LibreOffice 5.1.5 “still” announced, for enterprise class deployments
The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.2, a feature-rich major release of the best free office suite ever created – targeted to early adopters and power users – with several user interface improvements and enterprise grade features.
At the same time, LibreOffice 5.1.5 has been released, for enterprise class deployments and more conservative office suite users.
LibreOffice 5.2 provides document classification according to the TSCP standard, and a set of improved forecasting functions in Calc. In addition, multiple signature descriptions are now supported, along with import and export of signatures from OOXML files.
Interoperability features have also been improved, with better Writer import filters for DOCX and RTF files, and the added support for Word for DOS legacy documents. Additional type argument values for interoperability with other spreadsheets, along with wildcard support in formula expressions for compatibility with XLS/XLSX and ODF 1.2, have also been added.
In term of user experience, a single toolbar mode has been added to Writer and Calc to help users really focus on content, and some icons have been added to the default toolbars to make several frequently used functions – such as hide/show track changes, and freeze the first column or row of a spreadsheet – quicker to access. Also, most of the context menus can now be customized, for even greater control.
LibreOffice has been downloaded 140 million times since the launch in January 2011. The office suite is deployed by large organizations in every continent, with the latest addition being the Lithuanian Police with over 8,000 desktops.
Other New Features of LibreOffice 5.2
New drawing tools, including filled curves, polygons and freeform lines, have been added to all program modules.
When printing a document, Print to File is now available in the list of printers.
If you use Google Drive for storage, two-factor authentication support has been included.
The Save toolbar button includes a quick Save as Template option, so you don’t have to go through the menu.
New functions have been added, along with extensive tooltips that describe what a function does as you type it.
Multiple status bar functions can be active at the same time, to provide a quick overview of your data.
The currency toolbar icon now includes a drop-down menu to quickly choose the currency you want to use.
When removing the border from selected cells, you can also choose to remove the border from adjacent cells as well.
When working with custom animations, you can now quickly add an effect to an element via the sidebar, instead of using a separate dialog box.
The list of effects in the sidebar now includes a description of the effect, along with the element name.
In the properties sidebar, a new Slide Background panel lets you quickly change the format, orientation and background image of a slide.
A complete list of the better documented new features is available in a separate PDF document (http://tdf.io/lo52features), and on the website at http://www.libreoffice.org/discover/new-features/. Short videos presenting the most significant new features for Writer, Calc and Impress are available at: http://tdf.io/52vids.
LibreOffice 5.2 has also been improved “under the hood,” thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers (https://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/2016-08-03-under-the-hood-5-2.html). 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.
According to Coverity Scan, the number of open issues for 1,000 lines of LibreOffice 5.2 source code at the time of release is a record setting 0.00 (for 7,8 million lines of source code), against an industry average of 0.61 for open source software and 0.75 for proprietary software.
“LibreOffice 5.2 is a significant step forward for Free Software on the desktop, and will soon be available as a full featured cloud office suite,” says Michael Meeks, a Director at The Document Foundation (TDF) and a leading developer of LibreOffice Online. “The tight integration between desktop and cloud will provide enterprises a value added experience, with the best of both platforms always available to all users.”
“LibreOffice is growing fast, thanks to distinctive advantages such as the standard document format, which is recognized by a growing number of governments as the best solution for interoperability,” says Thorsten Behrens, a Director at The Document Foundation (TDF) and a member of the OASIS ODF Technical Committee.
Availability and enterprise deployments
LibreOffice 5.2 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites. For enterprise class deployments, TDF maintains the more mature 5.1.5 version.
LibreOffice 5.2 “fresh” and LibreOffice 5.1.5 “still” are immediately available from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates and all community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.
LibreOffice 5.2 for GNU/Linux is also available in new packaging formats, which make it easier for end users to install and update the application: Flatpak from Red Hat and Snap from Canonical.
In any case, TDF suggests deploying or migrating to LibreOffice with the backing of certified professionals providing Level 3 support, migration or training consultancy according to recognized best practices worldwide (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 trainings, based on best practices distilled by The Document Foundation.
LibreOffice 5.2 and LibreOffice 5.1.5 are built with document conversion libraries supporting proprietary document formats from the Document Liberation Project: http://www.documentliberation.org.
Additional technical details
LibreOffice 5.1.5 change logs: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.1.5/RC1 (fixed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.1.5/RC2 (fixed in RC2).
LibreOffice 5.2 change logs: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.0/RC1 (fixed in RC1), https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.0/RC2 (fixed in RC2), https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.0/RC3 (fixed in RC3), and http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.0/RC4 (fixed in RC4).
In 2016, LibreOffice Conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Information Technology at Brno University of Technology, and organized by OpenAlt, from September 7 to 9. Registration for the LibreOffice Conference is open at: http://conference.libreoffice.org/2016/registration/.
Press Kit and Screenshots
The press kit, with press release, infographic, and backgrounds, can be downloaded from: http://tdf.io/lo52presskit. Linux based screenshots can be downloaded from: http://tdf.io/lo52screenshots.