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Open Source Software IT

LibreOffice 5.1 Officially Released 190

prisoninmate writes: After being in development for the last three months or so, LibreOffice 5.1 comes today to a desktop environment near you with some of the most attractive features you've ever seen in an open-source office suite software product, no matter the operating system used. The release highlights of LibreOffice 5.1 include a redesigned user interface for improved ease of use, better interoperability with OOXML files, support for reading and writing files on cloud servers, enhanced support for the ODF 1.2 file format, as well as additional Spreadsheet functions and features. Yesterday, even with the previous version, I was able to successfully use a moderately complex docx template without a hitch — the kind of thing that would have been a pipe-dream not too long ago.
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LibreOffice 5.1 Officially Released

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  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday February 10, 2016 @07:29PM (#51483351)

    "redesigned user interface for improved ease of use"?

    If it went "ribbon", that'll suck rocks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Clippy!

    • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Wednesday February 10, 2016 @07:56PM (#51483515) Homepage

      "redesigned user interface for improved ease of use"?

      You might try watching the demo videos. They made improvements to the menus, improvements to the context menus, and improvements to toolbars (including a pop-out side panel formatting toolbar thing that I guess is new to the 5.x series).

      No ribbon.

      Here, have a playlist URL that lets you watch the demo videos directly from YouTube instead of using the embedded videos in TFA.

      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0pdzjvYW9RHSwdRnZfaxAWICrkBrQl7k [youtube.com]

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        I did watch them. Four and a half minutes, and nothing about the UI.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "Improvements" to the menus usually means that they moved things around so I now have to look for them again. Oh well ... could be MSOfc. The "properties" sidebar is nothing really new, and on my old-school non-wide-screen monitor will squeeze the actual document into an unusable sliver of screen space as most do. Hope the sidebar can be disabled or only pops up on demand.

      • You might try watching the demo videos.

        Who has time for that? Seriously, 5 seconds to read the following:

        a completely reorganized graphical user interface that makes it more convenient and faster for users to access the software's commonly used features. There's now a new menu for each of LibreOffice's core components, such as Calc, Impress, Draw, and Writer. Furthermore, many of the menu commands and icons have been repositioned.

        vs 4 minutes spread over 3 videos.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The ribbon has been around for almost a decade, and people are still hating on it...?

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        Shit deserves criticism until those who can (or are allowed to) fix, fix.

      • How long is it since Hitler? He's still not very popular.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well done guys!

  • Congrats, team! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2016 @08:07PM (#51483591)

    Big thanks to everyone who contributed to the LibreOffice project! Great product I couldn't live without. Your work is much appreciated!

  • > I was able to successfully use a moderately complex docx template without a hitch
    Im sorry what?
    How is that a new feature?
    LibreOffice has been more compatible to MS Office than MS Office to MS Office, for years!
    The only way nowadays to open old doc and docx files that were created with ancient versions of MS Office is to use LibreOffice since MS likes to drop support for its own file formats.

    • It depends on the document. I still regularly encounter Word docs and Powerpoint presentations that don't render properly in LibreOffice; it'll be interesting to see how 5.1 improves that though.

      • >"It depends on the document. I still regularly encounter Word docs and Powerpoint presentations that don't render properly in LibreOffice; it'll be interesting to see how 5.1 improves that though."

        Most of the time, although not all of the time, it is due to either a very poorly formatted document, or using non-standard fonts, or both. At this point, it seems almost as likely that different versions of MS-Office with different OS's and different font sets have about the same success/failure rate as shar

        • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Wednesday February 10, 2016 @08:58PM (#51483883) Homepage

          Yep. I always use LibreOffice to edit and send back documents for work. It usually works OK, but with frequent glitches. I worried about that, so I once asked our admin if she had a problem with the docs I sent back. She said mine were no worse than those she got from everybody else, and she had never realized I wasn't actually using MS word to edit them. Glitches and formatting errors is apparently completely normal even with the same version of MS word on different computers.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by jones_supa ( 887896 )

          Most of the time, although not all of the time, it is due to either a very poorly formatted document, or using non-standard fonts, or both.

          Doesn't matter. That's still denialism. It still does not work. The end user will throw the software in trash. There must be compatibility even for badly-designed documents, because in real life we have those as well.

          Often Linux is defended by saying that the BIOS writers simply did a bad job. Well, maybe they did, but at the end of the day, we just want a computer that works. So in the operating system we must write good workarounds for firmware bugs if we want a good user experience.

    • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Thursday February 11, 2016 @12:01AM (#51484759)

      The only way nowadays to open old doc and docx files that were created with ancient versions of MS Office is to use LibreOffice since MS likes to drop support for its own file formats.

      I've heard this repeated time and time again on Slashdot and in other nerd circles without a single example of such a document file ever posted to back up the claims. Do you actually have one to back up your claims? I routinely open doc files created back in Office 97 that open just fine in 2010 and beyond. Even saved back out and work perfectly fine in the older versions of Office as well.

      • In my copy of Word 2010, under "Save As...", I see the following supported formats:
        Word Document (*.docx)
        Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)
        Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)
        PDF (*.pdf)
        Word XML Document (*.xml)
        Word 2003 XML Document (*.xml)
        OpenDocument Text (*.odt)
        Works 6-9 Document (*.wps)
        and a bunch more besides, like HTML, plain text, rtf, xps, etc...

