LibreOffice 5.0 is available

A new version of the open source office suite LibreOffice has just been released. It features an improved user interface, Windows 10 compatibility and better interoperability between different operating systems.

Interested users can download LibreOffice 5.0 from the official project website where it is available as a direct download and a torrent download for all supported operating systems.

Existing users can make use of the internal update option instead. To check for updates select Help > Check for Updates from the menu.

The default version offered on the page is the 32.bit version of LibreOffice for Windows. If you require a different version, click on the change link on the page to select the desired version.

Developers may download the SDK and source code as well on the same page.

The new version of LibreOffice features new icons and changes to sidebar and menus on top of that.

libreoffice writer

Writer, the word editing component of LibreOffice, received several new features:

  1. Emoji and in-word replacement support. You may use and configure shortcodes in LibreOffice to add Emoji to a document. The shortcode :beta: adds the Beta sign β to the document for instance. You find a list of all shortcodes and management options under Tools > AutoCorrect Options.
  2. Style previews are provided in the sidebar now. Each style entry is visualized in the sidebar so that it is clear on first glance how it looks.
  3. Text highlighting and shading is Word-compatible so that it is preserved during import and export of Microsoft Word documents.
  4. Images can be cropped with the mouse in the interface.

Calc, the spreadsheet component, received new features as well:

  1. Conditional formatting is now supported.
  2. XLSX improvements especially when importing and exporting spreadsheets.
  3. Lots of changes to the formula engine, for instance floor and ceiling spreadsheet functions, or entire row and column references.

LibreOffice ships with an Expert Configuration menu that received improvements as well in the new version. It is now searchable so that you can locate entries in it quickly using the built-in search module.

libreoffice expert config

You access the configuration page by following this path: Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced > Expert Configuration.

You may want to go through the full release notes if you are interested in the full picture. There you find listed improvements for other modules and general improvements, for instance those made to context menus.

Now You: Do you use LibreOffice or another office suite?

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Responses to LibreOffice 5.0 is available

  1. martinkem August 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    How does LibreOffice compare to Kingsoft WPS?

  2. Bob August 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    I'm using Ashampoo office 2012, really like it.


    • Kalama August 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Ashampoo Office is a derivative of LibreOffice. I'm not sure what modifications they've made other than the branding and the $80 price tag.

      • webfork August 6, 2015 at 12:48 am #

        It's not a derivative of LibreOffice, it's just a re-branding of SoftMaker Office.

  3. Tom Hawack August 5, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    LibreOffice 5.0 64-BIT opens much faster than previous 32-BIT builds. This is not due to the placebo effect. The difference is flagrant.
    Installed easily as usual. I've been using this office suite ever since OpenOffice started to zig-zag. Improving on every update. Nice product. I know some experts say there is no comparison with Microsoft's and that may be true for advanced edition/publication but here i've got all I need with LibreOffice.

    • dwarf_t0ssr August 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

      Do you find that OO docs open correctly and retain proper formatting when viewing in MS Word or Powerpoint? I used OO to make simple .docx and .ppt files, but they seem to always look different when opened in the respective MS product. I just couldn't rely on them to be legible when viewed in what most people are using. On the flip side of that, I'd get docs made in MS not opening correctly in OO, that were perfect when viewed in MS Office products. Not being able to count on a document opening properly in an MS product is the big reason I had to ditch it all those times.

      I should probably try it again. I have MS Office, but would love to be able to use OO instead and not be at the whim of ribbons or whatever changes MS makes. Had tried it years ago, and again with Go-OO, and finally Libre. A 64-bit version sounds good, too.

      • NG August 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

        The changes that have happened in LibreOffice over the past 1 year are huge. Support of MS Office formats is almost perfect now but in any case ODF is natively supported now both in MSOffice and in Google docs. Therefore it's about time you start changing the main format of your documents ;)

        In any case, give it a try. I find it much easier to use, much leaner and faster and much more customizable

      • A different Martin August 5, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

        I have only limited recent experience importing and exporting files between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice, but I've read more than once that you tend to run into fewer cross-suite compatibility problems if you save Word/Writer files in the old DOC format instead of the new DOCX format and Excel/Calc files in the old XLS format instead of the new XLSX format. If you need to share a file with someone who uses the other suite, it's easy enough to do a Save As from either one.

