The Document Foundation has released the 4.1 version of LibreOffice, the free and open source office suite for Linux, Windows and Mac OS. TDF says that this release is not only the “best but also the most interoperable free office suite ever.”
LibreOffice 4.1 features a large number of improvements in the area of document compatibility, which increases the opportunities of sharing knowledge with users of proprietary software while retaining the original layout and contents.
Since Microsoft’s Office suite dominates the landscape, interoperability is key for LibreOffice. While Microsoft refuse to work with other file formats, LibreOffice supports as many file formats possible and in this version “numerous improvements have been made to Microsoft OOXML import and export filters, as well as to legacy Microsoft Office and RTF file filters. Most of these improvements derive from the fundamental activity of certified developers backing migration projects, based on a professional support agreement.”
One of the core features of 4.1, which offers PDF like quality and interoperability are font embedding in Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw – which helps in retaining the visual aspect when fonts used to produce the document are not installed on the target PC – and import and export functions new in Excel 2013 for ODF OpenFormula compatibility.
Those who don’t know LibreOffice 4.1 also allows to open and edit Hybrid PDFs directly in the suite. As we covered yesterday that Apache Open Office introduced a new side-bar, borrowed from IBM’s Lotus Symphony, LibreOffice is also importing this feature from AOO as an experiment.
TDF says that “LibreOffice developers are working at the integration with the widget layout technique (which will make it dynamically resizeable and consistent with the behaviour of LibreOffice dialog windows).”
The latest version of LO should arrive on the official repos of your distros soon, Ubuntu/Linux Mint, openSUSE and Arch users can install it from the unstable or testing repos.