Collabora Online 4.2.0

A perfect combination of functionality and privacy

Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 5, 2020Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind bringing LibreOffice to the cloud, is excited to announce a major new release of the enterprise-ready online suite Collabora Online 4.2.0. This release includes a fresh look, mobile improvements and better interoperability alongside new dialogs and functionality. Collabora Online enables users and enterprises to work on rich documents in the cloud and to collaborate effectively hosting their own services on-premise. Collabora Online is the perfect online document solution for organizations and services that want to choose digital sovereignty, respect for their users privacy and want to stay in control of their own documents and data.

 

 

A fresh clean look, feature rich side-bar, and much much more

This major update of Collabora Online comes with a fresh new user interface and is built on top of the stability and performance of our LTS version of LibreOffice: Collabora Office 6.2. This new Collabora Online includes many improvements in functionality and user-friendliness as well as a raft of bug fixes and polish. The most obvious new feature is the powerful sidebar, which allows users to easily change settings for text, tables, colours, charts and other objects in the documents. It gives Collabora Online almost the same feature- richness available in Collabora Office on the desktop. Furthermore there is a redesigned status bar, much-improved toolbars and a powerful function wizard now available in Calc online. Copy and paste of rich text and content is added for online functions, and our responsive user interface adapts attractively to smaller and mobile screen sizes.

Extending our great interoperability

Among the all improvements, there is also much improved interoperability with Microsoft Office files. Smart art, rotated and left-right text in tables, pivot tables, special sections and headers in text files, math and gradients in Powerpoint files and much more.

 

Collabora Online Logo

Rich chart functions from the sidebar

The sidebar now gives you access to a wide range of features for charts. Select the chart and it is easy to choose from chart types such as bars, lines and points, pies and more, and also whether the diagram should be displayed in 3D. The sidebar also provides other elements and details, for example titles and legends, colours, transparency, axes and grids. All you need for rich chart editing, is available in Collabora Online.

Collabora Online charts
Editing Charts in Collabora Online

Click to see it in action:

Click to see the chart sidebar in action

Magic in Calc online with a powerful function wizard for your formulae

If you work on formulae, especially  more complex formulae with many parameters, the function wizard in Calc is extremely helpful. It makes handling complex formulae as simple as possible by offering access to all elements of the structure and showing detailed explanation for the different arguments. This makes using the full set of hundreds of interoperable formulae easy!

Collabora Online function wizard
Powerful function wizard in Collabora Online spreadsheets

 

In excellent condition: Calc brings full conditional formatting

Conditional formatting is a very effective way to understand and visualize your data: you can choose what formatting or icons your cells will receive for certain values.
Collabora Online already offered a limited palette of conditional formats in the tool bar, but the new version of Collabora Online now gives you access to the full set of possibilities by displaying the dialogs for the feature. All you need for creating and adapting conditional formatting is now available in Collabora Online.

Collabora Online conditional formatting
Collabora Online offers full conditional formatting features

Smooth zooming in Calc: scaling of spreadsheets improves significantly

The scaling of spreadsheets sees a major improvement in Collabora Online 4.2.0. While previously  (as in other products) the choice was 100% or 200%, now you can select a zoom level that best suits you. This improvement is accessible with a comfortable quick selector in the lower right corner.

 

Proudly presenting the cool and handy Impress sidebar

Collabora Online now brings you lots of new functionality via the new sidebar in Impress. You can adjust character settings, font-types, objects, sizes, colours, spacing and more from the sidebar. In addition changing the slide layout and even choosing and editing Master Slides is also possible. This provides unprecedented functionality for online editing and is very convenient! All you need to use and edit presentations is available in Collabora Online.

 

The sidebar in Collabora Online offers users great control for presentations

A fantastic image: working with pictures is easier and more precise

Images are fun, and working with them across all types of documents has been massively improved in Collabora Online 4.2.0. Rotating is easy with the clear handles and the new sidebar allows you to adjust colours, brightness, contrast and transparency.  You can also use the sidebar module to arrange the foreground or background positioning of your images.

 

Paste how you like: rich copy/paste features between different documents

When doing work online, you frequently have multiple documents open that need to be combined via copy and paste. In the browser, however, rich copy and paste features are far from trivial. Now the great news is that Collabora Online introduces copying and pasting of rich formatted content like images, charts, and other complex elements across different types of document. Almost all you can wish for working in multiple documents, is now available in Collabora Online.