    • JohnMWhite August 5, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

      I noticed that too. It was a little bugbear of mine that LibreOffice was always so darn slow to launch, but the x64 version is very fast.

    • Ashley September 27, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

      I seem to find my Calc file I use on a daily basis for our farm increasingly slow, with every version of Libreoffice I update to. Today for the first time I downloaded the 64bit version to give it a try. I'm running Win 8.1 64bit on a Core i7 cpu, Samsung 840 Pro SSD with 16Gigs of RAM and my 509kb file takes about a minute to open, and now when I scroll in it it really lags! Can't understand what the heck is happening...

      • A different Martin September 28, 2015 at 12:50 am #

        This is a pretty wild guess, but launch Windows Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, and see what soffice.bin's background CPU usage is (when LibreOffice has theoretically been doing nothing for a while). If it's high when it should really be zero, disable Automatic Spell Checking, and, in Autocorrect Options, Word Completion, uncheck Enable word completion and Collect words. (Exit and restart LibreOffice, for good measure.) If soffice.bin's eventual background CPU usage has gone down significantly, Calc may share with Writer a couple of bugs that are due to be fixed in a "fresh" release later this month. But it's just a guess, and be warned that disabling the above-mentioned features does not appear to prevent other functions (like updating document statistics) from triggering the buggy code. If that happens, the only way to kill excessive background CPU usage is to save, close, and re-open the document, so the interim workaround is only partial at best. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the upcoming release fixes the problem, as I'm really anxious to move from LibreOffice 4 x86 to LibreOffice 5 x64 and high background CPU usage in some of my documents -- supposedly the ones with long paragraphs -- is the only thing preventing me from upgrading.

        Another wild guess is that something (e.g., some kind of corruption or a misbehaving autostart macro) in your personal LibreOffice profile is causing the problem. This is pretty easy to test and not necessarily a huge hassle to recover from. (The less customizing you've done, the less hassle recovery is.) See the instructions at:

      • Jay Philips September 28, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

        The best thing to do is to submit a bug report about your particular issue, so that the developers can track down what specific issue is plaguing your calc file ( ).

      • Ashley September 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

        Thanks for the comments guys. I've found that going back to the x86 version of Libreoffice, and increasing all the memory objects under settings - I seem to have fixed the problem. So I guess I'm not going to be bothering with the 64bit version yet!

      • Jay Philips October 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

        @Ashley: What amounts did you change the memory objects to?

      • Ashley October 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

        @Jay Philips Not sure why I can't reply directly to your post Jay, but here goes.
        I'm now using latest version of x86 Libreoffice v5.0.1.2
        Number of Steps: 200
        Use for Libreoffice: 1000MB
        Memory per object: 30MB
        Number of Objects: 200

  4. Rage August 5, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    @ martinkem:
    Check this out - for comparison. What's free and what's not. In LibreOfice I get it all FREE.

    Btw. @ Martin B. - echt der HAMMER deine Webseite.

    • Martin Brinkmann August 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

      Thanks ;)

    • martinkem August 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      Thanks, i would definitely check it out

      • Jay Philips August 9, 2015 at 3:07 am #

        Watermarks on print and pdf and no ability to add comments unless you pay for the business edition.

  5. XenoSilvano August 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    *sigh* when will a tabbed user interface finally be added to LibreOffice(?)

    • Guy de Enpassant September 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      > *sigh* when will a tabbed user interface finally be added to LibreOffice(?)

      Please, please, no!

      I battle this everyday with Excel at work. Everytime I want to have two spreadsheets in two different windows (to use Windows' superior tiling features), I have to close the second spreadsheet which opened in the current Excel instance, open an new Excel, open the second xlsx with that new instance, close the empty spreadsheet made available when the second Excel instance started... all that to be able to bring Word to the front of just one of the Excel spreadsheets!

