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LibreOffice 5.3 brings online productivity

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LibreOffice 5.3 online

Expanding its presence in the productivity world, the Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 5.3. This new open source office suite version is debuting on the private cloud alongside its availability on Linux, macOS and Windows.

The very first spotlight that comes from LibreOffice 5.3 is its online appearance. First announced in last August, the latest LibreOffice includes the first source release of LibreOffice Online. The new cloud office suite provides you basic collaborative editing of documents right in your web browser.

LibreOffice Online uses the “core engine” of the open source package. Though it was initially considered as an alternative to Google Docs, the Web package comes as a server service and needs to be installed and configured manually by adding a cloud storage and an SSL certificate. Nevertheless, the online version could help enterprises and large organisations with the public cloud or private cloud technologies.

Cross-platform text layout engine

Apart from the cloud-focused release, LibreOffice 5.3 includes the new cross-platform text layout engine. This new offering uses HarfBuzz to deliver consistent text layout across all platforms. The Document Foundation has additionally provided improvements across languages and alphabets as well as offered a revised Help menu with quick links to user guides and community support forums.

Improved offerings

The updated LibreOffice also comes with improved versions of Writer, Calc and Impress.

The refined Writer has a table styling support to apply formatting to tables in the document and brings a page deck in the sidebar to simplify page setting customisations. It also comes with a new Go to Page Box to let you jump to another page in the document with just a few keystrokes.

Calc, on the other hand, now has a new set of default cell styles and includes a text entry box to ease the search for various functions. In a fresh installation, you will notice ‘Enable wildcards in formulas’ as the default option to improve compatibility with other spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel.

The new LibreOffice has also added a template selector in Impress to give you a quick-start experience. Besides, there is a new Slide Properties Deck available in the sidebar during slide master mode.

The open source LibreOffice project has attracted more than 1,100 new developers. Michaell Meeks of the Document Foundation claims that just during the last two years, an average of 300 people active on the source code.

“LibreOffice is backed by a fantastic community of developers, Meeks said in a statement.

LibreOffice 5.3 is available for free download on its official website. Enterprise deployments can work best on the more mature 5.2.5 version.