The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.0: power, simplicity, security and interoperability from desktop to cloud
Posted by Italo Vignoli-5 –
Berlin, January 31, 2018 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice
6.0, a major release and a dramatically improved free office suite,
which celebrates the 7th anniversary of the availability of the very
first version of LibreOffice. Today LibreOffice is more powerful, simple
and secure, and offers superior interoperability with Microsoft Office
LibreOffice 6.0 is immediately available for Windows, macOS and Linux,
and for the cloud. The new major release adds a large number of
significant new features to the core engine and to individual modules
(Writer, Calc and Impress/Draw), with the objective of providing users
the best in terms of personal productivity.
A video summarizing the top new features of LibreOffice 6.0 is available
on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHBve8v13VY.
The Notebookbar, although still an experimental feature, has been
enriched with two new variants: Grouped Bar Full for Writer, Calc and
Impress, and Tabbed Compact for Writer. The Special Characters dialog
has been reworked, with the addition of lists for Recent and Favorite
characters, along with a Search field. The Customize dialog has also
been redesigned, and is now more modern and intuitive.
In Writer, a Form menu has been added, making it easier to access one of
the most powerful – and often unknown – LibreOffice features: the
ability to design forms, and create standards-compliant PDF forms. The
Find toolbar has been enhanced with a drop-down list of search types, to
speed up navigation. A new default table style has been added, together
with a new collection of table styles to reflect evolving visual trends.
The Mail Merge function has been improved, and it is now possible to use
either a Writer document or an XLSX file as data source.
In Calc, ODF 1.2-compliant functions SEARCHB, FINDB and REPLACEB have
been added, to improve support for the ISO standard format. Also, a cell
range selection or a selected group of shapes (images) can be now
exported in PNG or JPG format.
In Impress, the default slide size has been switched to 16:9, to support
the most recent form factors of screens and projectors. As a
consequence, 10 new Impress templates have been added, and a couple of
old templates have been updated.
The old WikiHelp has been replaced by the new Help Online system, with
attractive web pages that can also be displayed on mobile devices. In
general, LibreOffice Help has been updated both in terms of contents and
code, with other improvements due all along the life of the LibreOffice
User dictionaries now allow automatic affixation or compounding. This is
a general spell checking improvement in LibreOffice which can speed up
work for Writer users. Instead of manually handling several forms of a
new word in a language with rich morphology or compounding, the Hunspell
spell checker can automatically recognize a new word with affixes or
compounds, based on a “Grammar By” model.
OpenPGP keys can be used to sign ODF documents on all desktop operating
systems, with experimental support for OpenPGP-based encryption. To
enable this feature, users will have to install the specific GPG
software for their operating systems.
Document classification has also been improved, and allows multiple
policies (which are now exported to OOXML files). In Writer, marking and
signing are now supported at paragraph level.
OOXML interoperability has been improved in several areas: import of
SmartArt and import/export of ActiveX controls, support of embedded text
documents and spreadsheets, export of embedded videos to PPTX, export of
cross-references to DOCX, export of MailMerge fields to DOCX, and
improvements to the PPTX filter to prevent the creation of broken files.
New filters for exporting Writer documents to ePub and importing
QuarkXPress files have also been added, together with an improved filter
for importing EMF+ (Enhanced Metafile Format Plus) files as used by
Microsoft Office documents. Some improvements have also been added to
the ODF export filter, making it easier for other ODF readers to display
LibreOffice Online is fundamentally a server service, and should be
installed and configured by adding cloud storage and an SSL certificate.
It might be considered an enabling technology for the cloud services
offered by ISPs or the private cloud of enterprises and large organizations.
New features introduced with LibreOffice 6.0 aim to align the
functionality of the desktop and cloud versions, especially in areas
where users expect similar behavior. For instance, a Save As feature has
been added, while the amount of rows managed by Calc has been increased
to half a million. In addition, a Find and Replace dialog and spell
checking support have been added to Writer, Calc and Impress.
Builds of the latest LibreOffice Online source code are available as
Docker images: https://hub.docker.com/r/libreoffice/online/. Background
on LibreOffice Online:
*LibreOffice Viewer for Android*
The upcoming release of LibreOffice Viewer for Android will be able to
create new documents, will offer a tab-based toolbar with formatting
options, and will let users add pictures either from the camera or from
a file stored locally or in the cloud. In addition, the Calc user
interface will be improved with column headers, while Impress will offer
a presentation mode. The release is planned during the first quarter of
LibreOffice 6.0 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for
open source office suites, and as such is targeted at technology
enthusiasts, early adopters and power users.
For enterprise class deployments, TDF maintains the more mature 5.4
family – now at 5.4.4 – which should always be supported by certified
professionals (a list is available here:
Several companies sitting in TDF Advisory Board
providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice
or consultancy services for migrations and trainings, based on best
practices by The Document Foundation.
LibreOffice is deployed by large organizations in every continent. A
list of the most significant migrations announced in the media is
available on TDF wiki:
*Availability of LibreOffice 6.0*
LibreOffice 6.0 is immediately available from the following link:
https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. Minimum requirements for
proprietary operating systems are Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 and Apple
LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can
support The Document Foundation with a donation at
LibreOffice 6.0 is built with document conversion libraries from the
Document Liberation Project: https://www.documentliberation.org.
The press kit, with background documents - Hybrid PDF, opened from
within LibreOffice can be edited as normal ODT files - and
high-resolution images, is here:
Blog post: http://blog.documentfoundation.org/blog/2018/01/31/libreoffice-6/
Italo Vignoli - Marketing & PR
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