Thursday, 09 August 2018 09:22

New icon theme for Windows in LibreOffice release

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The Document Foundation, the body that governs the open-source office suite LibreOffice, has announced the second major release of LibreOffice 6.

A statement said version 6.1 came about seven months after the .0 version made its debut in January. LibreOffice has a word processor (Write), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation tool (Impress), database (Base) drawing tool (Draw) and mathematics formula tool (Math).

Prominent among the new features are:

  • Colibre, a new icon theme for Windows based on Microsoft's icon design guidelines, which makes the office suite visually appealing for users coming from the Microsoft environment;
  • A reworked image handling feature, which is significantly faster and smoother thanks to a new graphic manager and an improved image lifecycle, with some advantages also when loading documents in Microsoft proprietary formats;
  • The reorganisation of Draw menus with the addition of a new Page menu, for better UX consistency across the different modules;
  • A major improvement for Base, only available in experimental mode: the old HSQLDB database engine has been deprecated, though still available, and the new Firebird database engine is now the default option (users are encouraged to migrate files using the migration assistant from HSQLDB to Firebird, or by exporting them to an external HSQLDB server);
  • Significant improvements in all modules of LibreOffice Online, with changes to the user interface to make it more appealing and consistent with the desktop version;
  • An improved EPUB export filter, in terms of link, table, image, font embedding and footnote support, with more options for customising metadata;
  • Online Help pages have been enriched with text and example files to guide the users through features, and are now easier to localise.

Since 6.1 is bleeding edge software, The Document Foundation said it recommended version 6.0 for business deployments.

The statement said the new features had been developed by a large community of code contributors with 72% of commits from developers employed by companies sitting on the Advisory Board like Collabora, Red Hat and CIB and by other contributors such as SIL and Pardus, and 28% are from individual volunteers.

"In addition, there is a global community of individual volunteers taking care of other fundamental activities such as quality assurance, software localisation, user interface design and user experience, editing of help system text and documentation, plus free software and open document standards advocacy at a local level."

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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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