The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.4, the last major release of the LibreOffice 5.x family, immediately available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and for the cloud. LibreOffice 5.4 adds significant new features in every module, including the usual large number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Office file compatibility.
Shorter, sweeter documents make interoperability easier
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, LibreOffice developers have focused on file simplicity as the ultimate document interoperability sophistication. This makes ODF and OOXML files written by the free office suite more robust and easier to exchange with other users than the same documents generated by other office suites.
Thanks to the efforts of developers, the XML description of a new 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. Additional details in the file simplicity backgrounder: https://nextcloud.documentfoundation.org/s/5Oe8guDN0XSS7h8.
LibreOffice 5.4 highlights
A new standard colour palette has been included, based on the RYB colour 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.
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.
Calc now includes support for pivot 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.
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.
Finally, LibreOffice Online has been improved as well. Performance is better, while the layout adapts responsively to mobile devices. In addition, a read-only mode has been added.
A list of the most significant new features is presented in a short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBNWOWJul4w). A page with a description of new features – and links to relevant resources – is available on the wiki at https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/5.4.
LibreOffice 5.4 has also been improved “under the hood,” thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers. This translates into an open source office suite which is easier to develop, maintain and debug. Although this is not visible to users, it is extremely important for enterprise deployments.
LibreOffice Online is fundamentally a server service and should be installed and configured by adding a cloud storage and an SSL certificate. It might be considered an enabling technology for the cloud of ISPs or the private cloud of enterprises and large organizations. Builds of the latest LibreOffice Online source code are available as Docker images: https://hub.docker.com/r/libreoffice/online/. Background document providing the positioning of LibreOffice Online: https://nextcloud.documentfoundation.org/s/uSdCYL2TgPa3yUI.
LibreOffice 5.4 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users. For enterprise class deployments, TDF maintains the more mature 5.3 family – to be updated very soon with the announcement of the 5.3.5 release – which should always be supported by certified professionals (http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).
Several companies sitting in TDF Advisory Board (http://www.documentfoundation.org/governance/advisory-board/) are providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice or consultancy services for migrations and training, based on best practices distilled by The Document Foundation. LibreOffice is deployed by large organizations in every continent. A list of the most significant migrations announced in the media is available on TDF wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/LibreOffice_Migrations.
Availability of LibreOffice 5.4
LibreOffice 5.4 is immediately available from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://www.libreoffice.org/donate.
LibreOffice 5.4 is built with document conversion libraries from the Document Liberation Project: http://www.documentliberation.org.