Start Center in LibreOffice 4.0.1
|Developer(s)||The Document Foundation|
|Initial release||25 January 2011|
|Stable release||4.0.3 (9 May 2013 ) [±]|
|Written in||C++, Java, and Python|
|Operating system||Linux, OS X, Windows, BSD ports are community supported.|
|Platform||IA-32, x86-64, PowerPC (project); ARMel, ARMhf, MIPS, MIPSel, Sparc, S390, S390x, IA-64 (additional Debian platforms)|
|Available in||114 languages|
The LibreOffice suite comprises programs to do word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams, maintain databases, and compose math formulae.
It is designed to be compatible with other major office suites, including Microsoft Office, though some Microsoft Office layout features and formatting attributes are handled differently or are unsupported. LibreOffice is available for a variety of computing platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or newer, and Linux-based systems running Linux kernel version 2.6.18 or newer. It is the default office suite of popular Linux distributions like Debian, Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu. Ports for FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD are being maintained by contributors to those projects, respectively.
Between January 2011 (its first stable launch) and October 2011, LibreOffice was downloaded approximately 7.5 million times.
- A word processor with similar functionality and file support to Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. It has extensive WYSIWYG word processing capabilities, but can also be used as a basic text editor.
- A spreadsheet program, similar to Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. It has a number of unique features, including a system which automatically defines series of graphs, based on information available to the user.
- A presentation program resembling Microsoft PowerPoint. Presentations can be exported as SWF files, allowing them to be viewed on any computer with Adobe Flash installed.
- A vector graphics editor and diagramming tool similar to Microsoft Visio and comparable in features to early versions of CorelDRAW. It provides connectors between shapes, which are available in a range of line styles and facilitate building drawings such as flowcharts. It also includes features similar to desktop publishing software such as Scribus and Microsoft Publisher.
- A database management program, similar to Microsoft Access. LibreOffice Base allows the creation and management of databases, preparation of forms and reports that provide end users easy access to data. Like Access, it can be used to create small embedded databases that are stored with the document files (using Java-based HSQLDB as its storage engine), and for more demanding tasks it can also be used as a front-end for various database systems, including Access databases (JET), ODBC/JDBC data sources, and MySQL or PostgreSQL. Base is not always included in distributions and may need to be installed separately.
- An application designed for creating and editing mathematical formulae. The application uses a variant of XML for creating formulas, as defined in the OpenDocument specification. These formulas can be incorporated into other documents in the LibreOffice suite, such as those created by Writer or Calc, by embedding the formulas into the document.
File formats 
LibreOffice can import and export documents in several file formats; its native format is the OpenDocument Format (ODF). Formats it can read or write include those used by Microsoft Office, including the Office Open XML specification used in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010, which use the .docx, .pptx and .xlsx extensions, as well as to the older file formats used in Microsoft Office 95 and 97–2003, which use .doc, .ppt and .xls extensions. It can also use Rich Text File format (.rtf) and OpenOffice.org XML format.
LibreOffice can use VBA macros. It can import files from MS Works and Lotus Word Pro. LibreOffice Draw has the native ability to work with SVG files, whereas OpenOffice.org Draw requires an extension. There is improved EMF drawing and WordPerfect Graphics import. LibreOffice 3.5 introduced a new Visio .vsd filter.
The programs can export to a number of non-editable formats: All documents can be exported to the PDF format, hybrid PDF, as well as presentations to Adobe Flash (SWF). LibreOffice also has the ability to import documents in read-only mode in the Uniform Office Format, Data Interchange Format and the formats of Microsoft Works, WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3.
Ability to use the industry standard Microsoft Office formats is continuously improving, but it does not work perfectly. Some parts of the documents may be formatted improperly, causing interoperability problems.
