Picking up one entry for each category was no easy task because applications are divided between GTK and Qt, and there are programs that run in the console and do their job perfectly and are more lightweight than a GUI application. As such, I decided to leave terminal applications out of this review in the first place, but I provided a link below to an article which covers those. Applications listed below are built using various toolkits, not just a single one like GTK, however they are among the most lightweight graphical tools from their category.
PaintSupreme is a powerful image manipulation tool available for Linux, with support for various painting tools, layers and effects, and written using Qt4. The paid version costs $5.99, however a trial version is available for those interested in a commercially supported alternative to Photoshop on Linux.
Besides from being a powerful development environment, Emacs is cataloged by some as an entire operating system, since it provides many more features. Let’s have a look at some of the features that come with Emacs, which are pretty much programs in their own right, although included in Emacs.
Emacs is a very powerful integrated development environment – but not only:
Also known as WPS Office Suite (Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheet), Kingsoft Office is a commercial, closed-source office suite which offers both a free version and a paid variant of its suite. While the paid version bears the name Professional Office 2013 and is available for $69.95, I will overview the free suite, which looks powerful and feature-complete.
There was a time when office compatibility was a bit of a problem on Linux, but with the latest office suites out there available for Linux, this is not an issue anymore. The applications here mimic MS Excel’s behavior, so switching to one of them should be pretty straightforward. Exporting and importing to and from MS Excel format works as well, and there aren’t many compatibility issues – however, the native format these programs use is the OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) format.
This is the spreadsheet application which comes with the powerful LibreOffice suite. This seems to be the most feature-rich and powerful spreadsheet application for Linux. It has support for formulas, charts, text/cell formatting, inserting images, macros, exporting/importing files from MS Excel, saving to OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) format, PDF export function, powerful configuration options.
A few days ago I overviewed Calligra, the KDE office suite, which also includes Krita, the powerful image editing tool. Although I’ve mentioned it as being free, it looks like Krita Gemini, which is the name by which Krita goes on Steam, actually costs $22.99, covering the work needed to build, release and maintain it on Steam.
Krita 2.8.1 in KDE: