LibreOffice 4 Review

LibreOffice 4
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LibreOffice has been around for over two years and finally we have a new version which fully branches itself away from its OpenOffice roots.

I must say, the software looks cleaner, faster and amazingingly simple to use. There are no confusing menus rather a simple interface, and all the goodies we want right in the front.

This release has very few cosmetic/UI updates but really a major core rewrite of the whole software application suite. Originally, it was a derivative of Openoffice sharing many million lines of code. But most of it has been rewritten from scratch and rethought by some 500 developers worldwide to improve and optimize the whole software experience. Truly a global open source collaborative effort.

LibreOffice is not just Word, Spreadsheet and Presentation, it also includes powerful tools like Draw, desktop Database (sort of like MS-Access) and Formula (sort of open source mathematica). All these amazing software collection available for totally free.

Among many of the new features offered, there is a better integration with Microsoft Office Documents (docx) one of the sore point for the older version. You can import (even Track Changes etc) without much difficulty and export into docX as well.

Of course, exporting documents into DocX, PDF, HTML or even as images is very easy and usually one click away. Hence, it is easy to share documents with friends who do not use LibreOffice. The software also allows users to automatically save all documents in any format including DOCX by default.

If you are using any modern (post 2011) release of Linux, chances are you have LibreOffice pre-installed on your distribution. However, the 4.0 version may not yet be available for your distribution. Ubuntu might include it in their 13.04 release in April and Fedora will definietely make it default in Fedora 19.

LibreOffice is a product designed by Open Documentation Foundation whose mission is to:

an independent self-governing meritocratic entity, created by former leading members of the Community, in the form of a charitable Foundation. . . . it continues to build on the foundation of ten years’ dedicated work by the Community. It was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent Foundation brings out the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for users.

LibreOffice is available for Windows, MacOS X and almost all flavors of Linux. You can download your copy from Libreoffice website.

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Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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