        For opening documents, there are even more options, like old WordPerfect 5.x and 6.x documents. I didn't see an option for opening .wri files from twenty years

        • The best bit of incompatibility with MS office products was the ability of MS Works to open MS Word documents ... and the inability of MS Word to open MS Works documents. There was a downloadable plugin one could install to convert Works to Word, but the flagship office product couldn't load the files from their other office product.

          Was a real pain back when MS Works was included by default on new machines that people used for work/school, and they couldn't transfer files to computers using the full MS Off

      • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
        I have a claim to backup. It's pretty rare, but I occasionally encounter a Word doc of some type that LibreOffice pukes on if it will open at all and sometimes flat out crashes the application. Strangely, if I use the otherwise vastly inferior (IMHO) predecessor OpenOffice, those files, so far, reliably open. So I always maintain an installed copy of OpenOffice for this rare event. I am about to install 5.1, maybe this will now be a thing of the past. It will be hard to say since it's pretty rare. I'm not b
  • Can this be co-installed with the current version (for instance, 4.8.2.8 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the latest Long Term Support Ubuntu release)?

    Or do you have collisions which require you to purge the old one in order to try the new one, or which cause foulups if you don't?

    (Honest question. I've seen a lot of that kind of thing with other projects. So now I'm a bit shy of trying the latest-and-greatest release of any tool on the production machines I depend on for time-critical work.)

    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      Yes you can install the latest version alongside the existing stock version. It's always a good idea to keep the old working version around should you encounter any bugs in the new version. Just grab the latest deb packages from libreoffice.org.

    • The Wiki is out of date with regards installation instructions. I am not sure about Debian based installations, but I read somewhere else that the RPM package provides an install script that lets you install anywhere you want. You can then use something like I do at work, use "module" to differentiate which version you want to run. Not too graphical for most earthlings, but a good way to have different versions installed.

      By the way, the editor of the story should have pointed to http://www.libreoffice.org/ [libreoffice.org]

  • I use Pages, which comes with the Mac (not a Communist). I tried out LibreOffice by loading up a super-simple Pages document, really it's just a text document with a few lines bolded or using different fonts. In LibreOffice, every line is a new page, so my simple text document renders as 38 pages long! Why even offer Pages compatibility if it fails such a simple test?

    It makes major failures in rendering keynote files (Mac Powerpoint) and small mistakes rendering Powerpoint. With .docx, just looked at a

    • Did you bother to submit a bug report and include the document in the bug report? Or do you expect the developers to be psychic?

    • by pz ( 113803 )

      I run a conference where the abstracts of presenters are published in a book. After a teeth-gnashing experience dealing with the output of Pages, much worse than the experience with Word or OpenOffice output, I decided to no longer accept submissions written in Pages. I just don't have the time for incompatibility for the sake of incompatibility.

      • I just don't have the time for incompatibility for the sake of incompatibility.

        You've hit on the crux of the issue with alternatives to MS Office. People expect to be able to open a document to and have it look right, and if it doesn't it's the senders fault, not theirs. In a work environment. That's a show stopper. Sure PDFs are great but if you have to send an editable document your SOL. I used to recommend a free OSS Office product to friends who were sending kids to school since for most of what they needed to do, at zero cost, that solution works as long as they remember to save

    • by Anonymous Coward

      or even better, drop your pages/keynote combo, they are the worse of them all, their native format changes without forward or backward compatibility in mind, has no documentation whatsoever,, nobody cares about the .pages that changes every year with hooks to iCloud and IOS versions.

      I know you "think differently" but man, pages, really?

  • LibreOffice is wonderful, but the user interface is amazingly poor. Want italic? Click on a bold italic lower case letter a . Why not an italic letter I ?

    Yesterday I spent several hours writing an article using LibreOffice v 5.0.4.2. Many very seriously weird and time-consuming things happened.

    It would be sensible, in my opinion, for governments to get together and support LibreOffice, so that Microsoft Office could be abandoned.
  • >Doesn't matter. That's still denialism. It still does not work. The end user will throw the software in trash. There must be compatibility even for badly-designed documents, because in real life we have those as well.

    Yes it does matter, because the point is that a very badly formatted document or one that uses non-standard fonts is just as likely to not look the same from various people USING MS-OFFICE as is does when viewed by various people using LibreOffice.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've (finally) installed Linux Mint end of last year (dual booting with Win7 ATM) as well as LibreOffice 5.0. Here are my particular observations (YMMV):

    * I have a quick&dirty (not too dirty for continued use though) tool made in Excel using Macros, for I18N purposes. It takes tabular data and generates plain text .properties files from it (a bit more complicated than exporting to .CSV). The macros worked "almost"-as-is in Libre Office, it took me no more than half an hour to port it. Very happy to use

  • LO 5.1 does not detect the Oracle 1.8 JRE on my Macbook. Reverting to 5.0.4 fixed this. If you're on El Capitan and need LO Java functionality, spare yourself the trouble of upgrading until this is sorted out.

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