LibreOffice 4.0: Why It's Worth A Shot

Posted by Bhavesh Joshi On Saturday, February 23, 2013 0 comments
LibreOffice 4.0 SuiteJust last week, the Document Foundation rolled out LibreOffice 4.0. The updated version of the free open source productivity suite promises a wide range of improvements, ranging from enhanced compatibility with Office documents and document management systems to small upgrades in Writer and Calc. Beyond these, however, LibreOffice 4.0's significant improvements can be felt upon its thorough use and here are some good reasons why it is worth the shot.

Enhanced inoperability

The engineers at Document Foundation put a whole lot of work in improving the inoperability of LibreOffice 4.0. It now better supports Microsoft documents formats, allowing the import of ink annotations from Word, inclusion of comments to text ranges, and Microsoft Publisher layouts can now be opened in Draw.

The upgraded version now also supports checking documents from almost all document libraries as long as they support CMIS open standard. These include IBM FileNet P8, Visio, Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, Alfresco, Nuxeo, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Service and OpentText.

Remote accessibility of presentations

Perhaps one of the most promising features that LibreOffice 4.0 has is the Remote Control App, which allows users to control their presentations from their Android phones or notebooks over Bluetooth. Here, users can view slide thumbnails, read speaker notes, and move to the next slide using the volume control of their phones. According to Michael Meeks, developer of LibreOffice and distinguished SUSE engineer, this simple addition is something that users can utilize to carry out product or service demos at customer sites with great ease.

Although the feature is currently available for Linux users, Document Foundation assured that in the next upgrade (which they promise will be released soon), the Remote Control App can be supported on MacOS X and Windows.

Better-looking user interface

The interface still has the usual menus, toolbars and icons. However, what makes the UI more interesting is that it now supports Firefox themes, which means you can choose from multiple icon sets or pick one from the thousands of personas available to spiff up the interface. In addition, the Linux version integrates with the Unity interface for GNOME. Other notable upgrades in the UI include Template Manager dialog and the ability to preview fonts.

Faster reaction time

LibreOffice 4.0 is faster than its 3.5 version. There is a significant improvement in the way it loads and saves different kinds of documents, but this is more noticeable for larger .xls spreadsheets, .ods and .rtf files.

It is free

Of course, the biggest draw about LibreOffice 4.0 (or LibreOffice in general) is that you can get it for free. And since it is an open source solution, you have the power to customize it according to your needs.

Although LibreOffice 4.0 may not be as powerful as the other ones available as it has areas that still needs tweaking, it cannot be denied that for a two-year old office suite, it shows a lot of promise, especially now there is an influx of developers who are working on providing neat improvements for the program. Simply put, if you are looking for a free alternative to the usual expensive office suites available, LibreOffice 4.0 is a smart choice.


Post a Comment