Rich copy and paste in calc

Enhanced online colour picker

Selecting your desired colour for an object is much more convenient in Collabora Online 4.2.0. In addition to the usual colour selector offering a palette, a new colour picker to choose any custom colour is now available. Use it with text and background in presentations, lines in spreadsheets and presentations, text and background for floating frames in text documents.

Improved collaborative editing with clear links in text documents

Launching links in previous versions required a control-click, which was hard to discover. In Collabora Online 4.2.0, when you collaborate on a document and you want to know the destination of a link, then our new release shows it at a glance. If the mouse cursor is over a link, you will see a pop-up displaying the links target. The pop-up also allows you to see and access the destination with a single click.

Redesigned and clear new icons and a attractive theme

The new design of the icons embellishes the upper toolbar. The new theme is tidier, generally clearer and has more generous spacing, with more distinct highlighting of selected buttons. All of this increases productivity and reduces friction.

New buttons and theming make things more attractive and easier to work with

The status bar benefits from our visual redesign too. Not only does it look cleaner, it also improves quick access to more functions. For example, the language in documents can now also be set via a pop-up.

Table editing: faster with the sidebar and in-document handles

In Collabora Online Writer it is now possible to manipulate tables extensively from the sidebar and we have also added easy-to-use in-document selection handles that make adjusting row height and column width very user-friendly. These features are a convenient extension of the table dialogue, that still also offer access to the tiniest details.

Collabora Online tables
Collabora Online Tables in text documents

You want to insert rows or columns from here? Of course! Or delete some or all of them? A click! Furthermore, the sidebar also allows you to set the background colour, to fine-tune the sizes of rows and columns, as well as merging cells or distributing them evenly. Really all you would wish for if you are working with tables, is available in Collabora Online.

Table of contents

Collabora Online now allows you to configure the full table of contents in text documents, thanks to the new Table of Contents dialog. So even online, you can customize your complex table of contents in a few clicks according to your wishes. For example, you can edit the entries and change style, background or columns. In the same way you can update indices of figures, tables and so forth. This brings the full power of rich table of contents and index creation to Collabora Online.

Collabora Online table of contents
Collabora Online offers rich table of contents for text document

Get Collabora Online 4.2

Collabora Online 4.2.0 is our first release of our next development series, suitable for large scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities.
(Customers can find the URL for the repository in the customer portal.)
Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It is ideal for organizations that want to collaborate on documents without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact sales@collaboraoffice.com.

Get access to the online demo of Collabora Online 4.2.0 and discover its potential!

 

 

 


Thanks to the community!

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for the overwhelming volume of contributions. However we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice document technology, you can checkout LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is contributed to LibreOffice, and can be expected in LibreOffice 7, although we have our own branding and theme. Would you like to be part of the story ? Get involved today!

 

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud, providing Collabora Online and a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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Collabora supports Free Software Winter Camp 2020 in Eskişehir, Turkey

Twenty-one students have been selected to take part in the LibreOffice Development Workshop at the Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey. It is held from Jan 25 to Jan 28 as a part of the Free Software Winter Camp 2020.

Collabora Sponsored LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara
Impression of the previous LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara

Collabora Productivity is one of the sponsors. Muhammet Kara, Collabora developer who is giving the LibrOffice training, explains that it’s not suitable for just every interested student.

“Of course enthusiasm is very important. But we also require students to have knowledge/experience with C++, and come with GNU/Linux installed on their laptops. And they will try to build LibreOffice before coming.”

This looks as a perfect match for students that followed for example the LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara… but there will be others for sure!
Muhammet tells about the program:

“During the camp, we will go through the usual stuff of getting started with LO development, code- structure, tips&tricks etc. And will work on bugs to gain hands-on experience.”

The accommodations will be provided by the Linux Users Association of Turkey, organizers of the event. Find details on the LibreOffice-wiki too.

Thanks Muhammet, Linux Users Association of Turkey and Anadolu University for making this possible!
Of course we wish the participants good luck, and keep an eye on github for LibreOffice or online 😉

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Enthusiast students building LibreOffice – Report from Bootcamp in Ankara

Developing in C++ is not easiest thing you can do in ICT. But if you have some C++ knowledge and skills, it brings you great possibilities. What to think of building LibreOffice and working somewhere in the million lines of code? In Ankara, at the Hacettepe University’s Beytepe Campus, 40 students joining the LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp, just arrived at that point.

