LibreOffice

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LibreOffice
LibreOffice Logo Flat.svg
LibreOffice 7.1.2 (released in 2021-04, running on Linux and GNOME with the default icon set).png
LibreOffice 7.1.2 Start Center (released in April 2021, running on Linux and GNOME with the default icon set)
Original author(s)Star Division
Developer(s)The Document Foundation
Initial release25 January 2011; 10 years ago (2011-01-25)
Stable release
  • Early adopters:[1] 7.2.1 (16 September 2021; 10 days ago (2021-09-16)[2])
  • Longer-tested:[1] 7.1.6 (9 September 2021; 17 days ago (2021-09-09)[3]) [±]
Repository
Written inC++, XML, and Java[4]
Operating systemLinux, Windows 7+, macOS 10.10+;[5]
Unofficial: Android and iOS,[6] Chrome OS,[7] FreeBSD, OpenBSD,[8] NetBSD, Haiku, Solaris (v. 5.2.5)[9]
Platformx86-64 (all operating systems), IA-32, ARMel, ARMhf, ARM64, MIPS, MIPSel, PowerPC, ppc64el, S390x[10]
Standard(s)OpenDocument
Available in119 languages[11]
TypeOffice productivity suite
LicenseMPLv2.0 (secondary license GPL, LGPLv3+ or Apache License 2.0)[12]
Websitewww.libreoffice.org Edit this on Wikidata

LibreOffice (/ˈlbrə/)[a] is a free and open-source office productivity software suite, a project of The Document Foundation (TDF). It was forked in 2010 from OpenOffice.org, which was an open-sourced version of the earlier StarOffice. The LibreOffice suite consists of programs for word processing, creating and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams and drawings, working with databases, and composing mathematical formulae. It is available in 115 languages.[11]

As its native file format to save documents for all of its applications, LibreOffice uses the Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF), or OpenDocument, an international standard developed jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). LibreOffice also supports the file formats of most other major office suites, including Microsoft Office, through a variety of import and export filters.[14][15]

LibreOffice is available for a variety of computing platforms, with official support for Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux[5] and community builds for many other platforms. It is also available as an online office suite called LibreOffice Online,[16][17] which includes the applications Writer, Calc and Impress. LibreOffice is the default office suite of most popular Linux distributions.[18][19][20][21] It is the most actively developed free and open-source office suite, with approximately 50 times the development activity of Apache OpenOffice, the other major descendant of OpenOffice.org.[22]

LibreOffice is offered by The Document Foundation in a free and open source "Community" edition officially intended for personal use. This is the full suite, not a cut-down edition. Enterprise-supported editions of LibreOffice can also be obtained from TDF's corporate partners.[23]

The project was announced and a beta released on 28 September 2010. In the nine months between January 2011 (the first stable release) and October 2011, LibreOffice was downloaded approximately 7.5 million times.[24] The project claims 120 million unique downloading addresses over four years from May 2011 to May 2015, excluding Linux distributions, with 55 million of those being from May 2014 to May 2015.[25]

Features[edit]

Included applications[edit]

Component Notes
LibreOffice 6.1 Writer Icon.svg Writer 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.[15] It can also create fillable forms via PDF or the Forms tab.
LibreOffice 6.1 Calc Icon.svg Calc A spreadsheet program, similar to Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. It has several unique features, including a system which automatically defines series of graphs, based on information available to the user.[15][26]
LibreOffice 6.1 Impress Icon.svg Impress A presentation program resembling Microsoft PowerPoint. Impress has support for multiple file formats including PPTX, ODP, and SXI. Presentations can also be exported as SWF files, allowing them to be viewed on any computer with Adobe Flash Player installed.[15][27]
LibreOffice 6.1 Draw Icon.svg Draw A vector graphics editor, raster graphics editor, and diagramming tool similar to Microsoft Visio, CorelDRAW, and Adobe Photoshop. 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.[28] It can also act as a PDF file editor.
LibreOffice 6.1 Math Icon.svg Math 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.[29]
LibreOffice 6.1 Base Icon.svg Base A database management program, similar to Microsoft Access. LibreOffice Base allows databases to be created and managed, and the generation of forms and reports of database content. Like Access, it can be used to create small embedded databases that are stored with the document files (using Java-based HSQLDB and C++ based Firebird as its storage engine), and for more demanding tasks it can also be used as a front-end for various database management systems, including Microsoft JET, ODBC/JDBC data sources, and MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and Microsoft Access.[15][30]
LibreOffice Impress and Math, version 7.1.2 (released in April 2021, running on Linux and GNOME with the default icon set)

Operating systems and processor architectures[edit]

Screenshot of LibreOffice 5.3 Writer using the MUFFIN interface running on Ubuntu 16.04
LibreOffice Viewer on Android

LibreOffice is cross platform software. The Document Foundation developers target Microsoft Windows (IA-32 and x86-64), Linux (IA-32, x86-64 and ARM) and macOS (x86-64).[31][32] There are community ports for FreeBSD,[33] NetBSD,[34] OpenBSD and Mac OS X 10.5 PowerPC[35] receive support from contributors to those projects, respectively.[36][37][38] LibreOffice is also installable on OpenIndiana via SFE.[39]

Historically predecessors of LibreOffice, back to StarOffice 3, have run on Solaris with SPARC CPUs that Sun Microsystems (and later Oracle) made. Unofficial ports of LibreOffice, versions now obsolete, have supported SPARC. Current unofficial ports of LibreOffice 5.2.5 run only on Intel-compatible hardware, up to for Solaris 11.

In 2011, developers announced plans to port LibreOffice both to Android and to iOS.[40] A beta version of a document viewer for Android 4.0 or newer was released in January 2015;[41] In May 2015, LibreOffice Viewer for Android was released with basic editing capabilities.[42] In February 2020, Collabora released its first officially supported version of LibreOffice (branded as Collabora Office) for Android and iOS.[43] In July 2020 Collabora shipped an app for Chromebook (branded as Collabora Office).

