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The Gnumeric spreadsheet

What is Gnumeric

The Gnumeric spreadsheet is part of the GNOME desktop environment: a project to create a user friendly free desktop environment.  As every other component of GNOME, Gnumeric is free software  and it is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Gnumeric is intended to be a replacement for a commercial spreadsheet, so a lot of effort and work has still to go into it, but I believe we have the right framework to do it.


Future projects

In the future, I would like to add support for Guile modules, as well as using the Guile computation engine for the native number formats in Gnumeric (which would give us arbitrary precision integers, and support for precise and imprecise numbers as well as other goodies).

Printing is going to be achieved by the GNOME printing framework which is being designed right now by Raph Levien.

Read the README and the Future-Roadmap files included with Gnumeric to learn more about our plans with Gnumeric.

Graphics in Gnumeric will be implemented by using the GUPPI plotting engine through CORBA and the Bonobo infrastructure.

Michael Meeks and Bruno Unna have been working on Excel import code. Talk to them if you are interested in helping the project.

CORBA, compound documents

As part of the GNOME desktop, Gnumeric will be using the ORBit CORBA implementation to expose its services to the world and it will be a Bonobo component (Bonobo is the compound document architecture of GNOME).

Plugin system

Gnumeric has a plugin system based on shared libraries right now (which means that all plugins right now fall under the GNU GPL). A plugin exists for defining your own functions in Python.

Part of this CORBA integration will enable people to write non-GPL plugins (I understand this is something some people might want to do, and for them, the CORBA-based plugin architecture will fit their needs). This is not yet implemented, but will soon be.

Mailing lists

The Gnumeric mailing list can be reached at If you want to subscribe to the mailing list, send mail to: and in the body of your message put the word "subscribe".

Getting Gnumeric

As with any other software in GNOME, you can fetch the latest development version of Gnumeric from the GNOME Anonymous CVS and from the GNOME CVS from the module "gnumeric".

To compile Gnumeric you will need the gnome-libs package and the gnome-xml package. The gnome-libs package in turn requires glib, gtk+ and the imlib packages.

Thanks to

Tom Miller at XESS for helping me understand various spreadsheet issues and making the source code for his first spreadsheet program available to me for study.


Gnumeric has been coded mainly by Miguel de Icaza, with help from other intrepid hackers that have contributed code, bug fixes and documentation:

Many other people have contributed ideas and translations of Gnumeric to other languages.

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Copyright (C) 1999 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

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Updated: 20 Nov 2000 paulv