      It's too much suffering. Why won't Microsoft make opening a new spreadsheet in a window available? Even browsers do that with html tabs -- you can drag tabs out of the browser to a new window.

      Please don't come up with that tabbed interface BS to Libreoffice!

      Just in case you don't know it, there are Desktop Environments which provide the tabbed window resource for all programs, Libreoffice included... that is, if you're not using Windows, which doesn't have tabs AFAIK. But I seem to recall there are third-party add-ons which will add such functionality to the Windows interface.

  6. A different Martin August 5, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    Well, this is actually pretty exciting. I was ruing the absence of conditional formatting in Calc just a couple of weeks ago -- I had to settle for a conditional style -- and I've been waiting for a 64-bit Windows edition ever since I first installed LibreOffice. And to think the latest "fresh" version of 32-bit LibreOffice 4.4 for Windows was released only six days ago...

    I see that style names in Writer are now formatted with the font and font effects of the style in question. (In one series of documents, I have a paragraph style for narrative breaks that uses the Wingding font, so the style name is now indecipherable until you hover over it and get a little popup in Latin characters. But how often do people make styles that use dingbat fonts? On balance, it's a helpful change.) And I see that the index-entry-window focus bug I complained about some nine months ago still hasn't been fixed. But Microsoft didn't fix Excel's column width auto-fit bug for something like ten years, so the Document Foundation still has a good nine years before it has to hang its head in shame. ;-)

    For anyone who's interested, here's the Document Foundation's feature comparison between LibreOffice 5 and Microsoft Office 2013:

    Feature Comparison: LibreOffice - Microsoft Office - The Document Foundation Wiki

    Maybe the biggest feature I miss in LibreOffice is MS Word's full-functioned outlining feature, which permits collapsing, reordering, and re-expanding. Ah well; maybe in a future release.

    Anyway, thanks very much, Martin, for posting about this!

    • Jay Philips August 9, 2015 at 12:31 am #

      Conditional formatting has been there for ages, but in the latest release, some of the missing customizations features were added to the conditional formatting dialog so that users could enable them.

    • Jay Philips August 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

      Thanks for mentioning the wingding problem, as i've submitted it as a bug report.

  7. Graham August 6, 2015 at 12:06 am #

    Have they added in-software updates yet? I rarely update LibreOffice because it takes way too long. I hate how they merely inform me that an update is available, yet they won't update it for me and I have to go to the damn website and install the 200MB file manually. It's tedious and annoying.

    If they haven't done that yet, then I see no point in getting newer versions.

    • A different Martin August 6, 2015 at 6:51 am #

      Different strokes for different folks. I actually prefer to download a standalone offline installer. That way I can do a checksum as well as maintain an archive of checksum-vetted installers for previous versions, in case I end up wanting to roll back. Today's install (including the offline help) took me maybe a little over 10 minutes, during which time I continued browsing. By the way, in Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Online Update, you have the option to have LibreOffice automatically download updated installers to a folder of your choosing whenever it finds that a new one is available.

      * * *

      Well, it's serendipitous I got distracted by something else before actually posting this comment. In the interim, I noticed that LibreOffice 5 x64 was using around 52% of my CPU cycles (at top CPU speed) when it had a large document loaded and had been doing absolutely nothing for a pretty long time. (I noticed because my laptop's fan exhaust got markedly hotter.) I had encountered a similar problem in earlier x86 versions of LO and traced it to Writer's automatic [background] spell checker being turned on, so I had turned it off and LO's idle CPU usage dropped to around 20% (which is still inexcusably high). I saw that the LO 5 install had reactivated the automatic spell checker, so I turned it off again. But this time, LO's idle CPU usage remained between around 35% and around 52%, hitting the high mark more often than the low mark. Also, LO 5 crashed all by itself while doing absolutely nothing while I was away running an errand for around an hour. (No sleep, no hibernation, just a locked welcome screen with a screensaver.) Long story short, unless I can track down another rogue LO 5 routine running in background and get LO's idle CPU usage down to a tolerable level -- and LO running stably -- I'm probably going to have to uninstall LO 5 and reinstall LO 4.4 for the time being ... hence the usefulness of having an archive of earlier installers on hand.