The LibreOffice Impress Remote application for various mobile operating systems allows for remote control of LibreOffice Impress presentations.

Table of cross platform support[edit]

Operating System Processor Architecture Current From
Android Yes LibreOffice, Collabora Office
BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) IA-32, x86-64, ARM, many others Yes Community ports
Chrome OS (Chromebooks) Yes Collabora Office
iOS Yes Collabora Office
Linux IA-32, x86-64, ARM64 Yes LibreOffice, Collabora Office, Collabora Online
macOS X86-64, 10.5 PowerPC, ARM based M1 is in development[44] Yes LibreOffice, Collabora Office, community ports
OpenIndiana x86-64 Yes OpenIndiana
Windows IA-32, x86-64, ARM is in development[45] Yes LibreOffice, Collabora Office, CIB
All operating systems running a modern web browser All processors running a modern web browser Yes Collabora Online, LibreOffice Online (frozen)

LibreOffice Online[edit]

LibreOffice Online is the online office suite edition of LibreOffice. It allows for the use of LibreOffice through a web browser by using the canvas element of HTML5. Development was announced at the first LibreOffice Conference in October 2011, and is ongoing.[46] The Document Foundation, IceWarp, and Collabora announced a collaboration to work on its implementation.[47][48] A version of the software was shown in a September 2015 conference,[49] and the UK Crown Commercial Service announced an interest in using the software.[50][51] On 15 December 2015, Collabora, in partnership with ownCloud, released a technical preview of LibreOffice Online branded as Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE).[52] In July 2016 the enterprise version Collabora Online 1.0 was released.[53] The same month, Nextcloud and Collabora partnered to bring CODE to Nextcloud users.[54][55] By October 2016, Collabora had released nine updates to CODE.[56] The first source code release of LibreOffice Online was done with LibreOffice version 5.3 in February 2017.[16] In June 2019, CIB software GmbH officially announced its contributions to LibreOffice Online and "LibreOffice Online powered by CIB".[57]

In October 2020 Collabora announced the move of its work on Collabora Online from The Document Foundation infrastructure to GitHub.[58]

Comparison with OpenOffice[edit]

A detailed 60-page report in June 2015 compared the progress of the LibreOffice project with the related project Apache OpenOffice. It showed that "OpenOffice received about 10% of the improvements LibreOffice did in the period of time studied."[59]

Supported file formats[edit]

Miscellaneous features[edit]

LibreOffice can use the GStreamer multimedia framework in Linux to render multimedia content such as videos in Impress and other programs.

Visually, LibreOffice used 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 in the past.[80][81] They were also used on the toolbars and menus by default. Later LibreOffice integrated multiple icon themes to adapt the look and feel of specific desktop environment, such as Colibre for Windows, and Elementary for GNOME.[82]

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.[83]

With version 6.2, LibreOffice includes a toolbar-style GUI, called Notebookbar, including three different views.[84] This feature has formerly been included as an experimental feature in LibreOffice 6 (experimental features must be enabled from LibreOffice settings to make the option available in the View menu).[85]

LibreOffice has a feature similar to WordArt called Fontwork.[86]

LibreOffice uses HarfBuzz for complex text layout, it was first introduced in 4.1 for Linux and 5.3 for Windows and macOS.[87][79] Fonts with OpenType, Apple Advanced Typography or SIL Graphite features can be adjusted.[88]

LibreOffice supports a "hybrid PDF" format, a file in Portable Document Format (PDF) which can be read by any program supporting PDF, but also contains the source document in ODF format, editable in LibreOffice by dragging and dropping.[89]

Licensing[edit]

The LibreOffice project uses a dual LGPLv3 (or later) / MPL 2.0 license for new contributions to allow the license to be upgraded.[90] Since the core of the OpenOffice.org codebase was donated to the Apache Software Foundation, there is an ongoing effort to get all the code rebased to ease future license updates. At the same time, there were complaints that IBM had not in fact released the Lotus Symphony code as open source, despite having claimed to. It was reported that some LibreOffice developers wanted to incorporate some code parts and bug fixes which IBM already fixed in their OpenOffice fork.[91]

Scripting and extensions[edit]

LibreOffice supports third-party extensions.[92] As of July 2017, the LibreOffice Extension Repository lists more than 320 extensions.[93] Another list is maintained by the Apache Software Foundation[94] and another one by the Free Software Foundation.[95] Extensions and scripts for LibreOffice can be written in C++, Java, CLI, Python, and LibreOffice Basic. Interpreters for the latter two are bundled with most LibreOffice installers, so no additional installation is needed. The application programming interface for LibreOffice is called "UNO" and is extensively documented.[96]

LibreOffice Basic[edit]

LibreOffice Basic is a programming language similar to Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) but based on StarOffice Basic. It is available in Writer, Calc and Base. It is used to write small programs known as "macros", with each macro performing a different task, such as counting the words in a paragraph.[97]

History[edit]

A timeline of major derivatives of StarOffice and OpenOffice.org with LibreOffice in green

ooo-build, Go-oo and Oracle[edit]

Members of the OpenOffice.org community who were not Sun Microsystems employees had wanted a more egalitarian form for the OpenOffice.org project for many years; Sun had stated in the original OpenOffice.org announcement in 2000 that the project would eventually be run by a neutral foundation[98] and put forward a more detailed proposal in 2001.[99]

Ximian and then Novell had maintained the ooo-build patch set, a project led by Michael Meeks, to make the build easier on Linux and due to the difficulty of getting contributions accepted upstream by Sun, even from corporate partners. It tracked the main line of development and was not intended to constitute a fork.[100] It was also the standard build mechanism for OpenOffice.org in most Linux distributions[101] and was contributed to by said distributions.[102]

