I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: LibreOffice is, by all means, the best alternative to Microsoft Office, and its freeware license makes it the go-to productivity suite not only for consumers but also for companies that are looking into ways to reduce licensing costs.
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In the last few years, we’ve seen more and more companies, organizations, and state departments worldwide trying to embrace LibreOffice, just because they were trying to cut costs with the software they use. Some of them managed to stick with LibreOffice, others didn’t, but eventually, all of them agreed that the productivity suite developed by The Document Foundation is indeed a great alternative to Microsoft Office anyway.
The Document Foundation, the non-profit organisation who help steer development of this free office software, say LibreOffice 6.4 is a “ performance-focused ” release that features “almost perfect support for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.” It’s also the first major release of LibreOffice to be made in the suite’s tenth anniversary year. LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs.
- Berlin, May 6, 2021 – LibreOffice 7.1.3 Community, the third minor release of the LibreOffice 7.1 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users.
- General Activities LibreOffice 7.1.2 was released on April 1st Ilmari Lauhakangas (TDF) wrote a nice report about the progress done by the Macro Team in the last year Stanislav Horacek updated some menu paths in Help. Seth Chaiklin clarified the meaning of numbered paragraphs in Help.
And one of the reasons LibreOffice is so good is that TDF keeps rolling out more and more updates on a regular basis thus further refining the experience with the app but also resolving the possible bugs that users come across when running the app.
This week, the organization released LibreOffice 6.4.7, another version of the productivity suite that comes with additional improvements for the major 6.4 branch. In other words, this new update isn’t supposed to add new features, but to actually refine the experience overall to make everything run smoother.
As we know already, one of the things that set LibreOffice apart from the rest of the crowd is the compatibility with Microsoft Office documents. And I can’t stress enough how important this is, especially for those who make the switch from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice, as all documents should be loaded correctly, with no change made to the layout of files.
This new update, therefore, introduces additional improvements in this regard, according to The Document Foundation.
“The Document Foundation announces the availability of LibreOffice 6.4.7, the 7th and last minor release of the LibreOffice 6.4 family, targeted at users relying on the application for desktop productivity. LibreOffice 6.4.7 includes bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility and interoperability with software from other vendors,” the organization explains.
The OpenOffice effort
While LibreOffice has become the go-to productivity suite for users worldwide who don’t want to pay for Microsoft Office, few still remember that the push beyond Microsoft’s software in this part of the market was started by OpenOffice.
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On the other hand, OpenOffice hasn’t received an update in a long time, and this is why The Document Foundation believes all users should be recommended to make the switch to LibreOffice.
“OpenOffice(.org) – the “father project” of LibreOffice – was a great office suite, and changed the world. It has a fascinating history, but since 2014, Apache OpenOffice (its current home) hasn’t had a single major release. That’s right – no significant new features or major updates have arrived in over six years. Very few minor releases have been made, and there have been issues with timely security updates too,” the organization said in an open letter to Apache OpenOffice.
“If Apache OpenOffice still wants to maintain its old 4.1 branch from 2014, sure, that’s important for legacy users. But the most responsible thing to do in 2020 is: help new users. Make them aware that there’s a much more modern, up-to-date, professionally supported suite, based on OpenOffice, with many extra features that people need. We appeal to Apache OpenOffice to do the right thing. Our goal should be to get powerful, up-to-date and well-maintained productivity tools into the hands of as many people as possible. Let’s work together on that!”
The new LibreOffice version is available today for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
LibreOffice 6.4 has arrived for Linux (and other platforms) and is one all users will want on their desktops. Why? Two words: Productivity and compatibility. The developers have gone out of their way to make a number of tasks (such as saving spreadsheets and presentations) faster.
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The 6.4 release adds new features and tweaks, making the office suite considerably more efficient. For example, the LibreOffice Start Center now includes thumbnails of previously edited documents, making it much faster to locate the file you want to work on.
One previous feature that has been drastically improved is the redaction tool (which was only recently introduced to LibreOffice). Prior to 6.4, using the redaction tool was a bit of a challenge. Now, LibreOffice has a new automatic redaction mode that allows users to quickly mask any and all data that matches a specific word, phrase, or expression. The auto redaction tool allows you to add and save words, phrases, and expressions as targets and then apply them to any document. This way you can save specific phrases you have to frequently redact so that they can be easily applied to documents you work with.
Finally, the developers have spent considerable time and effort perfecting the compatibility with MS Office documents. In fact, the Document Foundation now claims LibreOffice enjoys “almost perfect support for .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx files.”
LibreOffice 6.4 And 7.0 User Guides – Taming LibreOffice
Other new features and improvements, found in LibreOffice 6.4 include:
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- Built-in QR code generator, so you can quickly add QR codes to documents.
- Table panel included in the Writer sidebar, for faster table creation.
- Comments can now be marked as resolved.
- Much improved help system.
- Ability to enable/disable the sending of crash reports.