Thursday, February 11, 2016

LibreOffice 5.1: The premier open-source office suite just keeps getting better

LibreOffice 5.1
The premier open-source office suite just keeps getting better

New features include streamlined menus and remote-server support.

It's a good day for fans of open-source software. The Document Foundation is releasing LibreOffice 5.1 for Windows, Linux, and Mac. On tap are reorganized menus, integrated support for remote servers like Microsoft SharePoint and Google Drive, improved compatibility with Microsoft Office documents, and too many smaller improvements to count.

LibreOffice 101

LibreOffice is the product of more than 1,000 developers, most of whom are volunteers, and has an estimated 100 million users worldwide. Born in 2010 as a fork of OpenOffice, LibreOffice has taken the lead and left its progenitor in the dust. In keeping with the Document Foundation's time-based release schedule, this latest release comes six months after LibreOffice 5.0—and will be followed by another release in six months' time.

Make no mistake: If you want an open-source office suite, LibreOffice is the one to use. Heck, if you just want a desktop office suite that's free to use, LibreOffice is the best option. That's why it's included with most Linux distributions by default. But it's available for Windows and Mac, too.

Reorganized menus

After spending the LibreOffice 3.x series cleaning up the code, and the 4.x series rearchitecting it, LibreOffice's developers are using the 5.x series to focus on the user interface.

The menus have been reorganized in Writer, Calc, and Impress—LibreOffice's word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program, respectively. The new menus are designed to provide faster access to the most-used features. Writer gained a "Styles" menu, Calc gained a "Sheet" menu, and Impress gained a "Slide" menu.

The sidebars also got some attention, with the addition of a new Chart sidebar that allows quicker access to chart-editing options. While menus and sidebars don't sound the most exciting things, a streamlined interface is the kind of unexciting feature that will save many people time.

Read more @ pcworld