In 2007, ooo-build was made available by Novell as a software package called Go-oo (ooo-build had used the go-oo.org domain name as early as 2005[103]), which included many features not included in upstream OpenOffice.org. Go-oo also encouraged outside contributions, with rules similar to those later adopted for LibreOffice.[104]

Sun's contributions to OpenOffice.org had been declining for some time.[105] They remained reluctant to accept contributions[106] and contributors were upset at Sun releasing OpenOffice.org code to IBM for IBM Lotus Symphony under a proprietary contract, rather than under an open source licence.[107]

Sun was purchased by Oracle Corporation in early 2010. OpenOffice.org community members were concerned by Oracle's behaviour towards open source software, specifically the Java lawsuit against Google[108] and Oracle's withdrawal of developers,[109] and lack of activity on or visible commitment to OpenOffice.org, as had been noted by industry observers[110] – as Meeks put it in early September 2010, "The news from the Oracle OpenOffice conference was that there was no news."[111] Discussion of a fork started soon after.[112]

The Document Foundation and LibreOffice[edit]

On 28 September 2010, The Document Foundation was announced as the host of LibreOffice, a new derivative of OpenOffice.org. The Document Foundation's initial announcement stated their 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.[113][114][115][116]

LibreOffice 3.3 beta used the ooo-build build infrastructure and the OpenOffice.org 3.3 beta code from Oracle, then adding selected patches from Go-oo.[117] Go-oo was discontinued in favour of LibreOffice. Since the office suite that was branded "OpenOffice.org" in most Linux distributions was in fact Go-oo, most moved immediately to LibreOffice.[118]

Oracle was invited to become a member of The Document Foundation. However, Oracle demanded that all members of the OpenOffice.org Community Council involved with The Document Foundation step down from the OOo Community Council, claiming a conflict of interest.[119]

Naming[edit]

The name "LibreOffice" was picked after researching trademark databases and social media, as well as after checks were made to see if it could be used for URLs in various countries.[120] Oracle rejected requests to donate the OpenOffice.org brand to the project.[121]

LibreOffice was initially named BrOffice in Brazil. OpenOffice.org had been distributed as BrOffice.org by the BrOffice Centre of Excellence for Free Software because of a trademark issue.[122]

End of OpenOffice.org and beginning of Apache OpenOffice[edit]

Oracle announced in April 2011 that it was ending its development of OpenOffice.org and would lay off the majority of its paid developers.[123] In June 2011, Oracle announced[124] that it would donate the OpenOffice.org code and trademark to the Apache Software Foundation, where the project was accepted for a project incubation process within the foundation, thus becoming Apache OpenOffice. In an interview with LWN in May 2011, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth blamed The Document Foundation for destroying OpenOffice.org because it did not license code under Oracle's Contributor License Agreement.[125] But former Sun executive Simon Phipps denies this is the case:

The act of creating The Document Foundation and its LibreOffice project did no demonstrable harm to Oracle's business. There is no new commercial competition to Oracle Open Office (their commercial edition of OO.o) arising from LibreOffice. No contributions that Oracle valued were ended by its creation. Oracle's ability to continue development of the code was in no way impaired. Oracle's decision appears to be simply that, after a year of evaluation, the profit to be made from developing Oracle Open Office and Oracle Cloud Office did not justify the salaries of over 100 senior developers working on them both. Suggesting that TDF was in some way to blame for a hard-headed business decision that seemed inevitable from the day Oracle's acquisition of Sun was announced is at best disingenuous.[126]

In March 2015, an LWN.net comparison of LibreOffice with its cousin project Apache OpenOffice concluded that "LibreOffice has won the battle for developer participation".[127]

Release history[edit]

Release history


Legend: Old version, not maintained Older version, still maintained Current stable version Latest preview version Future release
Branch Version  Release date Notes Screenshot
3.x Old version, no longer maintained: 3.3 beta 28 September 2010 Initial release based on OpenOffice.org and ooo-build; 80,000 downloads[128]
First LibreOffice 3.3 beta: startup center and About box
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.3 25 January 2011[129] First-introduced features unique to LibreOffice:[130]
  • SVG image import
  • New or improved import filters: Lotus Word Pro, Microsoft Works, WordPerfect. PPTX chart import feature[131]
  • Bundled extensions, including Presenter View in Impress
  • Colour-coded document icons
  • Load and Save ODF documents in flat XML[131]
  • AutoCorrections match case of the words that AutoCorrect replaces[131]
  • Vastly improved RTF export[131]
  • Embedding of standard PDF fonts[131]
LibreOffice Calc 3.3
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.4 3 June 2011 New features include:[132]
  • Memory usage improvements[72]
  • Speed and MS Excel compatibility improvements to Calc, redesigned Move/Copy Sheet dialog[83][133]
  • Code cleanup: German comments translated to English, dead code removed[133]
  • Improved GTK+ theme integration[133] and font rendering in Linux.[83]
  • Reduction of LibreOffice's dependence on Java[72]
  • Continuing the transition to GNU Make for building LibreOffice[134]
Redesigned Move/Copy Sheet dialog in LibreOffice Calc 3.4
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.5 14 February 2012[77] New features include:
LibreOffice Impress 3.5.5
Old version, no longer maintained: 3.6 8 August 2012 New features include:[138]
  • 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 CorelDRAW documents

This was the last version to support the Windows 2000 operating system.

