LibreOffice 4.0 changes - gHacks Tech News

LibreOffice 4.0 changes

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.

libreoffice 4.0 screenshot

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.
Tip: I highly suggest you disable Java integration (unless needed of course) to speed up the start up of the program. You can do so with a click on Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced > Use a Java runtime environment.


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.


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  1. ilev said on February 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Waiting for the portable version.

  2. Lindsay said on February 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm


  3. said on February 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Going to install on my Ubuntu PC

  4. Transcontinental said on February 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Disable Java integration indeed, moreover Java itself having been removed from the system!
    On the ftp servers, related help (language) available as well.

    I don’t understand how this 4.0 release is available on ftp as dated Feb.1st, and that LibreOffice’s homepage still doesn’t publish it, unless to consider as Martin states ” it is still possible that last minute changes will make another version the final one.”.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      I suppose they use a similar release schedule as Mozilla. That is, build several versions, pick one, and keep that one unless bugs or other issues are detected in that release.

  5. Anonymous said on February 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    You are pointing to a website who is not working in the sentence:
    Below is a selection of hand picked changes in this version, for a full list of changes visit the official Document Foundation website.

    Maybe its better to revere to the page

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      The release notes page worked a couple of hours ago. I have changed it to the new one.

    2. ilev said on February 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm
      1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        Probably has been down due to servers being swarmed by users who download / update the program.

  6. rpwheeler said on February 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Got official release announce, download links for 4.0 are on official download page.

  7. methuselah said on February 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    it’s been released officially.

  8. Pete said on February 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for the disable tip – runs a hell of a lot quicker especially cold booting.

  9. pauloO said on February 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    same here: thanks for for the Java tip!

  10. michel said on February 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Still chokes on a simple, 2-page, text-only docx file.

    Every release, they claim improved interoperability, every release they lie.

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