The LibreOffice team is about to release version 4.0 of the Office suite to the public.
The new version has not been released officially yet and while some sites posted links to the final version, it is still possible that last minute changes will make another version the final one. If you do not mind that, you can download LibreOffice 4.0 from this ftp server.
First thing you may notice is that the size of the suite has been reduced by about 20 Megabytes when you compare its size to the size of version 3.6.5 of the program.
The release notes highlight all the changes in LibreOffice 4.0.
Several features were removed or deprecated in LibreOffice 4.0. The new version does not support Windows 2000 anymore and the Mac support base line has been raised to Mac OS X 10.6. It is also no longer possible to export legacy Word and Excel (version 6.0/95) files. While they can still be opened, they can't be saved anymore.
Below is a selection of hand picked changes in this version, for a full list of changes visit the official Document Foundation website.
- Comments can now be attached to document text ranges in Writer.
- Import ink annotations from Docx and RTF documents.
- Set different header and footer on first page.
- Improvements to docx support.
- Improved ODS document import support in Calc.
- Option to cache values of formula in ODS or XLSX spreadsheets to open them faster.
- Size limit for ODF documents increased to 4 Gigabyte (from 2).
- New conditional formats (Date, Top/Bottom rules, String rules).
- Enhanced chart visualization.
- XOR spreadsheet function.
- Impress remote control for Android devices (Linux exclusive right now).
- Accelerated preview of multimedia contents.
- Improved quality of page previews in Draw.
- Integration of session installer to add components to LibreOffice on the fly.
- Java code reduction.
- Four new open source font families included (Open Sans, PT Serif, Source Code Pro and Source Sans Pro).
- New regular expressions engine.
- Import filter for Microsoft Publisher publications.
- Extended coverage of Visio file format. LibreOffice 4.0 supports all Visio file formats from Visio 1.0 to Microsoft Visio 2013.
- Graphics can be compressed and resized with the new Compress Graphics popup menu.
- Improved image quality in documents.
- Text can now be selected and copied from message boxes.
- Unity integration.
- Support for Firefox Personas.
- New templates manager.
- Improved ODS, XLSX and RTF load time.
The new version features many improvements as you can see from the short list above or the full release notes. Especially the improved graphics quality and the performance improvements need to be mentioned here. If you disable Java, you will notice that LibreOffice 4.0 starts up considerably fast, and while it is still not as fast as Microsoft Office, the difference is not that visible anymore.I suggest you wait with the update until the new version is officially announced on the project website.
Update: LibreOffice 4.0 has been released.Enjoyed the article?: Then sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed to kick off your day with the latest technology news and tips, or share the article with your friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ using the icons below.