Libreoffice Math 3.6
4.x Old version, no longer maintained: 4.0 7 February 2013[139] New features include:[74]
LibreOffice Writer 4.0 with "GNU – I" Persona showing comment set for text range
Old version, no longer maintained: 4.1 25 July 2013 (final)[143] New features include:[87]
  • Sidebar
  • Improved image rotation[144]
  • Gradient backgrounds
  • Embedding fonts in documents[144]
  • Import large HTML documents with more than 64,000 table cells
  • Import/export of charts to ODC files and export to various vector formats
  • OOXML and RTF bugfixes and enhancements,[144]
  • Basic implementation of EMF+ metafiles.[144]
  • Import of legacy Mac text formats (Write Now, MacWrite Pro, AppleWorks)[66][145]
  • Layout via Core Text for OSX and HarfBuzz for Linux[87]
LibreOffice 4.1.5, showing sidebar and text frame with gradient background
Old version, no longer maintained: 4.2 30 January 2014 New features include:[60]
  • Calc performance improvements[146] and OpenCL for calculations via the graphics card[147]
  • Start Center with file lists
  • New set of monochrome icons, "Sifr"
  • Import filter for Apple Keynote and AbiWord files[148]
  • IAccessible2 (IA2) in Windows version
  • Embedded Firebird database engine for Base (experimental)
LibreOffice 4.2.1, showing a character border and Sifr icons in the interface
Old version, no longer maintained: 4.3 30 July 2014 New features include:[149]
  • Brand new drawingML-based DOCX import/export filter for shapes and TextFrames
  • Improved PDF import
  • Improved handling of Microsofts's Office Open XML format
  • Non-printing characters are displayed in a different color
  • Paragraphs in Writer can now be over 65,536 characters (up to 2 GB)
  • The default icon set has been updated
  • Toolbar background is now rendered natively on Mac OS X
  • Comments can be printed in the margins
  • Data fields in Calc pivot tables can now be set to columns
  • Presentations can have OpenGL 3D objects
LibreOffice 4.3 showing the updated tango icon set
Old version, no longer maintained: 4.4 29 January 2015

New features include:[64]

  • Sidebar now enabled by default in Writer, Calc and Draw
  • Possibility of connection directly to OneDrive and SharePoint 2010/2013 directly from LibreOffice
  • Allowing Draw to import Adobe PageMaker files
  • The ability to digitally sign PDF files in Windows
  • Toolbar buttons in Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw have been reorganized and improved
  • New color selector:
    • Shows recently used document colors
    • Support for different color palettes and for .gpl GIMP palette format
    • Allows directly opening the color picker and choose another color
  • Added the ability to import files from MacDraw, MacDraw II and RagTime for Mac (v. 2–3) in Draw and Writer
  • Firefox Themes improvements
  • Added new fonts: Caladea and Carlito
LibreOffice Writer 4.4
5.x Old version, no longer maintained: 5.0 5 August 2015[150]

New features include:[67]
Writer:

  • Sidebar previews styles as formatted (pictured);
  • Emoji support in 22 languages, including shortcodes for symbols and numerous other replacements; :keyboard: becomes ⌨
  • Images can be cropped;
  • Text highlighting and shading compatible with MS Word;
  • Improved import of comments (annotations) for text ranges in binary .doc files;
  • Equations in early RTF and DOC formats imported as editable math objects;
  • Apple Pages '09 or older import.

Calc:

  • Added UI to conditional formatting;
  • Improvements to scientific formatting of cells;
  • Import of Lotus 1-2-3 (.wk3 and .wk4), Quattro Pro (.wq1 and .wq2), and Apple Numbers '09 or earlier (basic spreadsheets for Numbers).

Math:

  • Equations and their parts can be given 15 basic colors (see picture).

Draw:

  • Import of MacDraft (v1) and ClarisDraw files.

Core and filters:

  • When e-mailing, maintain document invisible content;
  • PDF export supports Time-Stamp Protocol (RFC 3161);
  • MS Works import: Add dialog to ask for text encoding;
  • Support for Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase) color palettes;
  • LibreOffice Expert Configuration now searchable.
LibreOffice Writer 5.0 in Estonian showing style previews in Sidebar. Note the expanded icon set.
The selected icon theme is Sifr.
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.1 10 February 2016[151] New features include:[152]

Writer:

  • A Styles menu has been added to the main menus.

Calc:

  • A Sheet menu has been added to the main menus.

Impress:

  • A Slide menu has been added to the main menus.

Math:

  • The Math module now has a new item "Import MathML from Clipboard".

Core and filters:

  • Support Unicode character input with Alt+X on Windows
  • PNG export in Writer, Calc and Impress;
  • Import of the following formats supported: Gnumeric, Microsoft Write, Apple Keynote 6
LibreOffice Writer 5.1 showing the flat Breeze icon set, reorganised items in sidebar, whitespace hiding in the document, and the 'Always correct to' spellcheck submenu
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.2 3 August 2016[153] New features include:[154]

Writer:

  • New drawing tools
  • New button for showing/hiding track changes toolbar
  • Single Toolbar Mode

Calc:

  • New drawing tools
  • Pressing ⇧ Shift+Return in the multiline input to insert a new line
  • Single Toolbar Mode
  • Option to delete border from adjacent cells too in the borders tab of "Format Cells" dialog
  • Freeze Rows and Columns button became a split button and added "Freeze First Row" and "Freeze first Column" options in that button
  • Extensive function tooltips

Impress:

  • Quick access to slide and page properties in a new 'Slide' and 'Page' content panel in the 'Properties' sidebar tab
  • Exporting to PDF only notes pages

Filters:

  • Better import of DOCX and RTF linked graphic into LibreOffice Writer
  • Import of Microsoft Word for DOS files

GUI:

  • Print to File available within the list of printers in Print dialog
  • Video clips, charts and OLE objects will resize proportionately by default
  • Improved resizing behavior for images, videos and OLE objects
  • Simplification of Character spacing
  • "Save as Template" is now available in the Save toolbar button dropdown
  • Added Find Previous button
  • Added Icon View and buttons for switching between modes at Remote Files dialog, as well as supporting Google Drive's Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • New user interface for Template Manager
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.3 1 February 2017[16] Type 1 font support dropped.[155]
New features include:[79]

Writer:

  • New dialog for quickly jump to another page
  • Implement table styles
  • New drawing tools for arrows
  • A toolbar button for small capitals

Calc:

  • New drawing tools for arrows
  • Improve saving WEEKNUM field behavior to ODF
  • New options for fraction number formats
  • Median is added to functions available in pivot tables
  • New option for merging non empty cells

Impress:

  • Images inserted via Photo Album can be linked in the document
  • Slide properties content panel in sidebar for master slide mode
  • Opening Template Selector at startup

Draw:

  • New arrow endings, including Crow's foot notation's ones.

