GNOME is a desktop environment made up of free and open-source software, with an emphasis on creating simple, functional programs. Gnumeric is one such GNOME-based program, a simple spreadsheet application that replicates the basic features of popular commercial programs like Excel.
Gnumeric's interface is definitely no-frills, but it will be easy to figure out for users who've had previous experience with any other spreadsheet software. In fact, transitioning to Gnumeric from another program is easy, given the program's ability to handle file formats associated with Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Open Office, and others. We opened an Excel file with some fairly complex formatting in Gnumeric and it looked and functioned as it always had in Excel. On the whole we found Gnumeric quite easy to use, with one particularly irritating exception: menus, dialogue boxes, and the Help file always opened underneath the main interface. At first we thought that the program had frozen, but after a bit of minimizing we realized what was going on. We searched in vain for a solution to this problem, hoping that there was an "Always on Top" setting somewhere that we needed to adjust, but we found nothing. This was surprising, given the program's quite detailed and well-written Help file. Overall, we thought that Gnumeric was a very nice alternative to popular spreadsheet applications, but the strange positioning of its windows left us scratching our heads.
Gnumeric is free. It installs politely but leaves a folder behind upon removal. We recommend this program to all users.
Gnumeric will import your existing Microsoft Excel files. Import filters also exist for Lotus 1-2-3, Applix, Sylk, XBase, Open Office, Quattro Pro, Dif, Plan Perfect, and Oleo files.