Friday, 20 August 2021 13:05

LibreOffice 7.2 Community adds performance improvements to better handle and manage large files


The Document Foundation (TDF) launches LIbreOffice 7.2 Community, a volunteer-supported free office suite for desktop and productivity.

Built on the LibreOffice Technology platform for productivity on desktop, mobile, and cloud, the office suite provides interoperability improvements with Microsoft’s proprietary file formats.

LibreOffice 7.2 Community features performance improvements in handling large files, opening certain DOCX and XLSX files, managing font caching, and opening presentations and drawings that contain large images.

LibreOffice says there are also drawing speed improvements when using the Skia back-end that was introduced with LibreOffice 7.1.

LibreOffice 7.2 is now available natively for Apple Silicon, a series of processors designed by Apple and based on the ARM architecture.

Because of the early phase of development on this specific platform, binaries are provided but should not be used for any critical purpose at this stage, says LibreOffice.

The software will be available here.

LibreOffice and interoperability
LibreOffice 7.2 Community updates improvements to interoperability with legacy DOC files, and DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX documents.

Microsoft files are still based on the proprietary format deprecated by the ISO in April 2008, and not on the ISO approved standard, so they embed a large amount of hidden artificial complexity. This causes handling issues with LibreOffice, which defaults to a true open standard format (the OpenDocument Format).

LibreOffice says its developers are tackling these issues.

LibreOffice 7.2 takes a step forward in terms of transparent interoperability, while maintaining many advantages in terms of resiliency, robustness and compliance with standards.

LibreOffice offers compatibility in the office suite market segment, starting with native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF)—beating proprietary formats in the areas of security and robustness—to superior support for DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX files.

In addition, LibreOffice provides filters for a large number of legacy document formats, to return ownership and control to users.

LibreOffice 7.2 Community new features
LibreOffice 7.2 Community's new features have been developed by 171 contributors: 70% of code commits are from 51 developers employed by three companies sitting in TDF’s Advisory Board—Collabora, Red Hat, and allotropia—or other organisations (including The Document Foundation), and 30% are from 120 individual volunteers.

232 volunteers have provided localisations in 151 languages. LibreOffice 7.2 Community is released in 119 different language versions, more than any other free or proprietary software, and as such can be used in the native language (L1) by over 5.4 billion people worldwide.

Over 2.3 billion people speak one of those 119 languages as their second language (L2).

• Popup list to search for menu commands
• Scrollable style picker in the NotebookBar
• Fontwork panel in the sidebar
• New list view for the templates dialog
• Built-in Xray-like UNO object inspector

• Background fills can cover whole pages, beyond margins
• Page styles can now have a gutter margin
• Mail merge shows a warning about non-existent data sources
• RDF metadata in style inspector
• Custom colour metadata field shadings

• Calc now can filtre by colour in AutoFilter
• HTML tables listed in the external data dialogue now show captions
• Fat cross cursor available in the options
• Type can be selected in moving average trend lines

Impress and draw:
• New templates: candy, freshes, grey elegant, growing liberty, yellow idea
• Multiple columns now available in text boxes
• Direct access to the scaling factor via the status bar

A video summarising the features is available below: 

 LibreOffice for Enterprises
The Document Foundation recommends LibreOffice Enterprise for businesses. It features long-term support options, professional assistance, personalised developments. and other benefits such as SLA (Service Level Agreements).

Enterprises are using the version supported by volunteers, instead of the version optimised for their needs and supported by the different ecosystem companies.

Over time, this represents a problem for the sustainability of the LibreOffice project, because it slows down the evolution of the project.

In fact, every line of code developed by ecosystem companies for their enterprise customers is shared with the community on the master code repository, and improves the LibreOffice Technology platform.

Products based on LibreOffice Technology are available for major desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS), for mobile platforms (Android and iOS), and for the cloud.

Migrations to LibreOffice
The Document Foundation has developed a migration protocol to support enterprises moving from proprietary office suites to LibreOffice, which is based on the deployment of an LTS version from the LibreOffice Enterprise family, plus migration consultancy and training sourced from certified professionals who offer chief information officers and IT managers value-added solutions in line with proprietary offerings.

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