Base:

  • Upgrade Firebird to version 3.0.0

Text Layout:

  • New cross-platform text layout engine that uses HarfBuzz for consistent text layout on all platforms, also improved text layout on macOS and Windows.
  • Improved and consistent calculation of inter-line spacing across platforms
  • Enable vertical "left to right" block direction for traditional Mongolian and Manchu

Filters:

  • Multiple improvements in Open XML, PDF and DOC filters
  • StarOffice StarWriter, StarCalc and StarDraw/StarImpress files can again be imported

GUI:

  • Revamped the Extension Manager dialog
  • Redesign of the Colors, Gradients, Hatching and Bitmap tabs and the addition of a Pattern tab
  • Introduction of the Page Deck in the sidebar in Writer
  • Added "Import Bitmap" functionality to the Area Content Panel found in the Properties deck
  • Added Styles Preview checkbox functionality to the Styles & Formatting Sidebar Deck
  • Introduction of the new "Media Playback Panel" found in Properties deck when Media is selected
  • Introduction of the "Default Shapes Panel" in the new Shapes Deck for Draw

Online:

  • First source code release of LibreOffice Online

Experimental features:

  • Added four toolbar modes to make it easy for users to switch the visible toolbars
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.4 28 July 2017[156] New features include:[156][75]

Writer:

  • Importing AutoText from Microsoft Word DOTM templates
  • Preserving full structure of numbered and bulleted lists while exporting or pasting them as plain text
  • Creating custom watermarks via Format menu
  • New context menu items have been added for working with sections, footnotes, endnotes and styles

Calc:

  • Adding support for pivot charts, which use data from pivot tables. When the table is updated, the chart is automatically updated as well.
  • Menu commands to show, hide and delete all comments
  • Priority of conditional formatting rules can be changed with new up/down buttons
  • Extra sheet protection options have been added, to optionally allow insertion or deletion of rows and columns
  • CSV export settings are now remembered

Impress & Draw:

  • Allowing specify fractional angles while duplicating an object

Core:

  • A new standard colour palette has been included, based on the RYB colour model
  • Support OpenPGP keys for signing ODF documents on Linux
  • Added support for ECDSA keys on Linux and macOS
  • Signature status showing with colored infobars

Filters:

  • File format compatibility has been improved with better support for EMF vector images
  • Using PDFium to render imported PDF files

Online:

  • Responsive design and read-only mode for the document iframe added
  • Performance and rendering improvements

This was the last version to support the Windows XP and Vista operating system.[157]

6.x Old version, no longer maintained: 6.0 31 January 2018[17] New features include:[71][158]

Writer:

  • Add Form menu in menubar
  • Input field behavior improves
  • Implement rotation of images to any angle
  • Use ODT and XLSX files as mail merge data source
  • New default table style
  • "Grammar By" spell checking

Calc:

  • Expert cell range selection or a selected group of shapes (images) to PNG or JPG
  • The text/plain Unformatted text format results in unquoted/unescaped content as expected for external pastes
  • Added "Paste unformatted text" command
  • New command to select unprotected cells on protected or unprotected sheet
  • Lock symbol to mark protected sheet
  • Added three new ODFF1.2 compliant functions
  • English syntax keywords for number format
  • "Styles" entry in the main menu

Impress:

  • Better UI for handling layer attributes
  • Added 10 new Impress templates
  • Slide format defaulting to 16:9 screen

Core and filters:

  • Addition of Noto fonts and some additional Arabic and Hebrew fonts
  • Cross platform support for OpenPGP document signing and encryption
  • TSCP-based classification for ODF and OOXML formats
  • Option to save images modified in place
  • Visualization of borders for tables
  • New filters to import from QuarkXPress 3–4 and expert to EPUB
  • Various improvements to OOXML, EMF+, ODF, XHTML, Adobe Freehand, Pagemaker, publisher, Visio, FictionBook, Abiword, Apple Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Quattro Pro filters

GUI:

  • Insert Special Characters button become drop-down list, Special characters dialog was also reworked
  • Added elementary icon theme
  • Reworked Customize dialog
  • Added Groupedbar Full and Tabbed Compact interfaces
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.1 8 August 2018[159] New features include:[82]

Writer:

  • Multiple improves for Ruby characters
  • Support generating signature line via Insert menu
  • Add localized settings for tab scopes and caption order
  • Multiple improves to EPUB export

Calc:

  • Sorting images anchored to Calc cells

Draw:

  • Added New Page menu item

Base:

  • HSQLDB database engine is still used by default, but Firebird engine is used by default when experimental mode is turned on.