Common features 
Like OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice can use the GStreamer multimedia framework in Linux to render multimedia content such as videos in Impress and other programs. Visually, LibreOffice uses the large "Tango style" icons that are used for the application shortcuts, quick launch icons, icons for associated files and for the icons found on the toolbar of the LibreOffice programs. They are also used on the toolbars and menus by default. OpenOffice.org uses small icon sizes and the "Classic" or "Galaxy" icon style by default. LibreOffice also ships with a modified theme which looks native on GTK-based Linux distributions. It also renders fonts via Cairo on Linux distributions; this means that text in LibreOffice is rendered the same as the rest of the Linux desktop. The first run wizard from OpenOffice.org that guides a user through the setting of user name and the registration process has been removed from LibreOffice.
Future developments 
The LibreOffice project uses a dual LGPLv3 (or later) / MPL license for new contributions to allow the license to be upgraded.
There were complaints that IBM and the Apache Software Foundation didn't really release the Lotus Symphony code as open source, even though they promised to. It was reported that some LibreOffice developers wanted to overtake some code parts and bug fixes which IBM already fixed in their OpenOffice fork.
Initial release 
On 28 September 2010, several members of the OpenOffice.org project formed a new group called "The Document Foundation". The Document Foundation created LibreOffice from their former project in response to Oracle Corporation's purchasing of Sun Microsystems over concerns that Oracle would either discontinue OpenOffice.org, or place restrictions on it as an open source project, as it had on Sun's OpenSolaris.
It was originally hoped that the LibreOffice name would be provisional, as Oracle was invited to become a member of The Document Foundation. Oracle rejected requests to donate the OpenOffice.org brand to the project and demanded that all members of the OpenOffice.org Community Council involved with The Document Foundation step down from the OOo Community Council, citing a conflict of interest.
Another fork of OpenOffice.org, Go-oo, merged into LibreOffice very early on. Since most Linux distributions already used Go-oo (and just called it OpenOffice) that meant a large number of distributions changed to LibreOffice very early since for them it meant little change. Switching back to OpenOffice would have meant a conscious change and very few distribution developers went that route. Indeed some moved over earlier even where they had not been using the Go-oo project.
The initial aims of The Document Foundation had already been largely completed by January 2013. Infrastructure had been set-up and enlarged to cope with increased demand. The company was officially registered. No longer useful comments in the source code had mostly been deleted and remaining ones translated into American English. Java dependency had been reduced to below 12% and only employed in some seldom used areas, such as a few obscure wizards.
As a result of the fork of OpenOffice.org into LibreOffice, Oracle announced in April 2011 that it was terminating the commercial development of OpenOffice.org, therefore releasing the majority of the paid developers. In June 2011, Oracle announced that it would contribute the OpenOffice.org code and trademark to the Apache Software Foundation, where the project was accepted for a project incubation process within the foundation.
In June 2011 Google, Free Software Foundation, Freies Office Deutschland e.V., Red Hat, SUSE and SPI each contributed one employee to The Document Foundation's Advisory Board to serve for an initial term of one year.
Two different major versions of LibreOffice are available at any time. The latest version is available for users looking for the latest enhancements while the previous version caters to users who prefer stability.
Release schedule 
The Document Foundation intends to release new major versions of LibreOffice once every six months and to eventually do so in March and September, which it considers as an alignment with other free software projects.
Release history 
Version 3.3 
LibreOffice 3.3.0 Beta 1, which was based on the beta release of OpenOffice.org 3.3, was made available on 28 September 2010 and was downloaded over 80,000 times. The first stable version of 3.3 was released on 25 January 2011. Because The Document Foundation and most of the software's new and former developers considered LibreOffice a direct continuation of OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice 3.3 continued the OpenOffice.org version numbering.
LibreOffice 3.3 features several functions not found in its OpenOffice.org counterpart, mainly as a result of Sun and then Oracle's requirement of assignment of copyright to themselves. Most of the features found in the 3.3 release were directly adapted from several already-created plugins, as well as the Go-oo fork. Among features unique to LibreOffice are:
- SVG image import
- Lotus Word Pro and Microsoft Works import filters
- Improved WordPerfect import
- Dialog box for title pages
- Navigator lets one heading be unfolded as usual in a tree view.
