LibreOffice 6.3 released, here are the new features

LibreOffice 6.3 is a feature-rich significant release of the LibreOffice 6 family with enhanced performance, many new and improved features.

As a result of the efforts by the Document Foundation, LibreOffice 6.3 is here with improved performance, better interoperability, and a variety of new features.

LibreOffice 6.3 comes with a lot of features, which is impressive considering that LibreOffice 6.2 was released just six months ago. However, it should be noted that The Document Foundation has decided not to include 32-bit binaries starting from this release. So only users with 64-bit architecture will be able to apply this update. Getting back on track, let’s delve into what the new LibreOffice has in store for us.

What’s New in LibreOffice 6.3

As mentioned earlier, LibreOffice 6.3 is an attempt at improving interoperability and performance. Accordingly, users are to find the following changes after updating:

User Interfaces

With this update, users will finally get their hands on the Tabbed Compact versions of Writer, Draw, Impress, and Calc. What this does is allow laptops with wide screens to have better spacing for writer files, presentations, and spreadsheets.

LibreOffice-6.3-Tabbed-Compact-UI
LibreOffice 6.3 Tabbed Compact UI

Plus, Writer and Draw will have another new user interface to offer in the Contextual Single UI, which looks something like this:

LibreOffice-6.3-Contextual-Single-UI
LibreOffice 6.3 Contextual Single UI

Users can opt for any of these user interfaces by clicking View and selecting User Interface.

Upgraded Performance

LibreOffice 6.3 comes with performance improvements for both Writer and Calc. Because of this, both these programs can load and save Calc files with VLOOKUP, heavyweight ODS/XLSX spreadsheets, tables, and embedded fonts, and text files with different bookmarks a lot faster than before. Plus, it takes less time to save Calc spreadsheets as XLS files as well.

So if you consider every millisecond to be critical, your best bet is to update to LibreOffice 6.3.

Improved Calc

The new LibreOffice replaces the old Sum tool in the formula bar with a new drop-down widget, which allows users to use their favorite functions quickly.

LibreOffice-6.3-New-Widget
LibreOffice 6.3 New Widget

If you’re in college, you may know the significance of the Fourier Transform or at least heard of it. Well, you’re in luck in case you do. With the help of LibreOffice 6.3, users will be able to enter an array and get its discrete Fourier transform, using the new FOURIER function.

LibreOffice-6.3-FOURIER-function
LibreOffice 6.3 FOURIER function

Enhanced Interoperability

LibreOffice 6.3 makes it easier for users to switch back and forth between LibreOffice and Microsoft Office. Thus, users will be able to better edit in PowerPoint, import and export SmartArt from PPTX files, import charts from DOCX drawingML group shapes, and export DOTX document templates and XLTX spreadsheet templates.

LibreOffice-6.3-Interoperability
LibreOffice 6.3 Interoperability

The new Writer also comes with Word form controls and optional forms menu layout (as users would find in Microsoft Office).

Other Changes

  • You will now be able to hide/remove sensitive information from files by using a new tool, known as Redaction
  • The latest LibreOffice can better handle standard PDF/A-2 files, which are used by numerous companies for long term file storage
  • Windows users can now easily print and convert many files and perform other batch tasks with the help of a proper console

Conclusion

With this release, the makers have improved the product in so many ways that one wouldn’t think twice about updating. However, production environments are recommended to hold on to LibreOffice 6.2 for increased stability, at the moment. On a positive note, LibreOffice 6.3 will receive maintenance updates until 29th of May, 2020, so users don’t have to worry about facing issues for quite some time. If you want to know the specifics of this update, head over to its official release notes.

Zohaib Ahsan
Hi! I'm Zohaib Ahsan, contributor to FOSS Linux. I'm studying computer science, I’ve learned a thing or two about operating systems that are based on Linux. This has made me join FOSS Linux where I can share what I have learned with the rest of the world. Not to mention — some major tea is going to be spilled as well — as I share with you the latest developments in the world of Linux.

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