Core / General:

  • New default order for Traditional and Simplified Chinese fonts
  • Reworked Areafill backgrounds
  • New RYB Standard palette, based on Itten RYB color ring theory providing Red, Yellow, Blue primaries
  • New set of default gradients
  • New application icons
  • Colibre and Karasa Jaga icon themes added
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.2 7 February 2019[160] New features include:[84]

Writer:

  • Copy and paste spreadsheet data directly in an existing table
  • UTF-8 and UTF-16 text file can be saved without byte order mark (BOM)

Calc:

  • Support Signature Line in the spreadsheet
  • Data Validation supports custom formulas
  • Do multivariate regression analysis via regression tool
  • Add the REGEX function to match or replace text with regular expression

Impress and Draw:

  • Multiple improvements on animation
  • Add a couple of text related drawing styles
  • Add Table submenu to menu Format in Draw

Base:

  • Embedded Firebird database engine becomes available in public
  • Firebird Migration Assistant creates a backup copy of content for migration
  • MySQL C++ connector is replaced with MariaDB C connector

BASIC:

  • Add fully support for Firebird RDBMS

Core / General:

  • Signing Signature Lines with an image of handwritten signature
  • Add Source Serif Pro font

Filters:

  • Add support for exporting OOXML gradient, bitmap and pattern properties for chart
  • Implement OOXML agile encryption

GUI:

  • Notebookbar becomes available in public
  • Add three SVG based icons styles
  • Added Minimum and Maximum labels for some conditions in Conditional formatting dialog
  • Add a dialog to switch font feature
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.3 8 August 2019[161] New features include:[162]

Writer:

  • AutoCorrect exception list function has been extended to avoid auto-capitalization in words like mRNA, iPhone, fMRI
  • Add "Send Outline to Clipboard" button to Navigator → Context Menu
  • New bottom-to-top, left-to-right writing direction in table cells and text frames
  • Support importing charts from DOCX drawingML group shapes
  • New interface add Word form controls

Calc:

  • New UNO API to let cell anchored graphics resize with the cell
  • New Russian ruble currency symbol (₽) to currency formats
  • New drop-down widget into formula bar instead old tool Sum
  • New checkbox to trim input range to the actual data content
  • Add With replacement and Keep order checkboxes for Sampling
  • FOURIER() function to computes discrete Fourier transform [DFT] of an input array

Impress and Draw:

  • Various improvements for importing SmartArt from PPTX files

Base:

  • Firebird Migration Assistant is enabled by default

Chart:

  • Add palette selection to options charts default colors

Math:

  • Introduce attributes harpoon and wideharpoon for an alternative representation of vectors

Core / General:

  • LibreOffice TWAIN module can work on both 32-bit and 64-bit on Windows
  • New UNO command to insert narrow no-break space via keyboard shortcut
  • Tip-Of-The-Day dialog shows useful information once per day on startup
  • What's-New infobar pointing to the release notes after update
  • Sentence selection (triple click) is available for keyboard customization
  • Support redacting documents
  • Support Apple Advanced Typography (AAT) outside macOS

Filters:

  • Various improvements on EMF+, PDF and OOXML filters

GUI:

  • Tabbed Compact UI is available in public
  • Contextual Single UI is available in public

This version removed support for Firefox personas.

Old version, no longer maintained: 6.4 29 January 2020[163] New features include:[164]

Writer:

  • Option to mark comments as resolved in Writer
  • The bottom-to-top, left-to-right text direction is available in Writer Text Frames
  • Comments on Writer images and charts
  • New Paste Special menu options for pasting table data into tables

Calc:

  • The columns/rows headers are drawn flat now
  • Password length no longer limited to 15 symbols for XLSX files
  • Whole Sheet Export setting of the PDF export options

Impress & Draw

  • Added 'Remove Hyperlink' to context menu
  • Added 'Consolidate Text' to combine multiple selected textboxes into one
  • Interaction now only executed in presentation mode
  • Image Maps now respect the setting to require Ctrl+Click to follow the hyperlink
  • Hyperlink in Image Maps now work in presentation mode

Base:

  • Access2Base API for Base users can be invoked from Python

BASIC:

  • Implement Save As Word 2000 and Save As for Word.VBA document

Core / General:

  • Internal Paths are now displayed in the UI
  • Added checkbox to enable/disable sending crash reports to The Document Foundation
  • Hyperlink context menus were unified
  • Added QR Code Generator

GUI:

  • Document thumbnails at the start center have an icon overlaid to indicate the module
  • Added Table panel to Writer's Sidebar
7.x Old version, no longer maintained: 7.0 5 August 2020[165] New features include:[166]

Writer:

  • Implemented a padded numbering in Writer's lists
  • Implemented support for semi-transparent text
  • Added experimental feature for Universal Accessibility

Calc:

  • TEXT() now allows the second argument to be an empty format string for interoperability with other implementations
  • Improved opening speed of XLSX files with many pictures

Impress & Draw

  • Subscripts now return to the default of 8%. Automatic positioning fixed for superscripts and subscripts in Textboxes
  • Implemented support for semi-transparent text
  • Speed up: Long operation during typing in list with animations
  • Speed up: entering to table editing mode became faster

Base:

  • Macro signatures are now evaluated on document load

Math:

  • Added RGB personalized color
  • Added Laplace symbol

Core / General:

  • The underlying Cairo graphics library was replaced with Skia library
  • Glow effect on objects was implemented
  • Navigator's categories are gray if they don't have any items
  • All objects in Navigator (Headings, Tables, Frames, Images, etc.) have own context menu items like Go To, Edit, Delete, Rename
  • Headings in Navigator have Promote/Demote level and Promote/Demote chapter context menu items
  • Table's context menu in Navigator now has Insert caption item
  • Added Outline tracking for Headings in Navigator. It can be in three states: Default, Focus, Off. Try clicking with your mouse in several places in your big text document with many headings
  • Replaced the navigation toolbox with the navigate by elements control
  • Added Navigator section tooltip word and character count

Filters:

  • Added support for exporting to ODF version 1.3
  • Multiple improvements for Open XML filters

GUI:

  • All toolbars are locked by default now on fresh user profiles
  • Added a new Sukapura icon theme. That icon theme will be a default theme for new LibreOffice installations in macOS
  • Sifr has been polished and receive many updates
  • The unmaintained Tango icon theme was removed from core but will be available as extension
  • New icons and banner in Windows installer
  • Renaming a page in Draw or slide in Impress with empty or already used name give a tool tip dialog
Older version, yet still maintained: 7.1 3 February 2021[167] New features include:[168]

