Thursday, 02 February 2017 09:38

New LibreOffice version offers collaborative editing

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A new version of LibreOffice, 5.3, released on Wednesday, includes collaborative editing and a new user interface, according to information from The Document Foundation.

Version 5.3 is recommended for technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, with business users advised to adopt the more mature 5.2.5 version.

Collaborative editing can be done as a server service, once the software is installed and configured using cloud storage and an SSL certificate. According to The Document Foundation, "It might be considered an enabling technology for the public cloud of ISPs or the private cloud of enterprises and large organisations."

The new release also includes an experimental Notebookbar which offers a second user interface in addition to the existing one.

There is a new cross-platform text layout engine for consistent text layout on all platforms, providing advantages across languages and alphabets.

Also new is a revised help menu, with new quick links to user guides and community support forums and better import/export filters to new and legacy MS Office documents.

Writer, the LibreOffice equivalent of MS Word, now supports table styles, for applying formatting to a table which is preserved edits are made to it.

There is a new page deck in the sidebar that lets the user quickly customise page settings and a new go to page box allows one to jump to another page in the document with a few keystrokes.

Calc, the spreadsheet application, provides a new set of default cell styles, with greater variety and better names than in previous releases. A new text entry box lets the user narrow down functions while searching and simplifies the search for the right one.

Impress, the PowerPoint equivalent, now opens with a template selector, to get the user off to a quick start; and a new slide properties deck is provided in the sidebar while in slide master mode.

"LibreOffice is backed by a fantastic community of developers,” said Michael Meeks, a member of the board of The Document Foundation.

"In 2010, only a few people were betting on our capability of attracting a large number of code contributors, which are instrumental for the success of a large code base. In six years we have attracted over 1100 new developers and, thanks to this large community, during the last two years we have had an average of 300 people active on the source code."

LibreOffice is available for Windows, the Mac, Linux and the private cloud.

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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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