Already have among us to LibreOffice 7.2 Community , the latest free version of the office suite that has emerged as one of the prides of it, not just because of being a very good alternative to the ubiquitous Microsoft Office, but free software also by the quality of your code .
LibreOffice Community is the free edition of the office suite for personal use. Version 7.2 focuses on improving the handling of files, interoperability with Microsoft document formats, handling of font caching, drawing speed when using the Skia backend introduced in LibreOffice 7.1 , in addition to the opening of presentations and drawings containing large images.
Delving into the improvements and news of LibreOffice 7.2 Community, the first thing that has been highlighted is the improvement of interoperability with Microsoft Office document formats, both the old ‘.doc’ and DOCX, XLSX and PPTX (OOXML) documents .
The advancement at the level of interoperability offered by this launch has been achieved thanks to the contribution of volunteers and sponsored developers, who with their work have managed to take “a significant step forward in terms of transparent interoperability, while maintaining many of the advantages in terms of resilience, robustness and compliance with standards for the benefit of companies and individual users ” .
Regarding the challenges posed by interoperability, those responsible for LibreOffice have commented that “Microsoft files are still based on the proprietary format deprecated by ISO in April 2008, and not on the standard approved by ISO, so they incorporate a large amount of hidden artificial complexity. This causes handling problems with LibreOffice, which by default uses a true open standard format (the OpenDocument / ODF format) ” .
Although interoperability is an important point due to market circumstances, it is not the only thing relevant to the LibreOffice 7.2 Community. At a general level (for all the applications in the suite) a pop-up list has been incorporated to search the menu options ( HUD ), a scrollable style selector in NotebookBar (the Ribbon-like interface), a new list view for the table template dialog box and built-in Xray type UNO (Unified Network Objects) object inspector.
For Writer the word processor, background fills have arrived that can cover entire pages, page styles can now have gutter and RDF metadata support in the Style Inspector. For Calc , the spreadsheet application, we have the possibility to filter a color with the autofilter, that the HTML tables listed in the external data dialog now show titles, also that the type can be selected in the lines of trend of the moving average statistical function.
For Impress and Draw , which are presentation and vector graphics applications respectively, they have incorporated new templates, support for multiple columns available in the text boxes and direct access to the scale factor through the status bar.
Regarding the contribution to the source code, 171 people have participated in the development of LibreOffice 7.2 Community. 70% of the commits come from 51 developers who are employed by three companies that are part of the Advisory Board of The Document Foundation: Red Hat, Collabora and allotropia. The remaining 30% comes from 120 volunteers.
LibreOffice Enterprise and the risks of free
Controversy erupted last year when The Document Foundation announced that it was seeking a balanced business model to sustain LibreOffice in the long term. However, and as we have already seen in other cases , the communication policy was not the best, so many feared that the free version would end up limited and cut compared to the paid version.
Fortunately, the foundation cleared up the misunderstanding and promised that the free version of LibreOffice, which is the one we are dealing with in this post, would remain the same. On the other hand, after many months we have data on the operation of the business version of the office suite, and apparently these are not good.
The Document Foundation has explained in the announcement of the release of LibreOffice 7.2 that more and more companies are opting for the free version and supported by volunteers instead of the one directed to them, which as a consequence is bringing a decrease in the income of the foundation (We assume that they speak of projected or expected income). This trend may negatively impact the office suite in the future, which could see its evolution and development slowed down due to lack of resources.
Download LibreOffice 7.2 Community
LibreOffice 7.2 Community can be downloaded from the official project website for Linux, Windows and macOS. For Windows and macOS users the story is simple, but in Linux not so much if you want to modify the version that is being used, since the Deb and RPM versions supplied through the official website are not updated automatically. which can end up being a security risk.
As we have already said on many occasions, users of rolling release distributions are the ones who have it easier, because most likely they will receive the new version of the office suite through a standard update. Ubuntu users have the official PPA available and the rest can use the Flatpak version hosted on Flathub , which is official and can be updated automatically. We leave you with a video in which the new features incorporated into LibreOffice 7.2 are exposed.