Writer:

  • New Style Inspector to display the attributes of Paragraph and Character Styles, and manually formatted (Direct Formatting) properties
  • Default anchor for newly added images is able to be configured
  • Ability to detect Unicode, even if the imported text file does not have the Byte Order Mark
  • Significant speed improvement of find/replace operations

Calc:

  • Added an option to manage pasting with Enter key
  • Added option to select items in Autofilter window clicking on all item’s row, in addition to the checkbox
  • Significant speed improvement of Autofilter and find/replace operations

Impress & Draw:

  • Possibility to add visible signatures to existing PDF files in Draw
  • Possibility to change animations for several objects at once in Impress
  • Addition of “Pause/Resume” and “Exit” buttons to Presenter’s Screen
  • Addition of realistic soft blurred shadows to objects
  • Addition of new physics based animation capabilities and new animation effect presets that use them

General:

  • New dialog to select the User Interface flavor, aiming to pick the right UI based on each user’s own preferences at first start
  • Improved search for a matching printer paper size for the printed document
  • Show all supported files when adding a new extension in Extension Manager
  • Print Preview is now updated asynchronously, to not block UI when adjusting settings in Print Dialog
  • Additions Dialog: to search, get and install extensions with one-click

Macro:

  • ScriptForge libraries: an extensible and robust collection of macro scripting resources for LibreOffice to be invoked from user Basic or Python scripts

This is the first version added experimental support for Windows ARM64 platform.

Current stable version: 7.2 19 August 2021[169] New features include:[170]

Writer:

  • Background fills can cover whole pages, beyond margins
  • Page styles can now have a gutter margin
  • Mail merge shows a warning about nonexistent data sources
  • RDF metadata in Style Inspector
  • Custom color metadata field shadings

Calc:

  • Calc now can filter by color in AutoFilter
  • HTML tables listed in the External Data dialogue now show captions
  • “Fat cross” cursor available in the options
  • Type can be selected in “Moving Average” trend lines

Impress & Draw:

  • New templates: Candy, Freshes, Grey Elegant, Growing Liberty, Yellow Idea
  • Multiple columns now available in text boxes
  • Direct access to the scaling factor via the status bar

Math:

  • Scaling the code input box

General:

  • Popup list to search for menu commands
  • Scrollable style picker in the NotebookBar
  • Fontwork panel in the Sidebar
  • New list view for the templates dialog
  • Built-in “X-ray”-like UNO object inspector

This is the first version provides experimental support for Apple Silicon based ARM platform.

Mascot competition[edit]

In late 2017 The Document Foundation held a competition for the new mascot of LibreOffice. The mascot was to be used primarily by the community, and was not intended to supersede existing logos for the project. Over 300 concepts were submitted before the first evaluation phase.[171]

The mascot contest was cancelled soon after new submissions stopped being accepted. The Document Foundation cited their lack of clear rules and arguments among community members as their reasoning for cancelling the contest.[172]

Versions[edit]

Since March 2014 and version 4.2.2, two different major "released" versions of LibreOffice are available at any time in addition to development versions (numbered release candidates and dated nightly builds).[173] The versions are designated to signal their appropriateness for differing user requirements.[174] Releases are designated by three numbers separated by dots. The first two numbers represent the major version (branch) number, and the final number indicates the bugfix releases made in that series. LibreOffice designates the two release versions as:

  • "Fresh" – the most recent major version (branch), which contains the latest enhancements but which may have introduced bugs not present in the "still" release.
  • "Still" (formerly "Stable") – the prior major version, which, by the time it has become the "still" version, has had around six months of bug fixing. It is recommended for users for whom stability is more important than the latest enhancements.

Release schedule[edit]

LibreOffice uses a time-based release schedule for predictability, rather than a "when it's ready" schedule. New major versions are released around every six months, in January or February and July or August of each year. The initial intention was to release in March and September, to align with the schedule of other free software projects.[175] Minor bugfix versions of the "fresh" and "still" release branches are released frequently.

Enterprise support[edit]

Commercially-supported distributions for LibreOffice with service-level agreements are available via partners such as Collabora (marketed as Collabora Office and Collabora Online), CIB (marketed as LibreOffice powered by CIB on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10), and Red Hat.[176][177] The three vendors are major corporate contributors to the LibreOffice project.[177]

As of version 7.1, the open source release of LibreOffice is officially branded as "LibreOffice Community", in order to emphasize that the releases are intended primarily for personal individual use, and are "not targeted at enterprises, and not optimized for their support needs". The Document Foundation states that usage of the community versions in such settings "has had a two-fold negative consequence for the project: a poor use of volunteers' time, as they have to spend their time to solve problems for business that provide nothing in return to the community, and a net loss for ecosystem companies."[177]

Users and deployments[edit]

LibreOffice weekly downloads since 2010
Worldwide number of LibreOffice users from 2011 to 2018 in millions. References are in the text.

The figure shows the worldwide number of LibreOffice users from 2011 to 2018 in millions. References are in the text.

