Monday, 10 August 2020 11:27

Document Foundation announces release of LibreOffice 7.0

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Document Foundation announces release of LibreOffice 7.0 Courtesy The Document Foundation

The Document Foundation, the organisation that provides an umbrella for the development of the free office-suite LibreOffice, has announced the availability of version 7.0 for all operating systems and platforms.

The release can be downloaded here. The major new features in version 7.0 are:

"Support for ODF 1.3. OpenDocument, LibreOffice's native open and standardised format for office documents, has recently been updated to version 1.3 as an OASIS Technical Committee Specification. The most important new features are digital signatures for documents and OpenPGP-based encryption of XML documents, with improvements in areas such as change tracking, and additional details in the description of elements in first pages, text, numbers and charts. The development of ODF 1.3 features has been funded by donations to The Document Foundation.

"Skia graphics engine and Vulkan GPU-based acceleration. The Skia graphics engine has been implemented thanks to sponsorship by AMD, and is now the default on Windows, for faster performance. Skia is an open source 2D graphics library which provides common APIs that work across a variety of hardware and software platforms, and can be used for drawing text, shapes and images. Vulkan is a new-generation graphics and compute API with high-efficiency and cross-platform access to modern GPUs.

"Better compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files. DOCX now saves in native 2013/2016/2019 mode, instead of 2007 compatibility mode, to improve interoperability with multiple versions of MS Office, based on the same Microsoft approach. Export to XLSX files with sheet names longer than 31 characters is now possible, along with exporting checkboxes in XLSX. The 'invalid content error' message was resolved when opening exported XLSX files with shapes. Finally, there were improvements to the PPTX import/export filter."

The Foundation said that any business looking to use the new version of LibreOffice should source it from one of the ecosystem partners in order to get long-term supported releases, dedicated assistance, custom new features and other benefits, including service level agreements.

It further advised that for migrations from proprietary office suites and training, professional support should be sourced from certified professionals who provide value-added services which extend the reach of the community to the corporate world, and offer CIOs and IT managers a solution in line with proprietary offerings.

Other new features in version 7.0:

General

  • New icon theme, the default on macOS: Sukapura.
  • New shapes galleries: arrows, diagrams, icons and more.
  • Glow and soft edge effects for objects.

Writer

  • Navigator is easier to use, with more context menus.
  • Semi-transparent text is now supported.
  • Bookmarks can now be displayed in-line in text.
  • Padded numbering in lists, for consistency.
  • Better handling of quotation marks and apostrophes.

Calc

  • New functions for non-volatile random number generation.
  • Keyboard shortcut added for autosum.

Impress and Draw

  • Semi-transparent text is supported here too.
  • Subscripts now return to the default of 8%.
  • PDFs larger than 500 cm can now be generated.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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