10 June 2013

Best new feature in LibreOffice 4.1?

I wrote about embedding of fonts in this blogpost: http://lodahl.blogspot.dk/2013/06/libreoffice-41-most-important-new.html

The embedded fonts will most likely result in better interoperability with Microsoft Office and between different OS'. But there is even more coming on that shelf: Even better interoperability.

From the release notes: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/4.1

  • Import and export of graphical bullets of numberings in the DOC, DOCX and RTF filters.
  • Numerous improvements have been made to the Microsoft OOXML Import and Export filters as well as for the Microsoft Office binary file formats and the RTF format.

These new features (or fixes) is absolutely on my list of favorites in this upcoming version.


Mikeyy said...

Yes, those are mine favorite bugfixes / features also, but TDF just isn't interested in making major improvement in that area.

Most of those fixes came from Apache OpenOffice (IBM Symphony). As an LibreOffice supporter I'm happy that LO can import bugfixes from AOO, but I'm sad that TDF isn't making any significant progress in that area.

If you are third player in your field (Office suites - far away 1st is Microsoft with probably 90% users, 2nd AOO based on number of downloads) you can't say "Who gives a damn about other suites native format.".

I read one LO developer said something smilliar and I just can't understand that thinking if you want to gain more users.

I would suggest making one major release, 4.2 for example, just about improving binary MSO and OOXML compatibility.

Wasn't even city of Munich interested in paying 100.000€ just for improving OOXML format compatibility!?

Anonymous said...

Although I like everyone using ODF instead of all the MS DOCX/PPTX/XLSX, it is of fundamental importance to read and write these formats in an academic or professional environment.

From my experience, the fidelity of OOXML formats is still much worse than for the old binary .doc/.xls/.ppt formats. However, these are disappearing more and more.

Improvements on this area are highly welcome!

Anonymous said...


I checked again the LibreOffice git log and I cannot confirm your statement that most fixes stem from Apache developers. Yes, there are many, but also many from LibreOffice developers. Hence, I would say, LibreOffice/TDF makes significant progress here.
I agree with you that OOXML support needs to be improved.
By the way, the improvements payed by Munich and other administrations are already largely merged in LO 4.1 and AOO 4.0. This succeeeded and I hope that more authorities/companies/organisations start sponsoring, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree that DOC/RTF/OOXML compatibility is the key factor to being considered by most ordinary people a true alternative to MS Office.
Another being the load time - I don't know why LO/AOO takes so long to load (is it java?) in comparison to MS Office. At least MSO 2003 edition which I keep using for professional format compatibility and VBA macros sake. The new versions of MS don't really have much new to offer for me (better format support but worse user interface). The new player is Kingsoft Office from China - it is an almost exact lookalike free version of MSO with both classic and ribbon UI.

John Duncan said...

Every time I see something saying that compatibility with DOC/DOCX has been improved, I get hopeful that a particular nine-year-old bug is finally being squashed:

But no, highlighting will still break in 4.1 when you touch a Word document in Writer per https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=37540

The amazing improvements to commenting/track changes have addressed one of the major pain points for Writer/Word interchange, but this highlighting issue means trying to work on documents in a mixed environment remains an exercise in frustration.

Here's hoping a patch lands for this issue in 4.2...

Anonymous said...


The statement about OOXML fixes coming mostly from AOO is obviously incorrect. AOO cannot even export to OOXML, so how could possibly a majority of OOXML fixes come from it?