Thursday, 01 February 2018 08:35

LibreOffice offers encryption support in anniversary release

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The open-source office suite LibreOffice has added experimental support for OpenPGP-based encryption in version 6.0, a release meant to mark the seventh anniversary of availability of the suite.

OpenPGP keys can be used to sign documents produced in the ODF, the default format for the writing application, Writer. In order to use this, users will have to install the GPG software for their operating system.

Version 6.0 has also improved its document classification and permits multiple policies which are exported to OOXML files. In Writer, one can now mark and sign at the paragraph level.

The new release is bleeding edge software aimed at enthusiasts, early adopters and power users; enterprise users have been advised to stick with the 5.4 version, with the latest point release being 5.4.4.

The 6.0 release has improved OOXML interoperability 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.

Additionally, there are new filters for exporting Writer documents to ePub and importing QuarkXPress files, together with an improved filter for importing EMF+ (Enhanced Metafile Format Plus) files as used by Microsoft Office documents.

The ODF export filter has also been improved, making it easier for other ODF readers to display visuals.

The Document Foundation, the body behind LibreOffice, said that a LibreOffice Viewer for Android would be introduced during the first quarter of this year.

With this, users will be able to create new documents. It will offer a tab-based toolbar with formatting options and let users add pictures either from the camera or from a local or remote file.

In addition, the Calc (spreadsheet) user interface will be improved with column headers, while Impress (slide creator) will offer a presentation mode.

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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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