Muhammet Kara, Collabora Productivity developer, who gives the courses, tells:

We have finished the 5th session/week of the Bootcamp. So far, we did the following. The first four weeks we did C++ basics, and covered topics such as syntax, operators, data types, arrays, pointers, exceptions.. You name it. On week 2, 3, and 4 the students had to do three home works /assignments. In week 5 we looked at LibreOffice development: how it is organized, who are involved, tooling, habits. And of course: what is good about contributing to LibreOffice. The next week the students should have a complete building environment. So we’ll start the real development: working on easy hacks. More on that in the next report!

Collabora is really glad about the enthusiasm for LibreOffice development and happy to sponsor the Ankara Bootcamp.

The training program attracted much interest from the students side. In the first weeks, which were mainly about the basics of C++, were attended by 120 to 140 students were attending the course. The weekly plans for week 3 and week 4 (in Turkish), published on Muhammet Kara’s blog, show the ambitious amount of content they have been introduced to.  The LibreOffice Development Bootcamp was also widely noticed beyond the sphere of the Hacettepe University. The tweets posted on the topic generated many hundreds of interactions and over ten thousand views in the social network.

In week five the specific work on LibreOffice moved more into focus. It was discussed why it makes sense to contribute to it. 40 students took part in this phase of the bootcamp, a great number if you consider that it is not a mandatory course and the demands on the participants were very challenging. The weekly sessions will be given until the end of the semester, January 2020. We will keep you updated here and report about the next weeks of the LibreOffice Developer Camp in Ankara.

 

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New: Collabora Office for Android

Great new interface and editing – in beta

We are excited to announce a complete new version of Collabora Office for Android, available now in Google Play, with the following main improvements:

  • A great looking interface, easy to use with just one hand on your phone
  • Editing of complex office documents, not just viewing
  • Now re-uses the same technology as Collabora Online.

In common with other Collabora Productivity products, this new Android release enables people to edit their documents without compromising on privacy. There is no longer a reason to hand over your data to get rich mobile editing.
The new release marks the end of a period of rewriting important parts of the application. We now share much of the code and user experience from Collabora Online’s collaborative editor as well as Collabora Office 6.2 for displaying the documents.

 

  (minimal version Android 5.0)

What it looks like

Text file and image details – Collabora Office for Android

Typing in a text document – Collabora Office for Android

Inserting and editing tables – Collabora Office for Android

More great interface details

Text file with spreadsheet embedded – Collabora Office for Android

Image handling in text document – Collabora Office for Android

A new front end, re-using Collabora Online

The technology under the hood has changed almost completely, with only the LibreOffice core for rendering the documents remained. We removed the previous Fennec tiled renderer, and moved to re-use a our Collabora Online web view. This means our Android app can share the same features as our flagship product Collabora Online. The recently released Collabora Office for iOS uses the same approach. As a result, features and improvements and fixes made foor one solution (online, mobile, desktop) often enhance all the others. The Javascript and CSS base makes contributing to and developing and debugging the app much simpler for people to get involved with.

 

Shape editing – Collabora Office for Andoid

 

Spreadsheet in Collabora Office for Android

 

Rich documents in Collabora Office for Android

 

Getting involved

Once you have got Collabora Office (Google Play), your feedback is much appreciated. Report any problems you find to the bug tracker, and attach any documents related to the issue so developers can investigate. You can also checkout the Online code and build it yourself.

Rich history and community growth

The road to the current version of the Android app was a long one, one with many companions and some detours. The first version that brought LibreOffice to the Android platform was released in 2011 after an intensive process of cross-compiling and a number of bug fixes. This version was rather a proof of concept and by no means suitable for productive work.

Two years later, in 2013, the application had developed into a document viewer rendering entire pages and including basic user interface to handle pages. During the years 2014 to 2015, the rendering was changed to split the pages into „tiles“, the same way as other applications like Mozilla Firefox were doing. We have extracted the Mozilla’s compositing from their code and reused it in our Android app – still only a viewer. Later in this period, editing was added as an experimental feature.
Between 2016 and 2018 further features and functions were implemented thanks to community involvement, however the vision of a full editor was not realized.

In 2019 we decided to do a complete rewrite of everything above the LibreOffice rendering core. Inspiration for this was the development of the new Collabora Office for iOS app, which Collabora is driving forward together with our Swiss partner Adfinis SyGroup. The current, newly developed Android app benefits greatly from the Collabora Online code base and work for the iOS version and includes also features implemented this year during the GSoC, mentored by our engineers.