      (It's a shame, because LO 5 x64 did seem to launch faster, and it did seem to update tables of contents and indexes faster, as well. They'll probably fix the stability bug and -- hopefully -- the idle CPU usage problem in future point releases. I just hope the problem doesn't lie with my user profile macros, toolbar, and keyboard customizations, because the mere thought of having to redo them from scratch gives me hives. It's easy enough to temporarily rename my profile and let LO rebuild a default one from scratch, but I'm dreading an unwanted result... UPDATE: I just ran a test and the problem does not lie with my profile. Sure, I loaded a 430,000-word document for the test, but what can Writer possibly be doing that's eating up ~50% of CPU cycles at full CPU speed when no commands have been run for a long time? I'm downgrading to 4.4.5 x86.)

      • Graham August 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

        That's the problem I'm talking about. Even if I turn on automatic updates, no matter what version of LO I'm using, it will tell me "the automatic download is not available." It ALWAYS tells me to go to the website. Every. Single. Time.

        As for your CPU problem, have you tried turning off the program in the Task Manager?

      • A different Martin August 6, 2015 at 11:28 pm #


        My apologies for suggesting the automatic download feature. I've never used it myself, as I like to test the checksums myself right after the download completes, so I don't forget. (Hopefully, if LibreOffice's automatic download feature actually worked, it would do the checksum for you, but I'd still be inclined to double-check.)

        Exiting LibreOffice 5 is not the problem. The problem is high background CPU usage when LibreOffice 5 Writer is, theoretically, temporarily "idle" -- not running any foreground commands, just sitting there with a document loaded. I've been tolerating LO4 x86's ~20% background usage, but LO5 x64's ~50% at 2.2GHz, which drives my CPU and mainboard temperatures from an average of around 50°C to around 75°C, is beyond the pale. Replacing the fan (and, necessarily, the heatsink's thermal compound) on a ThinkPad R61 is tedious, painstaking, time-consuming work. I did it a few months ago and I never want to have to do it again. I don't take kindly to apps that thrash my CPU like a rented mule for no apparent reason. (And this is coming from a pretty big LibreOffice fan...)

        However, there is some potentially good news. I've been doing some more testing -- I actually reinstalled LO5 to do it -- and I now suspect the problem is limited to LibreOffice Writer documents (possibly only big ones) with tables of contents and/or indexes. Unfortunately, that's the kind of document I work with most often. If more testing bears my theory out, I should be able to file a useful bug report. And until a fix is released, I should be able to live with a workaround solution of temporarily cutting and pasting my tables of contents and indexes into separate documents until work on the main document is complete. Using a "master document" and storing the document's various sections as separate files might be another solution.

      • A different Martin August 7, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

        A quick follow-up, so I don't leave the wrong impression about LibreOffice 5:

        It looks like the CPU-churning problem I experienced may be limited to Writer documents with a very high word count. I've eliminated the possibility that it's related to file size or the presence of tables of contents, indexes, index entries, embedded graphics, or complex formatting.

        When I load a 10MB, 14,000-word Writer document with over a hundred embedded graphics with several different frame styles applied to them, lots of applied custom paragraph styles, lots of applied custom character styles, and a moderate amount of direct (non-style) formatting, soffice.bin runs at 0% in background. When I load a 1.5MB, 720,000-word Writer document with no table of contents, no index, no index entries, no embedded graphics, no direct formatting, and everything formatted in default paragraph and character style, soffice.bin runs at 50% in background. (And by the way, both files are based on the same template and contain the same custom styles, albeit applied in the first and not in the second.) I don't have any really huge or elaborate spreadsheets on hand, but the one I loaded properly ran soffice.bin at 0% in background.

        Unfortunately, the Writer documents I used for the test are proprietary and confidential, so I can't attach them to a bug report as samples. If no one else gets around to it soon, I suppose I'll have to try to work up some public domain samples that will (I hope) fully demonstrate the bug. In the meantime, I'm going back to x86 again. As I said, my fan, thermal compound, CPU, and mainboard can live with LO4's 20% background churn, but not LO5's 50%.

