OPEN SOURCE productivity suite LibreOffice has reached version 6.0 with a bevvy of tweaks.
The popular alternative to Microsoft's paid for product celebrates its 7th anniversary with a major update across Windows, Linux and macOS, with cloud augmentation to allow users to work on the web too.
Improvements in multimedia embedding within Microsoft formats like .docx and .pptx has been significantly improved, thanks to improved ActiveX compatibility, plus there's now an option to turn your documents straight into E-PUB e-books. You can also import files from QuarkExpress.
An improved Form menu has been added for, well, designing forms, and there's easier access to special characters - great for those of us that type "µ" a lot.
ODF 1.2-compliant functions SEARCHB, FINDB and REPLACEB have been added to CALC, plus you can now select a range of cells and export them as a picture - either jpg or png.
For Impress, the default has finally been updated to 16:9 ratio, with new templates to take advantage of that as well as updates to some others.
The dictionary/spell check features are now able to infer from context better, while security features include experimental support of OpenPGP encryption (subject to compatible companion software) and document classification allows multiple policies and signing/marking at a paragraph level.
The cloud version has been tweaked to further match the desktop edition with cell support in CALC raised to half a million, a 'Save As' feature for embedded images and a Find and Replace dialogue box.
If you want to tangle about under the hood, the source code for LibreOffice online is available as a Docker image.
For enterprises though, The Document Foundation warns: "LibreOffice 6.0 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."
It suggests enterprises stick with long-term support versions, currently 5.4.4.
A version for Android is also in the works, scheduled for the Spring, which will, amongst other things, allow users to add photos from their phones directly into projects. µ
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