ARM64 an officially supported platform for CODE

We now officially announce the availability of CODE for the ARM64 platform. Users can now benefit from the availability of the latest developments in document collaboration with a feature rich open-source application, offering great support for all major file formats. The availability for the ARM64 platform is possible thanks to the work for the recently announced Collabora Online for the Raspberry Pi.

The ARM64 version can be used with docker or the Nextcloud snap. Find the docker source here.

We also offer CODE packages, of course less convenient to use, and available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS only. And of course there’s the releases and information on GitHub.

About CODE

CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and to host them themselves in a secure and private environment. For tech-enthusiasts, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE will be improved continuously and our next supported and maintained Collabora Online product will be built from it. All of our code is Open Source, and a vibrant community in participating in growing Collabora Online. Would you like to be part of the story? Join the community!

 

Get CODE 6.4

 

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Major new features with macros and Draw in Collabora Online update

Collabora Online 6.4.7 brings the users major new functionality with macros, drawings and important UI improvements

The new release of Collabora Online – version 6.4.7 – brings major improvements and great new features. A completely new application, Draw, has been enabled online allowing you to work with vector graphics. Inside documents (if enabled by the administrator), it is possible to run macros from the newly introduced macro selector. With our VBA compatibility that’s particularly useful for spreadsheet formulae. This version also includes many UI improvements, for instance a clear and beautiful Style preview in the NotebookBar. We do regular micro-updates of each release and constantly improve the new features, so do keep an eye on the coming updates.

 

Draw has arrived in Online

You can now edit your .odg files online. Draw online allows working with flowcharts, technical drawings and brochures.

People familiar with Draw from the desktop, will recognize the tools for creating or editing flowcharts, technical drawings, posters, photo galleries or brochures. If you don’t know Draw yet: have a play with a vector graphic drawing online!

CollaboraOnline 6.4.7 brings new elements such as the Connector Toolbox and the Vertical Textbox hosted in the ‘Home’ and ‘Insert’ tabs. Other drawing features such as Basic Shapes, Fontwork, Lines, Images, Charts and Tables were already available in Online. Currently, Draw Online is the only component allowing you to create the connectors, though re-using them in Writer, Calc and Impress is possible.

Accessing a .odg file from your file storage solution will automatically take you to Draw online. Given the shared code between Draw and Impress, you will discover similarities in the structure of the two user interfaces.

The Connector Toolbox is available from the Home tab in Draw online

Enabling VBA compatible macros for online

Collabora Online 6.4.7 introduces the possibility to use macros in your favourite online collaboration suite. These macros run on the server inside a secure container that is specific to your document, and we are confident in our containment. However, giving you control of the attack surface is important, so this functionality is hard disabled by default, and has to be explicitly enabled by admins in the loolwsd.xml configuration. Once enabled, users can choose to explicitly allow macros in the documents they are loading.

Macros extend the functionality of the office suite by accessing the programmable interface of Collabora Office. They can be useful when you have to repeat the same task in the same way over and over again.

Select & run macros from the Macro Selector in Collabora Online 6.4.7

On the NotebookBar, users find the macros command in the “burger” menu in the top-left corner, following the path Tools > Run Macros. On the classic toolbar, the same Macro Selector dialog can be accessed via the Tools menu.

Running macros in the online documents has several limitations, most of them are due to the nature of editing the documents online. For example, the macros cannot access additional documents (other than the document edited by the user running the macro), use the Shell command, call external programs, and similar functionality. In addition, the VBA APIs were never designed with collaboration in-mind, so their use is ideally limited to cases where a single user is editing a document.

All details of macros, settings, limitations, are published in this How-to post.

Run macros while editing on a mobile device (click to see animation)
Run Macro from the new NotebookBar
Run Macro from the classic toolbar
Select & Run Macro from the Macro Selector dialog

 

Style previews in NotebookBar and even more UI improvement

This version of Collabora Online adds several improvements to the appearance and usability of the user interface. In the NotebookBar the scrolling of the style preview has been improved, making it easier to recognize and pick the style you need.

The new Style preview makes it easy to recognize & pick the style you need

It is no longer necessary to click on navigation arrows, and you can navigate through the styles using the scrollbar or the mouse wheel. Various UI improvements, including a new top bar comment icon (Thank you to Umut Bayramoğlu, easy hack #202), have been developed by community members.

 

Canvas rework and UI improvements on mobile devices

Previous versions of Collabora Online have started to use the HTML5 canvas for rendering of spreadsheets on the desktop browser. This version takes this to the next level. The HTML5 canvas is now used for all the applications (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw) on all the form factors (desktop, tablet, mobile).

To achieve that, large parts of Collabora Online have been completely reworked. This solved a number of corner cases in the user interface with some browser settings, and removed a large amount of legacy code re-writing it into cleaner, more maintainable TypeScript where possible. Furthermore, it also let us enable the Freeze Rows & Columns functionality on phones and tablets, while also making the rendering faster.