      • Jay Philips August 9, 2015 at 1:21 am #

        Yes the initial release will be bugging and they hope to clean most crashes and major problems by 5.0.1 or 5.0.2. About the CPU usage problem, it would be good if you tested the 5.0 x86 version to see if it happens there also and also submitted a bug report for that 430k document so the devs can look into the problem. ( )

      • Jay Philips August 9, 2015 at 1:39 am #

        As your doc contains private data, you can follow the instructions here to fix that issue.

    • A different Martin August 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      @Jay Philips:

      I'm very leery of attempting to sanitize the series of documents I tested the bug with. Higher up on the sanitizing page you linked me to, they do remind submitters to remove document metadata and old versions. They don't remind submitters that index entries in Writer documents may well contain non-disclosable information -- and the ~430,000-word document I tested has hundreds of such entries. I haven't indexed the ~720,000-word document yet, so I suppose that remains a possible candidate. Moreover, all of the documents I tested are based on a template with numerous custom paragraph styles and even more custom character styles. The mere names of most of these custom styles contain non-disclosable information and would have to be manually renamed. Simply put, I just don't trust the sanitization procedures to be complete. I will think about saving the documents as TXT files, then resaving those TXT files as ODT files, and seeing if the bug is reproducible that way. If so, I will consider the text sanitization procedure. If not, I'm going to wait and see if someone with a publicly disclosable document can confirm it and, if no one steps up, will eventually consider working up a public-domain document that does.

      I will also consider installing 32-bit LO and testing the bug with that, although I'm already seeing it in 32-bit (with ~20% background CPU usage instead of 64-bit's LO5's ~50%). I'm only a user, not a coder, and in the past year or so I've put in at least three full days testing, documenting, and reporting bugs I've come across in LibreOffice (and one extension. AltSearch). A few of those bugs have been major, and as far as I can see, not one has been worked on, let alone fixed. One of them, which seriously impacts the indexing process, was first reported by someone else four years ago. While I'm still a supporter of LibreOffice, this lack of responsiveness and follow-through doesn't make me enthusiastic about dropping everything and putting in a lot of additional work. I now tend to space out my exertions.

      • Jay Philips August 9, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

        @A different Martin:

        Thanks for the update and for your bug reporting. Another option to sending in a private document is that it not be put in public view and is seen only by two people in the libreoffice team (a QA member to test for the bug and a developer to fix the bug). I volunteer with libreoffice's QA team, so if you can let me know the bug reports you sent in, i can look into them and see if i can get them moved along.

      • A different Martin August 13, 2015 at 12:21 am #

        @Jay Philips:

        Thanks for being so responsive, helpful, and just plain friendly!

        Regarding the high CPU usage bug, I maintained x86 as my primary install and added parallel installs of x86 and x64, downloaded a short public-domain book and a really long public-domain book, and confirmed my bug report using those documents. That bug report is 93261.

        The index entry bug that's been driving me insane is the subject of bug report 87686. It was first reported around four years ago, albeit inartfully, buried in an omnibus multiple-bug submission.

        For a spell-check bug, see bug report 75922, starting at Comment 7, where I had a better grasp of the extent of the bug. (The demonstration text I provide seems unrealistic and extreme, but it was real-world spell-check screw-ups in a real-world document that prompted me to develop the extreme test. The bug has apparently been confirmed with languages other than US English.)

        A couple of the bugs I submitted appear to have never successfully posted. They are probably mentioned in passing in the very first bug report I submitted, when LibreOffice's Bugzilla was hosted at FreeDesktop, but if I can't remember what they were about off the top of my head, they are probably not worth fretting about. One minor report that did post was about the spell-checker's "Always Correct" button being undocumented and doing nothing. Actually, it doesn't "always correct" but instead adds the selected correction pair to the AutoCorrect table, which only works if you're actively typing and AutoCorrect is turned on. I just added a comment to that report suggesting that the "Always Correct" button be relabeled as "Add to AutoCorrect" or something like that (as it apparently is in the German-language interface).

