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The Document Foundation has released the latest version of its office productivity suite. LibreOffice (Version 4.2) offers better performance and better interoperability with MS Windows, and further lays claim to its title of the best free office suite for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

The hardest work has gone into Calc with GPU-enabled power enhancements that should help it to handle big datasets and importing complex XLSX spreadsheets. Document interoperability with Microsoft OOXML, particularly for DOCX, as well as legacy RTF, has been improved. Abiword documents and Apple Keynote presentations get their own import filters too.

LibreOffice 4.2

Open LibreOffice with the new Start screen. The interface is swished up with cleaner layout and a preview of the last opened documents with grouped thumbnail previews. Smaller mobile screens have been kept in mind for the design. Almost 70% of the dialogs have been re-designed. The suite now has a beautiful new “flat” icon theme – Sifr – and a fresh set of default document styles.

iOS users should like the new Impress Remote Control feature that gives users control over presentations playing on their Windows, Mac, or Linux machines from the app on their smartphones. Earlier available on Android, it now caters to Apple users as well.

The changes are attuned for power users. Business and Enterprise users can benefit from the new Expert Configuration window which is simialar to an “advanced settings” funtion. A simplified custom install dialog to avoid potential mistakes, and the ability to centrally manage and lock-down the configuration with Group Policy Objects via Active Directory are two more key features of note.

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You can go through the full list of changes in more detail, or head directly to the LibreOffice 4.2 download page.

Source: The Document Foundation Blog

  1. Mike
    March 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Saikat B - I'm in two minds about the 'We should remember - it is free' statement.

    In one sense I am of course very appreciative of the work that's gone into this product. I'm no evangelist, but what I've been trying to say at work is it's not just free it's a serious alternative. Libre's great.

    • Saikat B
      March 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Yes, Mike. OpenOffice is the other one, and if I am not wrong it is the leader of the pack when it comes to open source productivity suites. But then, OpenOffice has been in use for far longer than LibreOffice.

  2. Luke B
    February 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I used to use Libra office all the time when I had my Linux set up, it's a shame I sold it tbh because I found Libra to be the perfect replacement for an office suite, well for personal use anyway, of course for more advanced business users microsoft office would still be number one for the sheer customisation it offers. anyone used 4.2 yet able to give an opinion on it?

    • Paul
      February 8, 2014 at 6:59 am

      Luke LO 4.2 is great, you could try it on Window too.

      All it will take is just a few minutes of your time to set up. Enjoy!

    • Saikat B
      February 10, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Hi Luke, opinions are coming in fast. A few glitches here and there, but that's to be expected when this is such a major iteration. I am sure it will be ironed out. We should always remember -- it is free.

  3. Tinkicker
    February 7, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Yeah, working on one of a series of lessons I'd previously written, I see that my page formatting defaults have been altered.
    Not cool.

    • Saikat B
      February 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      The road won't be that easy, but LibreOffice could be THE viable alternative to MS Word (even in the Enterprise segment) with a few more polishes. The code re-factoring in this version is massive according to reports. A few bugs are apparent, of course.

  4. AriesWarlock
    February 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    One thing though, seems like you have to change some of your settings again. I had Calc and Writter set to save to .docx and xlx., respectively, and those settings were reset.

  5. Shane Harris
    February 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    I find the interface very unpleasant, more like xp

    • Saikat B
      February 5, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Probably, the new flat icons aren't doing the trick as expected.

  6. AriesWarlock
    February 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Nice, I am trying this asap. Thanks.

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