Today, August 3, 2016, The Document Foundation non-profit organization has had the great pleasure of announcing the general availability of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite software.
LibreOffice 5.2 has been in development for the past four months, during which time the development team behind one of the best free office suites has managed to implement dozens of new features and improvements to most of the application’s components. Key features include more UI (User Interface) refinements to make it flexible for anyone, standards-based document classification, forecasting functions in Calc, the spreadsheet editor, as well as lots of Writer and Impress enhancements.
“LibreOffice 5.2 is a significant step forward for Free Software on the desktop, and will soon be available as a full featured cloud office suite,” says Michael Meeks, a Director at The Document Foundation (TDF) and a leading developer of LibreOffice Online. “The tight integration between desktop and cloud will provide enterprises a value added experience, with the best of both platforms always available to all users.”
Here’s what’s new in LibreOffice 5.2
There are way too many changes in LibreOffice 5.2 to mention them all, so we’ll try to cover here the ones that we think are the most important to you. Let’s begin with the LibreOffice Writer component, which has received a single toolbar mode, support for showing or hiding the track changes toolbar, a bunch of new drawing tools, namely Freeform Line, Polygon, Polygon (45°), and Filled Curve, support for displaying bookmark text, a selection filter UI in Cross Reference tab under Insert -> Fields -> More Fields, and a new Insert Bookmark dialog window.
The second component to receive many improvements and new features is LibreOffice Calc, which now comes with the ability to freeze the first column or row of a sheet, support for inserting a new line by using the Shift + Enter keyboard shortcut, support of multiple status-bar functions at the same time, a collection of forecasting functions, a cascaded IF-function, a multiple choice selection function, a tool to concatenate strings, and another one for subtracting numbers, as well as an option for deleting the border from adjacent cells.
Moreover, LibreOffice Calc ships with a new keyboard shortcut, namely F4, for accessing Cell References, and Ctrl + Space for accessing the Column Select function, a revamped currency drop-down list for selecting the desired currency format. There will also be support for wildcards designed to be compatible with the ODF 1.2, XLS, and XLSX document formats, a new statistical wizard for better Microsoft Excel support, the ability to copy named expressions and ranges during the copy operation of sheets and support for using them with the sheet-local scope on other sheets.
On the other hand, the LibreOffice Draw and Impress components have received a new option button for hiding or showing the draw functions, implementation of an effects list on the Custom Animation sidebar tab, as well as extra details to the Custom Animation list. The LibreOffice Charts component got various improvements to the rendering of polynomial equation, and it won’t force automatic Y log scale to 1 anymore.
As for the general LibreOffice 5.2 improvements (make sure you also watch the videos attached below for details), we can mention native GTK+ 3.x menubar and tooltips as part of the interface refinements mention above, support for importing and exporting OOXML signatures, support for signature descriptions in the document signing feature, the ability to read SHA-256 hashes in ODF documents, as well as great improvements to the import of RTF and DOCX files that contain linked graphics.
Among other goodies, we should point out that LibreOffice 5.2 simplifies the character spacing, improves the resizing behavior for images, videos and OLE objects, lets you import Microsoft Word for DOS files, and supports editing of JVM (Java Virtual Machine) start parameters. Then, there are improved DPI support during export of JPG images, the redesign of the Find & Replace dialog, multiple enhancements to the language support and proofing tools, a much-improved SVGIO import filter, and many more.