Thursday, 04 August 2016 10:51

LibreOffice releases new versions

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Two versions of the free office suite LibreOffice have been released, one aimed at power users and the other at enterprises and more conservative users.

The Document Foundation announced that version 5.2 of the free suite, with several user interface improvements and enterprise grade features, was meant for early adopters and power users.

Version 5.1.5 is a more settled version of the suite and targets businesses.

LibreOffice 5.2 has document classification according to the TSCP standard; the TSCP is a government and industry partnership that has created a framework for secure electronic transmission and sharing of sensitive information internationally.

Version 5.2 also has a set of improved forecasting functions in Calc. Multiple signature descriptions are supported, along with import and export of signatures from OOXML files.

Inter-operability has been improved, with better Writer import filters for DOCX and RTF files, and added support for Word for DOS legacy documents. Additional type argument values for interoperability with other spreadsheets, along with wildcard support in formula expressions for compatibility with XLS/XLSX and ODF 1.2, have been added.

A single toolbar mode has been added to Writer and Calc to help users focus on content, and some icons have been added to the default toolbars to make several frequently used functions — such as hide/show track changes, and freeze the first column or row of a spreadsheet quicker to access. Also, most of the context menus can now be customised, for even greater control.

LibreOffice has been downloaded 140 million times since it was launched in January 2011. It has been deployed by big organisations on every continent, with the latest being the Lithuanian Police who have used it on more than 8000 desktops.

Veteran free and open source software developer Michael Meeks said: "LibreOffice 5.2 is a significant step forward for free software on the desktop, and will soon be available as a full featured cloud office suite.

Meeks, a director at The Document Foundation and a leading developer of LibreOffice Online, added: "The tight integration between desktop and cloud will provide enterprises a value-added experience, with the best of both platforms always available to all users."

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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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