The Document Foundation has today announced the availability of LibreOffice 6.3, a leading open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. The new release brings better performance, new and improved features and even better support for proprietary document formats such as those used by Microsoft Office.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes that users will notice in this update is that the Tabbed Compact version of the NotebookBar interface that was introduced in LibreOffice 6.2 is now available for Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw. The new-look somewhat resembles Microsoft Office’s Ribbon UI so if you’re looking to switch, LibreOffice should look more familiar.
Another important factor with LibreOffice is its interoperability with Microsoft Office. While The Document Foundation can’t control how well Microsoft Office renders OpenDocument Format (ODF) files, it can control how well it opens Microsoft Office file formats. Discussing the added interoperability, The Document Foundation said:
“Interoperability with Microsoft Office proprietary file formats has been improved in several areas with export support for DOTX document templates and XLTX spreadsheet templates, import of charts from DOCX drawingML group shapes, import/export of SmartArt from PPTX files, to preserve editing capabilities in PowerPoint, and better XLSX Pivot table interoperability.”
LibreOffice 6.3 is available now, and it requires Windows 7 SP1 or Apple macOS 10.9 at the minimum; Linux is also supported but the latest LibreOffice may not be available in your package manager. The release, while considered stable, is still considered bleeding edge. If you’re more conservative and want a more mature version then you’re encouraged to download LibreOffice 6.2.5 which has already received several patches.