The Document Foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 6.1. It is a major release with contributions from hundreds of community contributors around the world. TDF showcases this release as an example of, what an open source can do with the collective power of contributors from diverse backgrounds.

The LibreOffice community

LibreOffice 6.1 brings a significant number of improvements, both in UX and in the overall performance. The community contributors have helped to implement most of these improvements. 72% of the community contributors are people working at various open source organizations. While the remaining are individual contributors. In addition to these contributions, LibreOffice is also benefited by a global community with localization, documentation editing, quality assurance, user interface design and other activities.

The main highlights in LibreOffice 6.1 include,

  • Colibre, a new icon theme for Windows based on Microsoft’s icon design guidelines, which makes the office suite visually appealing for users coming from the Microsoft environment;
  • A reworked image handling feature, which is significantly faster and smoother thanks to a new graphics manager and an improved image lifecycle, with some advantages, also when loading documents in Microsoft proprietary formats;
  • The reorganization of Draw menus with the addition of a new Page menu, for better UX consistency across the different modules;
  • A major improvement for Base, only available in experimental mode: the old HSQLDB database engine has been deprecated, though still available, and the new Firebird database engine is now the default option (users are encouraged to migrate files using the migration assistant from HSQLDB to Firebird, or by exporting them to an external HSQLDB server);
  • Significant improvements in all modules of LibreOffice Online, with changes to the user interface to make it more appealing and consistent with the desktop version,
  • An improved EPUB export filter, in terms of the link, table, image, font embedding and footnote support, with more options for customizing metadata;
  • Online Help pages have been enriched with text and example files to guide the users through features, and are now easier to localize.

For more information on LibreOffice 6.1, see the release announcement published on Document Foundation blog.