The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.4, the latest major release of the best open source office suite software available. LibreOffice 5.4 is the last major release of the 5.x family. LibreOffice 5.4 comes with new features for Writer, Calc and Impress and it is immediately available for Linux, macOS and Windows, and for the cloud. The latest iteration comes with significant features in every module, including the usual large number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Office file compatibility. So let’s see what’s new in LibreOffice 5.4.
The Main Highlights In LibreOffice 5.4
- A new standard color palette has been included, based on the RYB color model.
- File format compatibility has been improved, with better support for EMF vector images. This helps when you’re importing detailed diagrams from other office software.
- Imported PDF files are rendered with much better quality, also when inserted into a document, while exported PDF files – from Writer and Impress – support embedded videos (and linked videos if opened with Acrobat Reader).
- LibreOffice 5.4 supports OpenPGP keys for signing ODF documents on Linux. If you already use GPG/PGP for signing emails, it ensures the authenticity of your ODF documents regardless of the mode of transport or storage.
What’s New In LibreOffice Writer 5.4
- In Writer, you can now import AutoText from Microsoft Word DOTM templates.
- When you’re exporting or pasting numbered and bulleted lists as plain text, their full structure is preserved.
- In the Format menu, you can now create custom watermarks for your documents.
- New context menu items have been added for working with sections, footnotes, endnotes, and styles.
What’s New In LibreOffice Calc 5.4
- Calc now includes support for t charts, which use data from pivot tables. When the table is updated, the chart is automatically updated as well.
- Comments are now easier to manage, with menu commands to show, hide and delete all comments.
- When applying conditional formatting to cells, you can now easily change the priority of rules with up and down buttons.
- Extra sheet protection options have been added, to optionally allow insertion or deletion of rows and columns.
- Lastly, when you’re exporting in CSV format, your settings are remembered for the next export operation.
What’s New In LibreOffice Impress 5.4
In Impress, when you’re duplicating an object, you can now specify fractional angles. In addition, your settings are saved for the next duplication operation.
Changes in LibreOffice Online
- LibreOffice Online has been improved as well.
- Performance is better
- Layout adapts responsively to mobile devices.
- In addition, a read-only mode has been added.
More Improvements: Shorter, sweeter documents make interoperability easier
LibreOffice makes ODF and OOXML files more robust and easier to exchange with other users than the same documents generated by other office suites. The XML description of a document written by LibreOffice is 50% smaller in the case of ODF (ODT), and around 90% smaller in the case of OOXML (DOCX), in comparison with the same document generated by the leading proprietary office suite.
For instance, let’s take the world famous sentence from Hamlet: “To be, or not to be, that is the question”.
So what does this mean? For the document below, the XML improvements can be seen when compared to the same document by Microsoft Office.
This is the XML line count for each version of the document:
|LibreOffice ODF 1.2||222 lines|
|Microsoft Office 2016 ODF 1.2||496 lines|
|LibreOffice OOXML||1157 lines|
|Microsoft Office 2016 OOXML||11667 lines|
These are a few of the major features and improvements available with the latest iteration of LibreOffice. The one thing I like the most is the continuous improvement for the Microsoft Office documents which has always been a point of interest for many users. I am also excited about LibreOffice Online which will allow interested parties to easily set up their own online office service easily. The next iteration will be version 6.0 and is expected to be available in the early part of next year. Until then, you can grab LibreOffice 5.4 from the following link for 32bit and 64bit computers.