The LibreOffice 7.3 community is better than ever when it comes to interoperability

LibreOffice 7.3 Community, the new major release of the free, volunteer-supported office suite for office productivity, is now available for To download.

Based on the LibreOffice Technology platform for personal desktop, mobile and cloud productivity, it provides a host of enhancements for users migrating from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice or exchanging documents between the two office suites.

There are three different types of interoperability enhancements:

  • Development of new features, such as the new handling of change tracking in tables and when text is moved, which have a positive impact on interoperability with Microsoft Office documents.
  • Performance improvements when opening large DOCX and XLSX/XLSM files, improved rendering speed for some complex documents, and new rendering speed improvements when using the Skia back-end introduced with LibreOffice 7.1.
  • Import/Export filter improvements: DOC (greatly improved list/numbering import); DOCX (greatly improved list/numbering import; hyperlinks attached to shapes are now imported/exported; fixed edit permission; followed by paragraph style change); XLSX (decreased row height for Office XLSX files; cell indent does not increase with each save; edit permission fix; better support for XLSX charts); and PPTX (fixed interactions and hyperlinks on images; fix incorrect import/export of PPTX slide footers; fix hyperlinks on images and shapes; transparent shadow for tables).

Additionally, LibreOffice Help has also been improved to support all users, with special attention for those leaving Microsoft Office: search results – which now use FlexSearch instead of Fuzzysort for indexing – are focused on the user’s current module, while the help pages for Calc Functions have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and are linked to the Calc Function wiki pages, while the help pages for the ScriptForge script library have been updated.

The ScriptForge libraries, which facilitate macro development, have also been extended with various features: the addition of a new Chart service, for defining charts stored in Calc sheets; a new PopupMenu service, to describe the menu to display after a mouse event; an extended option for printer management, with a list of fonts and printers; and a feature to export documents to PDF format with full management of PDF options. All services are available with identical syntax and behavior for Python and Basic.

LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite market segment, starting with native OpenDocument Format (ODF) support – beating proprietary formats in the areas of security and robustness – up to superior support for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files. Additionally, LibreOffice provides filters for a large number of legacy document formats, to return ownership and control to users.

Microsoft files are still based on the proprietary format obsoleted by ISO in 2008, not the ISO-approved standard, so they hide a large amount of artificial complexity. This leads to management problems with LibreOffice, which by default uses a true open standard format (the OpenDocument format).

LibreOffice 7.3 is available natively for Apple Silicon, a series of Apple-designed processors based on the ARM architecture. The option has been added to the default ones available on the download page.

LibreOffice 7.3 Community Contributors

The new LibreOffice 7.3 community features were developed by 147 contributors: 69% of code commits come from the 49 developers employed by three companies on the TDF advisory board – Collabora, Red Hat and allotropia – or other organizations (including The Document Foundation), and 31% come from 98 individual volunteers.

Additionally, 641 volunteers provided localizations in 155 languages. LibreOffice 7.3 Community is released in 120 different language versions, more than any other free or proprietary software, and as such can be used in the native language (L1) by more than 5.4 billion people worldwide. Additionally, more than 2.3 billion people speak one of these 120 languages ​​as a second language (L2).

LibreOffice for Business

For enterprise class deployments, TDF strongly recommends the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners – for desktop, mobile and cloud – with a large number of dedicated value-added features. These include long-term support options, professional assistance, custom developments and other benefits such as SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

Despite this recommendation, an increasing number of companies are using the version supported by volunteers, instead of the version optimized for their needs and supported by the various companies in the ecosystem. Over time, this represents a problem for the sustainability of the LibreOffice project, as it slows down the evolution of the project. In fact, every line of code developed by companies in the ecosystem for their enterprise customers is shared with the community on the master code repository and enhances the LibreOffice Technology platform.

Products based on LibreOffice technology are available for major desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS), for mobile platforms (Android and iOS), and for the cloud. The slowdown in platform development is hurting users at all levels, and the LibreOffice project may not meet its expectations and possibilities.

Migrations to LibreOffice

The Document Foundation has developed a Migration Protocol to support companies moving from proprietary office suites to LibreOffice, which is based on the deployment of an LTS version of the LibreOffice Enterprise family, as well as advice and training on migration from certified professionals who offer value solutions added online with proprietary offers.

In fact, LibreOffice – thanks to its mature codebase, rich feature set, strong support for open standards, excellent compatibility, and LTS options from certified partners – is the ideal solution for companies that want to take over the control over their data and free themselves from provider blocking. -in.

LibreOffice 7.3 Community Availability

LibreOffice 7.3 Community is immediately available for download. Minimum system requirements for proprietary operating systems are Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 and Apple macOS 10.12.

For users whose primary focus is personal productivity, and who therefore prefer a version that has undergone more testing and bug fixes over new features, The Document Foundation maintains the LibreOffice 7.2 family, which includes a few months of backported fixes. The current version is LibreOffice 7.2.5

The Document Foundation does not provide technical support to users, although they can get it from volunteers on user mailing lists and the Ask LibreOffice website.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates, and community members can support The Document Foundation with a Don.

Sam D. Gomez