- "Experimental" mode that allows unfinished features to be tried by users
- Some bundled extensions, including Presenter View in Impress
- Colour-coded document icons
- Load and Save ODF documents in flat XML to make external XSLT processing easier
- PPTX chart import feature
- AutoCorrections match case of the words that AutoCorrect replaces
- Vastly improved RTF export
- Embedding of standard PDF fonts
Version 3.4 
Version 3.4.0 was released on 3 June 2011. Early versions of v3.4 contained some bugs, including compatibility issues with Microsoft Office, and was therefore only recommended as suitable for early adopters. By 3.4.2, the release was considered suitable for enterprises.
New features and improvements in 3.4 include:
- Memory usage improvements
- Improvements to Calc, including improved speed and improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel, including pivot tables (formerly called DataPilot in OOo/LO), support for an unlimited number of fields, and a redesigned Move/Copy Sheet dialog
- There is now no need to close Writer's style edit dialog to check how a new style looks.
- Several thousand lines of German comments were translated into English.
- Over 5,000 lines of dead code were removed from Writer, Calc and Impress.
- Improved GTK+ theme integration
- The Linux version renders fonts via Cairo so that text in LibreOffice is rendered the same as the rest of the desktop.
- Reduction of LibreOffice's reliance on Java
- Continuing the transition to GNU Make for building LibreOffice
- Saving documents in StarOffice file formats was removed
Version 3.5 
Version 3.5 was released on 14 February 2012. New features include:
- A native PostgreSQL driver.
- Java 7 support.
- AES encryption support for ODF file encryption.
- Improved Office Open XML support.
- Introduction of an online update checker. By default, this feature is not fully automated.
Version 3.6 
Version 3.6 was released on 8 August 2012. New features include:
- Support for color scales and data bars in Calc.
- Added word count to status bar.
- PDF Export with watermark option.
- 10 new Impress master pages.
- Support for importing Office SmartArt.
- Import Filter for Corel Draw documents.
Version 4.0 
- Import / export support for native RTF math expressions.
- Import filter for Microsoft Publisher publications.
- Support of all versions of Visio files
- Improved XLSX Load Time.
- Various DOCX improvements.
- CMIS Support.
- Support for Firefox Personas.
- PDF Import, Presenter Console and Python Scripting Provider are now core features.
- Support for comments to text ranges in Writer.
The release plan is defined to (at least) version 4.0.6 in October 2013.
Users and deployments 
The Document Foundation estimated in September 2011 that there were 10 million users worldwide who had obtained LibreOffice via downloads or CD-ROMs. Over 90% of those were on Windows, with another 5% on Mac OS X. LibreOffice is the office suite of choice for many Linux distributions, and is installed when the operating system is installed or updated. Based on International Data Corporation reckonings for new or updated Linux installations in 2011, The Document Foundation estimated a subtotal of 15 million Linux users. This gave a total estimated user base of 25 million users in 2011. The Document Foundation has set a target of 200 million users worldwide before the end of 2020.
LibreOffice has seen various mass deployments since its inception:
- The city of Largo has been a long-time user of open-source software using Linux thin clients. Originally using OpenOffice.org, the city of Largo has now switched to LibreOffice.
- From 2010 onwards, the city of Limerick gradually started migrating to open-source solutions to free itself from vendor lock-in and improve its purchase negotiation power. One of the key aspects of this move has been the use of LibreOffice.
- In 2011 the administrative authority of the Île-de-France region (which includes the city of Paris) included LibreOffice in a USB flash drive given to students which contains free open source software. The USB flash drive is given to approximately 800,000 students.
- In 2011, it was announced that thirteen hospitals of the Copenhagen region would gradually switch to LibreOffice, affecting "almost all of the 25,000 workers".
- In 2012, the city of Pylaia-Chortiatis migrated its PCs to use LibreOffice. The local Linux User Group estimated cost savings to 70,000 euros.
- In July 2012, the city of Las Palmas decided to switch its 1200 PCs to using LibreOffice, citing cost savings of €400,000.
- In 2012, the administration of Umbria, Italy, started a project to migrate an initial group of 5000 civil workers to LibreOffice.
LibreOffice Conference 
Starting in 2011, The Document Foundation has organized the annual LibreOffice Conference as follows:
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