for your experimessing pleasure - a 3-page ManyBridges.pub, and a 1-page ManyBridges2.pub. I also created in Publisher 2003 a .PDF and a .PS for each document. I used pub2odg to convert the .PUBs to .ODGs. The Screenshot files are how they looked on my system when opened in LibreOffice Draw (v6.0.1.1) and Scribus (v1.4.6). The window was resized for the Scribus screenshots to show all three pages.
I just downloaded those, thank you. After I get a chance to look at them, I will reply.
BenTrabetere wrote:The screenshots show LO-Draw and Scribus were not able to open the .PDFs accurately. (They displayed properly in Xreader, Okular and MasterPDF Editor.) LO-Draw and Scribus had trouble with the .ODG, and neither could open the .PS. LO-Draw was not able to open the .PUB file accurately, and Scribus could not open it all.
I have not tried using LO-Draw and Scribus with PDF documents - yet... I usually use Master PDF Editor or Okular for those.
BenTrabetere wrote:Conclusion: The best tool for working with Publisher files is Publisher. And that is the only time I will claim Publisher is the best tool for anything. For anything.
It is fairly common that when opening or importing a document into an application that was created from another application, that you may have to do some editing to get it to look exactly like the original like with WordPerfect and MS Word or LibreOffice docs, etc... This can be true even with the same application but different versions like with a newer MS Publisher versus an older version like MS Publisher 97. Obviously, the goal is to minimize or eliminate the need for too much editing. If you created a document using MS Publisher, then you should have no editing to do when opening a document created in that. But since I am using Linux Mint, and I do not want to install Virtualbox and MS windows in that just to open my MS Publisher or other MS Office documents, I can live with a little editing.

Overall I am very impressed with Scribus-ng and scribus-trunk (Daily Build) and its handling of MS Publisher documents and templates, even with some minor editing, which sure beats having to recreate the document from scratch. I have not thoroughly tested LO Draw yet, or the other options. FYI: There is also a Scribus Testing developer Daily Build option available, and you can install all versions of Scribus and use any of them (scribus, scribus-ng, scribus-trunk).

To install Scribus using their PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one: Click "Select All" above command, right click the highlighted command, select Copy (or Ctrl+Insert), click in the console terminal window, and right click paste (or Shift+Insert), repeat for each command.

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:scribus/ppa

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update
"Scribus-ng" - newer stable version 1.5.3

Code: Select all

sudo apt install scribus-ng
and or

*** Developer edition - Daily Build - has most recent updates v1.5.4 svg

Code: Select all

sudo apt install scribus-trunk
...
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:37 am

phd21 wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:50 pm
To install Scribus using their PPA method,
I have concerns about compatibility, so I am a little shy about the Scribus PPA and installing Scribus-ng. Files created in Scribus 1.5.3 are not backwards compatible with the stable version, Scribus 1.4.6.

There is another way - the Scribus 1.5.3 AppImage. It runs very well on my antique system, and it is a big improvement over v1.4.6. I look forward to its release. The AppImage can be downloaded here.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/scribu ... vel/1.5.3/

The Scribus AppImage can peacefully co-exist with a Scribus 1.4.6 installation. Just do not edit a production Scribus 1.4.6 project in the AppImage - you will not be able to open it again in Scribus 1.4.6.

I do not use the Scribus AppImage very often because almost all of my Scribus projects I work on are real projects, and I am hesitant to work on production projects with development version of software. And so I forget that I have it.

I wish I had thought about the AppImage when I was testing with my Publisher files. It handled the .PS files almost flawlessly, and it handled the .PDFs much better than Scribus 1.4.6. The .ODG files were a mess, and the .PUB files would not open at all. I suspect most of the problems with the .PDF, .ODG, and .PUB files were font-related. I intentionally used junk fonts that are bundled with Windows and Office as a way to introduce a point of failure.

One thing I noticed is Scribus 1.5.3 seemed to have less problems with grouped elements than with ungrouped elements. I may go back to see if grouping all of the related elements has a noticeable, positive impact.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:12 am

Hi BenTrabetere,
BenTrabetere wrote:I have concerns about compatibility, so I am a little shy about the Scribus PPA and installing Scribus-ng. Files created in Scribus 1.5.3 are not backward compatible with the stable version, Scribus 1.4.6.
That "backward compatibility" just means that if you create something in the newer version that the older version will not be able to recognize or use that properly which is very common with a lot of software. The newer versions can open older scribus docs

I found that the newest version of Scribus "trunk" or Daily version 1.5.4 svg work even better than the "ng" version with more options, and it could open various file types even better than the other versions.

I think AppImages are one of the best options for downloading and installing software.

I have all three of the Scribus versions installed at the same time and they work fine which is not the case with most software.

So far, I like Scribus Daily (trunk) the most.
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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:25 pm

phd21 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:12 am
BenTrabetere wrote:I have concerns about compatibility
That "backward compatibility" just means that if you create something in the newer version that the older version will not be able to recognize or use that properly which is very common with a lot of software. The newer versions can open older scribus docs
My concern is based on the way I consider development versions of software. They are fine for testing and evaluation, but not-so fine for actual work. You cannot depend on them to work flawlessly.

Where backward compatibility could become an issue is if you have the development version in anything resembling a production environment where documents destined to be professionally printed are being created. Scribus stable should only be used on documents like this; if you accidentally opened and edited these documents it in a development versions of Scribus, you could be facing a massive Do Over.

Most of the documents I create in Scribus border on being production-quality. I may not have the projects professionally printed, but I fully intend for them to be lasting documents.
I think AppImages are one of the best options for downloading and installing software.
I could not agree more. I think AppImage is a better option than Flatpak and Snaps, and they are especially nice for testing development versions. I am surprised proprietary software, XnView MP and MasterPDF Editor come to mind, are not offered as AppImages. It seems to me it would make things a lot easier for the developers.

An example of AppImage done correctly is MuseScore. It is the best example I have found for a developer who understands AppImage - 32-bit, 64-bit and ARM versions are available for the stable version and for development versions.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by BenTrabetere » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:05 pm

Follow up to see if grouping related elements has a noticeable, positive impact.

It does not. If anything it makes a bigger mess of things. I took the 3-page .PUB, grouped all of the related elements on Page 1, and grouped everything on the remaining pages - it opened in LibreOffice as a flattened, 1-page document. The "grouped" .PS file opened fine in Scribus 1.5.3, but it still had the same problems in the "ungrouped" .PS.

Grouping elements is good practice for any page layout software, but it does not make Publisher files any easier to work with in Linux.

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Re: Opening Microsoft Publisher documents in Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:11 pm

Hi "BenTrabetere", & Anyone Else


FYI:
Scribus Developers wrote: Get Scribus – Scribus
https://www.scribus.net/downloads/
The development branch is currently 1.5.x. It’s mainly being released for people who want to help us testing and improving Scribus, so the next stable series (1.6.x) will work well. However, as of version 1.5.1, we consider the development branch reasonably stable, so it can be used for serious work by users who accept that not all new features are already working perfectly. Features already available in the officially stable version will work much better in 1.5.1+, though. It is also possible to install 1.4.x and 1.5.x side by side, so you can work with one version and play with the other.
PPA for Scribus friends : “Scribus” team
https://launchpad.net/~scribus/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

FYI-2: I found that in order to make adjustments to the Publisher and other formats that I opened from other software that I had to "ungroup" elements and click outside the document to deselect everything and only select what I wanted to make it look like the original.

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 18.3 & 19, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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