The Document Foundation (TDF) has written to HEXUS about its new LIbreOffice 7.1 release. This is a brand-new version of the free open-source office suite. There are a number of important changes to take note of; firstly the suite is now split between a Community and Enterprise version, there are UI changes and improvements to all constituent programs, and LibreOffice is being developed for native Windows on Arm use.
Community or Enterprise?
TDF are asking private and individual users to download and use LibreOffice Community. Conversely, businesses, enterprises and other sizable organisations are asked to use LibreOffice Enterprise and contribute to the project. The developers assert that LibreOffice Enterprise is also the best fit for those who should be paying by offering long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and other benefits, including SLA (Service Level Agreements).
LibreOffice 7.1 Community improvements
When you start the new LibreOffice for the first time you will be greeted with a dialogue to decide on the UI style for the suite (it can be adjusted later if you think you are fickle). In addition, all the revamped apps come with a new style control bar dubbed the ‘Notebook Bar’. It includes features such as tabs and text format style previews.
All six apps central to the office suite have been improved; Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Draw, and Math. A particularly appealing new feature of Writer is the ability to anchor shapes, relative to the page, content templates, and accelerated search & replace operations. The spreadsheet Calc has been enhanced by a greatly improved spell checker and new auto filters. It is hoped that Impress and Draw users will find the new physics-based animation options and presets appealing- and realistic soft shadows are now available too. Meanwhile, formula editor Math now has added support for HTML colour attributes.
File migration and interoperability has been improved again. Microsoft Office rivals always need the most robust and capable import / export filters and LibreOffice is claimed to have “the highest level of compatibility in the office suite arena,” extending from ODF to the office standard like DOCX, XLSX and PPTX, as well as support for legacy formats.
LibreOffice is available for Linux, Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 and newer, Apple MacOS 10.12 and newer, Android and iOS, as well as in Apple’s Apps stores and for ChromeOS. For the first time LibreOffice will also be running natively on Windows on Arm. The Arm version is a cross-build of the 64-bit version for Windows but is still at an early stage with several known limitations.