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Improvements to LibreOffice continue to enhance the free, community-driven office suite software

The Document Foundation, a non-profit fighting against vendor lock-in through free, open-source, and powerful tools, is announcing the next major release of LibreOffice, a community-driven and developed office suite software. Built for desktop productivity, LibreOffice 7.5 introduces various interoperable, technical, and accessible functions to the free office suite.

LibreOffice is entirely developed and pioneered by a volunteer-based community that believes in the principles of free software—that everyone deserves access to software with freedom and accommodation.

Avoiding proprietary software and format lock-in, LibreOffice is dedicated toward providing powerful productivity tools—at no cost and in a wide expanse of languages—with open and transparent standards. Software is tested and equipped daily by an expansive community of many different tongues, ensuring consistent, comprehensive, and robust quality, according to the vendor.

“There are many volunteers that want to have an office suite in their language,” said Italo Vignoli, founder and media spokesperson of The Document Foundation. “This is not economically valuable for large proprietary companies, like Microsoft. For LibreOffice, as the localization is done by volunteers, the software is available in more languages than any other software in the world. We can reach almost 5.5 billion people in the world in their native language.”

The extensive work done by LibreOffice’s volunteer developers empowers an environment of engagement and feedback within its community. Responses to feedback are materialized as major releases, which regularly occur twice a year as a commitment to constantly serving the needs of its users.

“By having two major releases with a number of new features per year, we make developers happy because they can see the result of their work reaching the users and they get feedback from them,” explained Vignoli. “Microsoft Office has a major release every 2-3 years, and in the same time, we will have 5-7 major releases.”

LibreOffice offers a variety of applications, including Writer (word processing); Calc (spreadsheets); Impress (presentations); Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts); Base (databases); and Math (formula editing); that are compatible with a range of document formats, such as Microsoft applications. Its products are available for major desktop operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS; for mobile platforms, including Android and iOS; and for the cloud.

The latest update to the free office suite software provides improvements for users sharing documents with MS Office or migrating from MS Office. The new Migration Protocol capability increases support for enterprises making the transition from proprietary office suites to LibreOffice, offering migration consultancy and training sourced from certified professionals. 

For enterprise-class deployments, the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners provides long-term SLA, personalized assistance, technical support, and custom new features that ultimately propagate to the larger LibreOffice project. 

LibreOffice 7.5 is a host for a myriad of UI improvements for its applications, including enhanced dark mode support, toolbar UI, zoom slider, bookmarks, vibrant application and MIME-type icons, and new table styles. In regard to accessibility improvements, LibreOffice 7.5 introduces an automatic accessibility checker tool and decorative object markers for its word processing application. All  the features in LibreOffice 7.5 are designed to empower its user base, centered around exactly what they need.

“We try to look at features that are useful to our users. We don’t develop features because they may increase the number of users. We try to serve the needs of our current users, and by serving these needs, attract new users,” explained Vignoli.

LibreOffice ultimately aims to cater to its users and their knowledge while delivering the latest improvements to better serve them. With familiarity in mind, LibreOffice designs its features to be progressively introduced in accustomed formats and views.

“The main advantage is the fact that each new version of LibreOffice is an incremental improvement over the previous one, so you don’t need to learn completely new features,” said Vignoli. “Updating the software is a rather natural process, you don’t have to learn or adapt to anything new; we provide a UI that is quite similar to Microsoft Office.”

LibreOffice for desktop operating systems is available to download here, and its mobile version here. To support The Document Foundation and its LibreOffice project, donations can be made here.

To learn more, please visit https://www.libreoffice.org/.

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