        I spent a good deal of time thoroughly testing and documenting a bug in the excellent and very useful AltSearch extension, complete with a "self-documenting" test document. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a response from the developer despite having had one brief, very positive, very helpful interaction with him previously. I asked the LibreOffice QA team for assistance in reaching him but didn't get a reply. The extension is now listed as possibly unmaintained, so maybe he's too busy and has abandoned or "hibernated" the project. If the original developer has in fact abandoned the project, it would be great if someone else could take it over.

        That's all I can think of. Thanks again for offering to look into my bug reports; I really appreciate it. I've done my best to describe and document them, but again -- I'm just a user, not a coder.

      • A different Martin August 13, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        @Jay Philips:

        I just remembered that I also confirmed Bug Report 40469, involving frame styles, at Comment 14. If the initial reporter is to be believed, that bug (or limited functionality, if you prefer) hasn't been fixed in 10½ years, now, from OpenOffice through LibreOffice.

        PS: Aha! The "b" HTML tag doesn't work for bolding here, but the "strong" tag does. Good to know.

        PPS: Still a big fan and supporter of LibreOffice!

  8. webfork August 6, 2015 at 1:15 am #

    I've been using LibreOffice as my primary tool in a corporate environment for almost 3 years now for todo lists, meeting notes, and initial drafts. Writer does a great job with formatting and nested bullets since MS Word formatting tends to go a bit wonky after 20+ edits to a given document. LibreOffice will open 100s of file formats and the number of formats it can edit continues to increase. Best of all, it works exactly as expected; there's no guess work or questions about what it's going to do at a critical moment.

    Part of that predictability comes from the fact that I am using the "Still" or more stable version, which means I won't soon update to LibreOffice 5. I however do keep a copy of the latest from PortableApps on my drive for opening Microsoft files with the latest and greatest filters.

    I only occasionally use LibreOffice components outside of Writer, though recently I've used the Draw tool more and more often to open and edit Visio and PDF files. Still, while it's far from a Microsoft Office replacement, it does help alleviate some MS headaches.

  9. Dave August 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    Performance is still terrible for large spreadsheets, and you still can't use =match(b:b,"ghacks",0) without it giving an error. What good are XLSX compatibility improvements if it doesn't properly support the basic set of Excel functions from fifteen years ago?

  10. Stan August 9, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    Dave, have you tried the new version? According to the release info 1:1 notation is supported now.

  11. Anna August 21, 2016 at 2:21 am #

    So, I'm a writer (unpublished) and I have this weird thing I do where, when I put headings like chapter titles and the like, I use bold, italic, and shadows for the words. On the laptop I don't generally use for writing, I have to use LibreOffice 5.1. But when I went to click on the shadow button, I saw that it wasn't there and that it was replaced by the Clear Direct Formatting button. I still can't find the shadow button. Did they remove it?

    • A different Martin August 21, 2016 at 7:19 am #

      Well, first of all, for recurring multiple-formatting like that, it's a lot easier to use styles.

      But to half-answer your question, I recall seeing some news about LibreOffice making changes to the default toolbars (buttons, order, etc.). I never paid attention to whether the Shadow button was there before, but if you want it back, you need to customize your Formatting toolbar. Specifically, if you want it to appear to the right of the Underline button, clicking on the following sequence of menu items should do it for you. (If I accidentally skipped a step, you'll figure it out. And if you want the Shadow button to the right of a different button, just select the button you want to to appear after, or use the up and down buttons to move it. It will make sense when you see the dialog box.)

      > Customize
      > Toolbars (tab)
      > Formatting (in drop-down menu)
      > (select) Underline (button)
      > Add
      > Category: Format
      > Shadow (button)
      > Add
      > Close
      > OK

      With a standard install of LibreOffice, your customization will be stored in your personal LibreOffice profile in your private AppData folder (or its equivalent in Linux or Mac), and you can copy it and use it with either LibreOffice 4.x or 5.x on a different computer (even one running a different OS).

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