LibreOffice 4.0 - Six new features coming to open source suite

LibreOffice 4.0 - Six new features coming to open source suite

Wider compatibility and integration can already be found in the first release candidate for this upcoming major update.

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It's hard to believe LibreOffice has only been around about two years, so thoroughly has it come to dominate as the leading free and open source productivity suite, but late last week a release candidate for its next major version appeared.

"The Document Foundation is pleased to announce the first release candidate of our upcoming LibreOffice 4.0," said Thorsten Behrens, SUSE developer and deputy chairman of the Document Foundation board. "4.0 will be our fifth major release in just over two years, and it comes with a nice set of new features."


Last month the foundation held a "test marathon" for the software, followed soon afterwards by the appearance of a second beta release. After two more release candidates in the coming weeks, LibreOffice 4.0 is due to arrive in its final form next month.

In the meantime, there's nothing like a release candidate for offering a sneak preview. Ready for a quick peek? Here are a few key features we can expect.

1. Support for Firefox themes

Firefox fans will notice a new level of integration between LibreOffice and their favourite browser. Specifically, in this upcoming version of LibreOffice, you'll be able to choose "Tools," "Options," "Personalization," and then "Select Persona." From there, you can choose the theme you like in your browser, paste its address into a dialogue box, confirm, and then see it used in LibreOffice.

2. Integration with Ubuntu's Unity

Users of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution, meanwhile, will find new integration with that distro's Unity desktop environment.

3. Wider access

New support for the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) protocol, on the other hand, will make it easier to access documents stored in systems including Alfresco, Nuxeo, and SharePoint, the project team says.

4. Thunderbird integration

For users of Debian and Ubuntu Linux, a new Mork driver implementation will offer access to the address book in Mozilla's Thunderbird email software. "This means that Debian/Ubuntu users can finally integrate LO with their Thunderbird address book," the release notes explain.

5. A filter for Publisher

Then there's the new import filter for Microsoft Publisher files, allowing them to appear in LibreOffice much the way they do in Publisher. LibreOffice 4.0 also now supports all existing Visio file formats, from Visio 1.0 - released in 1992 - through Microsoft Visio 2013, which was released last year.

6. Faster performance

Last but not least, loading and saving multiple types of files has been sped up considerably in LibreOffice 4.0, including those in .ods and .rtf formats.

There are also myriad improvements in each of LibreOffice's individual components as well as countless bug fixes. This first release candidate is not intended for production use, of course, but if you want to check it out, it's available as a free download from the project site.

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Comments

  • Crumbsucker Compatibility with Microsoft Office formats is still annoying faced with lots of issues such as messed up tables or footnotes also formatting like superscriptand subscript in Word files and even more flaws when editing Excel and PowerPoint formats And that geeky interfaceA better free Microsoft Office alternative is FreeOffice its faster than its competitor LibreOffice smaller has a way better interoperability with allkinds of Word Excel and PowerPoint formats and a handsome logically structured user interface For windows and Linux try it out freeofficecom
  • Csrpazzi Nice to have more alternatives than the usual MS Office but LibreOffice have a long road to beat MS Office
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