2011: 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 OS X. LibreOffice is the default office suite for most 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.[178] In 2011, the Document Foundation set a target of 200 million users worldwide before the end of 2020.[178]

2013: In September 2013, after two years, the estimated number of LibreOffice users was 75 million.[179] A million new unique IP addresses check for downloads each week.[180]

2015: In 2015, LibreOffice was used by 100 million users and 18 governments.[181]

2016: In August 2016, the number of LibreOffice users was estimated at 120 million.[182]

2018: The Document Foundation estimated in 2018 that there are 200 million active LibreOffice users worldwide. About 25% of them are students and 10% Linux users (who often automatically receive LibreOffice through their distribution).[183] In comparison, Microsoft Office was used in 2018 by 1.2 billion users.[184]

Mass deployments[edit]

LibreOffice has seen various major deployments since its inception:

2003–2010

  • In 2003–2004, the Brazilian corporation Serpro started migrating its software to BrOffice (the local version of LibreOffice at the time), with estimated value of BRL 3.5 million (approximately US$1.2 million at the time), and became a case study for similar initiatives in Brazil, particularly in e-government.[185]
  • In 2005, the French Gendarmerie announced its migration to OpenOffice.org.[186] It planned to migrate 72,000 desktop machines to a customised version of Ubuntu (GendBuntu) with LibreOffice by 2015.[187]
  • In 2010, the Irish 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.[188]

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.[40][189]
  • It was announced that thirteen hospitals of the Copenhagen region would gradually switch to LibreOffice, affecting "almost all of the 25,000 workers".[190]

2012

  • The Greek city of Pylaia-Chortiatis migrated its PCs to use LibreOffice. The local Linux user group estimated cost savings to be at least €70,000.[191]
  • In July, the Spanish city of Las Palmas switched its 1,200 PCs to using LibreOffice, citing cost savings of €400,000.[192]
  • The administration of Umbria, Italy, started a project to migrate an initial group of 5,000 civil workers to LibreOffice.[193]
  • The city of Largo, Florida, US has been a long-time user[194] of open-source software using Linux thin clients. Originally using OpenOffice.org, the city switched to LibreOffice in 2013.[195]

2013

  • In August, the administration of the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia has completed the migration of all 120,000 PCs of the administration, including schools and courts, to LibreOffice.[196]
  • The German city of Munich announced that it would transition from OpenOffice to LibreOffice in the near future. This is in line with Munich's long-term commitment to using open-source software. Munich uses LiMux, an Ubuntu Linux derivative, on nearly all of the city's 15,000 computers.[197][198] The city of Munich is the second public administration to join the advisory board at the Document Foundation.[199] News appeared in 2014 that the council is considering migrating back to Microsoft Windows & Microsoft Office[200] but was later denied.[201] Based on a study, the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, initiated the re-investigation of the scenario of migrating back to Microsoft systems.[202] The trustworthiness of the study is questionable because the company has been "Microsoft's Alliance Partner of the Year" for nine years.[203] Further details were issued by the Document Foundation.[204]

2014

  • The French city of Toulouse announced it saved €1 million by migrating thousands of workstations to LibreOffice.[205][206]

2015

  • The Italian Ministry of Defence announced that it would install LibreOffice on 150,000 PCs.[207]
  • The Italian city of Bari replaced Microsoft Office with LibreOffice on its 1,700 PCs.[208]
  • LibreOffice was officially made available for all UK Government agencies nationwide.[209] Annual cost saving on a subscription for 6,500 users compared to MS Office is approximately £900,000.[210]
  • In July 2015, the IT project manager working for the administration of Nantes (France's sixth largest city) talked about the ongoing switch of its 5,000 workstations to LibreOffice started in 2013. According to the IT project manager, the switch to LibreOffice allowed the administration to save €1.7 million.[211]
  • As of 2015, LibreOffice is installed on almost all of the 500,000 workstations of the 11 French ministries members of the MIMO working group.[212] The MIMO working group was the first public administration to join the advisory board at the Document Foundation.[213]

2016

2017

  • The majority (75%) of municipalities in the Walloon region of Belgium use open source software and services which include LibreOffice. As of March 2017, over 20,000 public administration staff and many times more citizens use the services.[217]
  • The Spanish autonomous region of Galicia announced plans to finalize its switch to LibreOffice at several central government services and ministries, making LibreOffice the only office productivity suite on 6,000 workstations.[218]
  • The city of Rome, Italy, began installing LibreOffice on all of its 14,000 PC workstations, in parallel to the existing proprietary office suite. It is one of the planned steps to increase the city's use of free and open-source software, aiming to reduce lock-in to IT vendors.[219]

2018

  • Barcelona, Spain announced its transition to LibreOffice from Microsoft Office in January 2018. The change was part of a broader shift from proprietary to open-source software, and the city council aimed to eventually reach "full technological sovereignty" by eliminating its dependency on Microsoft products. During the announcement, Barcelona indicated that it would dedicate 70 percent of its software budget to open-source software.[220][221][222]
  • The city of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, is migrating all of its PC workstations, around 2,000, to Pardus and LibreOffice.[223][224]
  • The city of Tirana, Albania, is finishing installing LibreOffice on all of the city's 1,000 PC workstations.[225]

2019

  • The city of Seixal, Portugal, migrated to LibreOffice on 1,100 workstations across all departments in Seixal City Hall.[226][227]

2020

  • The German state of Schleswig-Holstein wants to switch completely from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice by 2025 for its 25,000 employees. The transition will begin gradually in 2021.[228]

2021

Conferences[edit]

Starting in 2011, The Document Foundation has organized the annual LibreOffice Conference, as follows:

Derivatives[edit]

  • Collabora Office and Collabora Online are enterprise-ready editions of LibreOffice. Most software development work on LibreOffice is by its commercial partners that includes Collabora, Red Hat and CIB/Allotropia, also providing long-term support, technical support, custom features, and Service Level Agreements (SLA)s.[245]
  • EuroOffice is a derivative of LibreOffice with free and non-free extensions, for the Hungarian language and geographic detail, developed by Hungarian-based MultiRacio Ltd.[246][247]
  • "NDC ODF Application Tools" is a derivative of LibreOffice provided by the Taiwan National Development Council (NDC) and used by public agencies in Taiwan.[248]
  • NeoOffice 2017 and later versions are based on LibreOffice.[249] Prior versions included stability fixes from LibreOffice, but were based on OpenOffice.[250]
  • OxOffice is a derivative of LibreOffice (originally a derivative of OpenOffice.org[251]) with enhanced support for the Chinese language.[252]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ That is, pronounced as the constellation 'Libra'.[13]

References[edit]

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