Thanks to everyone that contributed

This new Office app for Android obviously came by a huge investment from Collabora.  As with all open source projects, it has also been made possible by the open source community as a whole, by many organizations and the personal dedication of many individuals that contributed. Specifically, for this Android app we want to mention the initial Android port funded by SUSE. The initial app used the tiled rendering funded by CloudOn, and was driven by Smoose, IceWarp and many customers of Collabora Productivity. The Document Foundation’s donors also funded the initial basic editing functionality.

Without ever doing justice to the entire crowd of supporters, we would like to thank a few people whose performance in this development has been outstanding. At this point, we would like to mention the pioneering work of our fellow two collaborators Tor Lillqvist and Michael Meeks and on the initial version of the App that among others included a first loader developed by Iain Billiet, during his GSoC ‘12 program and other components by Matúš Kukan.

Tomaž Vajngerl contributed to the already mentioned tiled rendering to the app in 2014/2105. Miklos Vajna’s efforts made editing possible at that stage. Christian Lohmaier, Ximeng Zu, and Mert Tumer have made important and substantial contributions by adding more features to the toolbar in the last few years.

Tor Lillquist was also responsible for the development of the Collabora Office for iOS app, which had a significant influence on the version for Android, and was made possible thanks to the great personal commitment of Nicolas Christener of Adfinis SyGroup. Thank you to Kaishu Sahu for his large amount of features programmed during the GSoC this summer, while our team member Jan Holesovsky has been the main developer of the current release.

Would you like to be part of the story ? get involved today.

About Collabora Productivity:

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud, providing Collabora Online and a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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French service company Arawa implementing Collabora Online for the University of Lille

A Customer Case Study showing how students & staffs are allowed to collaborate on common online office documents at the University of Lille, France.

Arawa, a French services company specialized in Open Source and collaborative software, has successfully delivered a Collabora Online implementation to streamline collaborative efforts and support a new generation of student services, deployed at the University of Lille, in the north of France.

Seamlessly integrated with Nextcloud, the on-premise file share and collaboration platform, the University of Lille implemented another service aiming at easing collaboration projects between students and also between staff members: they now provide potentially more than 70 000 people with Collabora Online to help them work on a common framework of online office tools.

“The University is really aiming at facilitating open standards across the whole campus. Students especially came from different IT cultures and used so many different office tools and software products, that it made sense and became crucial to put a common solution at their disposal. And following our benchmark, Collabora Online fits in perfectly with Nextcloud.”
Cédric Foll, IT Director at University of Lille

Université de Lille

Reducing the number of tools used internally had also become an important challenge. The large number of tools mainly used by students did not really help secure a Research environment, and all the confidential information that is produced in such an environment.

“The project is aligned with our ambitions for the University of Lille”, said Pierre Boulet, VP of digital transformation. “In this case, Collabora Online is helping to support a huge student community.  It will also increase the University’s attractiveness to candidates and provide extra resources to make student life easier.”
Pierre Boulet, VP of digital transformation at University of Lille

The digital transformation of the University of Lille is really about the wider picture. It will help the University team enhance the overall student experience, and in the meanwhile, it will reinforce the image of the University as one in an on-going process of improvements.

“This project is a great example of how Collabora fulfills requirements of a powerful online office suite, ideally suited within Nextcloud. Data security was a key requirement here. They needed a solution which could be hosted on premises, and where they have a total control of the data.”
Philippe Hemmel, CEO of Arawa

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“Arawa is an excellent partner”, said Michael Meeks, General Manager, Collabora Productivity, “We love to work as part of their their expert and dedicated service for their customers, and congratulate them on this implementation of Collabora Online.”
Michael Meeks, General Manager, Collabora Productivity

About Université de Lille

The University of Lille is a multidisciplinary, research-intensive university whose researchers collaborate with many partners throughout Europe and the world. With 67,000 students (including 7,300 international students), 6,300 staff members, 66 research units, and diplomas in all fields of study, the University of Lille is a major player in the region in training, research, innovation, and its commitment to social issues.

About Arawa

Arawa is a French IT services company, distributing and implementing Open-Source software solutions. These solutions offer collaborative capabilities to edit, store and share on-premises contents, with a high-level of security and control of the data. Thanks to a combination of deep functional and technical expertise, Arawa’s consultants deliver personalized and tailor-made solutions around a suite of open-source products: Nextcloud, LibreOffice, Collabora Online, OnlyOffice et Nayego.
Visit Arawa or follow @Arawa_fr on Twitter.

About Collabora

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud, providing Collabora Online and a range of other products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit Collabora Office or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter

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