LibreOffice is a suite of programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and vector drawings. It is free to download, use, and distribute. It is available in many languages and runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
LibreOffice’s native file formats are OpenDocument (*.ODT, *.ODS, *.ODP, etc.), but it can open and save to many other formats, including Microsoft Office formats (*.DOC, *.XLS, *.PPT, etc.).
To download LibreOffice, go to the LibreOffice website.
LibreOffice is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation.
On 8 August 2019, The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 6.3, a feature-rich major release with better performance, a large number of new and improved features, and enhanced interoperability with proprietary document format:
- Writer and Calc performance has been improved by an order of magnitude based on documents provided by end users: text files with different bookmarks, tables and embedded fonts, large ODS/XLSX spreadsheets, and Calc files with VLOOKUP load and render more quickly. Saving Calc spreadsheets as XLS files is also faster.
- The Tabbed Compact version of the NotebookBar user interface, introduced in LibreOffice 6.2, is now available for Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw. It leaves more space for user documents, spreadsheets and presentations on laptops with wide screens. In addition, the new Contextual Single UI is ready for Writer and Draw.
- In Calc, a new drop-down widget in the formula bar replaces the old Sum tool, giving the user quick access to the most frequently used functions. Also, a new FOURIER function has been added, to compute the discrete Fourier transform of an input array.
- Export as PDF has been improved with the support for the standard PDF/A-2 document format, which is required by several organizations for long term file storage. In addition, the design of editable PDF forms has been simplified with the addition of the Form menu to Writer, to further improve one of LibreOffice strongest features.
- Documents can now be redacted to remove or hide sensitive information such as personal data before exporting or sharing the file, to help companies or organisations to comply with regulations.
- On Windows, a proper console mode was added, with better output and error codes. This makes it easier to use LibreOffice to perform batch operations such as printing or converting many documents.
- Interoperability with Microsoft Office proprietary file formats has been improved in several areas with export support for DOTX document templates and XLTX spreadsheet templates, import of charts from DOCX drawingML group shapes, import/export of SmartArt from PPTX files, to preserve editing capabilities in PowerPoint, and better XLSX Pivot table interoperability.
More information, including screenshots, is available on the TDF blog.
In September 2018 Friends of OpenDocument published the printed edition of the LibreOffice 6.0 Getting Started Guide, written by the LibreOffice Documentation Team. Free PDFs and ODTs are available from the LibreOffice website. Purchase printed copies from our store at Lulu.com.
The LibreOffice Documentation Team has published the Writer Guide for version 6.0. It is available for free download (PDF) from the LibreOffice website or can be purchased from the Friends of OpenDocument store at Lulu.com.
The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 6.1, with a significant number of new and improved features:
- Colibre, a new icon theme for Windows based on Microsoft’s icon design guidelines, which makes the office suite visually appealing for users coming from the Microsoft environment;
- A reworked image handling feature, which is significantly faster and smoother thanks to a new graphic manager and an improved image lifecycle, with some advantages also when loading documents in Microsoft proprietary formats;
- The reorganization of Draw menus with the addition of a new Page menu, for better UX consistency across the different modules;
- A major improvement for Base, only available in experimental mode: the old HSQLDB database engine has been deprecated, though still available, and the new Firebird database engine is now the default option (users are encouraged to migrate files using the migration assistant from HSQLDB to Firebird, or by exporting them to an external HSQLDB server);
- Significant improvements in all modules of LibreOffice Online, with changes to the user interface to make it more appealing and consistent with the desktop version;
- An improved EPUB export filter, in terms of link, table, image, font embedding and footnote support, with more options for customizing metadata;
- Online Help pages have been enriched with text and example files to guide the users through features, and are now easier to localize.
The LibreOffice Documentation Team has published the Writer Guide for version 5.4. It is available for free download (PDF) from the LibreOffice website or can be purchased from the Friends of OpenDocument store at Lulu.com.