LibreOffice 4 Released

LibreOffice LogoEveryone’s favourite open source office suite today hit it’s fourth iteration. Since it was ported from OpenOffice back in 2010, the development team have come on leaps and bounds from it’s origins.

So what’s changed?

Whilst not a great deal has changed in terms of the user interface (UI) itself (sorry MS Office fans, no ribbon interface yet), there has been one significant change in the way you can customise LibreOffice. You can now add Firefox Personas to help spice up the look of your LibreOffice window a little more. Here is a look at what you can accomplish with Personas in LibreOffice 4:

LibreOffice 4 Persona

Personally I’m not a huge fan of the Personas within LibreOffice, but I’m sure many others will. So as well as this big change, what else have the LibreOffice developers done to improve it in version 4? Well, rather than explain it myself, here is a quote taken directly from their blog announcement today:

“LibreOffice 4.0 is a milestone in interoperability and an excellent foundation for our continued work to improve the User Interface,” explains Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Our project is not only capable of attracting new developers on a regular basis, but it also creates a transparent platform for cooperation based on a strong Free Software ethos, where corporate sponsored and volunteer developers work to attain the same objective.”

So as well as new looks on the face of things, there have also been a lot of new features added under the hood and of course stability improvements. Here is a list of some of those new features (you can find a full list here):

  • Integration with several content and document management systems – including Alfresco, IBM FileNet P8, Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, Nuxeo, OpenText, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Service and others – through the CMIS standard.
  • Better interoperability with DOCX and RTF documents, thanks to several new features and improvements like the possibility of importing ink annotations and attaching comments to text ranges.
  • Possibility to import Microsoft Publisher documents, and further improvement of Visio import filters with the addition of 2013 version (just announced).
  • Additional UI incremental improvements, including Unity integration and support of Firefox Themes (Personas) to give LibreOffice a personalized look.
  • Introduction of the widget layout technique for dialog windows, which makes it easier to translate, resize and hide UI elements, reduces code complexity, and lays a foundation for a much improved user interface.
  • Different header and footer on the first page of a Writer document, without the need of a separate page style.
  • Several performance improvements to Calc, plus new features such as export of charts as images (JPG and PNG) and new spreadsheet functions as defined in ODF OpenFormula.
  • First release of Impress Remote Control App for Android, supported only on some Linux distributions. (The second release, coming soon, will be supported on all platforms: Windows, MacOS X and all Linux distros and binaries.)
  • Significant performance improvements when loading and saving many types of documents, with particular improvements for large ODS and XLSX spreadsheets and RTF files.
  • Improved code contribution thanks to Gerrit: a web based code review system, facilitating the task for projects using Git version control system (although this is not specific of LibreOffice 4.0, it has entered the production stage just before the 4.0 branch).

LibreOffice 4 will be the default office client in Ubuntu 13.04, but if you can’t wait until then you can download LibreOffice 4 using the button below.

Generic Download Blue


LibreOffice 4 Released
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