WPS Office (Kingsoft), Arch and Gnome Shell

I’ve used Libreoffice for quite awhile but mostly as a document viewer as I’ve found it’s compatibility with the various complex MS Office documents I have to deal with somewhat lacking. It’s also a large package and a bit slow for my tastes even though performance is much improved in later versions.

I’ve heard a lot of positive things about WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft) and I decided to give it a whirl. I haven’t used it long enough to post any kind of review, however I did want to comment on two minor issues I ran into and how to fix them.

The first issue I had is that the font selector in WPS Writer always reverted to Dejavu whenever I tried to use a Microsoft font like Arial or Times New Roman. After much head scratching, I realized that the infinaltiy font package (highly recommended for good looking fonts in Arch) had configured font substitution in /etc/fonts/conf.d. After reading the documentation here, I realized I needed to run the command sudo fc-presets set and select the ms option, after that the issue was resolved.

As an aside, dealing with Microsoft fonts in Linux is a bit of a pain. I had originally used the ttf-ms-win8 package but this required you to have the actual fonts on hand which was a pain to assemble. Also every time the package would be updated I would be missing new fonts added to it which I would have to track down, it was a complete pain. As part of sorting out my font issue in WPS Office, I also removed the ttf-ms-win8 package and simply copied over the fonts manually from my Windows partition as per the instructions here.

The second issue I had was that the Gnome Shell dock wasn’t displaying the right icon in the dock when running the WPS Office applications as per the picture below. Notice the ugly default Writer icon (the blue W) instead of the nice icon from the icon theme I am using.

Screenshot from 2014-11-12 13:43:36

Another issue I found was that the dock menu option “Add to Favorites” that appears when right clicking the icon in the dock was not showing and thus I could not pin the app to the dock.

After some investigation, I found out that the Gnome Shell dock expects the name of the desktop file to be the same as the binary. To get this working, I copied the wps desktop files to new ones as per the following table.

Application Existing New
Writer wps-office-wps.desktop wps.desktop
Spreadsheet wps-office-et.desktop et.desktop
Presentation wps-office-wpp.desktop wpp.desktop

Note that I could have opted to simply moved the existing files to the new names, but this means that whenever the package is upgraded the files will re-appear resulting in duplicate applications showing up in Shell. Instead, I simply copied the desktop files and then used menulibre to hide the old desktop files.

After these changes, the lovely icons from the icon theme starting appearing as per the picture below and the dock menu works as expected.

Screenshot from 2014-11-12 15:32:09