Comment handling on mobile phones has also experienced a major usability improvement. These are not part of the document any more; instead, users can see a list of comments with just a single tap on the icon in the toolbar and handle them much more conveniently (thanks Rashesh Padia for all the help here).

Freeze Panes functionality on a tablet displaying the NotebookBar

 

Customize your Shapes

Shapes have become more flexible. It is now possible to customize them according to your needs.

By moving the control adjustment points you can now easily round corners, modify the diameter of arrows… or bring a smile to a sad face.

Customize your shapes using the adjustment points

 

Export Spreadsheets as CSV

It is now possible to export your spreadsheets directly to CSV, making it more convenient to work with the CSV text file format. The new export option is available through the File tab both in the new NotebookBar and the classic toolbar. Thank you to Rizal Muttaqin for the icon design (easy hack #1020).

 

Toolbar look and feel selection per-user

In previous versions, we allowed administrators to choose whether they had a classic (menu + toolbars) UI, familiar from Google Docs, or a Notebookbar UI, familiar to Microsoft Office users.

With this version, applications that embed Collabora Online can give users the choice of which toolbar mode they want. If you are interested in implementing this option in your integration, please check how to use UIMode in the Theming of Collabora Online section of our SDK.

Integrations can go even further, and allow the users to live-change the UI by passing the Action_ChangeUIMode postmessage from their webapp to the Collabora Online iframe. Thank you to Gabriel Masei of 1&1 for this implementation.

 

 

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 Collabora Office on Twitter .

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Canonical, Nextcloud and Collabora deliver work-from-home solution to Raspberry Pi and enterprise ARM users


The Internet, March 25 – Canonical, Collabora and Nextcloud announce the immediate availability of a content collaboration platform for 64bit ARM for both consumers and enterprises. Building on the prior Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance and with Collabora Online, it adds the first viable self-hosted web office solution on the popular Raspberry Pi 4 platform.

The Raspberry Pi series has transformed tech, bringing down the cost of anything from IoT devices to small home servers. Ubuntu has been leading the space offering easy to install and zero-management snap software packages, lowering barrier to entry further. Interest in Nextcloud on the Raspberry Pi has been evident from hundreds of online tutorials appearing over the years, as well as enthusiasm around an earlier collaboration between Canonical, Nextcloud and Western Digital on a solution for the platform. With the introduction of the Ubuntu Nextcloud Appliance, easy deployment of the Nextcloud Hub became available for x86 devices like Intel NUC’s as well as ARM devices like the Raspberry Pi, but the latter lacked support for a viable online office document editor. Today, the lack of a viable office solution is resolved with the availability of the widely used, open source, web office document editor Collabora Online.

This enables tens of thousands of Raspberry Pi users to turn their Pi 4 into a self-hosted content collaboration and document editing solution in minutes. With the growing availability of 64bit ARM devices in the enterprise server space, larger organizations are also set to benefit from the availability of this platform. Obviously, we encourage users and organizations to act responsible with regard to data protection by using e.g. proper networks, encryption and backups.

Installation Tutorial

Before you start, note the following system requirements for the installation:

  • 3.0 flash drive (2GB minimum)
  • A Raspberry Pi 4, preferably with 2 or 4 GB RAM
  • A Mini HDMI to HDMI cable
  • A monitor with VGA or HDMI interface
  • A VGA or HDMI cable
  • A USB keyboard and mouse
  • A network connection with Internet access
  • An Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop image

Find a full tutorial on the Ubuntu website for installing the Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance image on a Raspberry Pi. Read how to quickly set up step by step and stay fully productive by having video calls in Talk, sharing documents with Files, editing it with others using Collabora Online, reading your emails or planning meetings and many more! Make sure you don’t miss the details in the announcements by Ubuntu and Nextcloud!
Mind that you may also install the Appliance one a RPI 3 however, that for running the Collabora Online office solution, that hardware is really not ideal.

Easy built-in installation

The Ubuntu Nextcloud Appliance comes with the Collabora Online built-in server.This makes getting started really easy. This installation is perfect for personal use or use with small teams. If you are looking for a larger deployment, contact us for details about a full, scalable installation:

Screenshot of a Nextcloud installation: Install and select CODE-Built-in-server
Install and select CODE-Built-in-server

Great feature richness

The really easy installation comes with a great feature richness, full WYSIWYG functionality and a modern and flexible user interface! Collabora Online is built using LibreOffice technology and therefore the document support and features are similar to what that desktop suite offers. To mention a few:

  • Powerful spreadsheets, also offering possibilities as validation, pivot tables, password protection
  • Working with images with close to no limitations
  • Text files with track changes, page formatting, charts, styles
  • Vector drawings, with shapes, 3D, flow charts
  • Presentations including master pages, charts, transitions and animations
Tip: keep an eye on our new releases for more new features.

Working with images in Collabora Online, knows few limitations. Position, on the page, resize, rotate, proper wrapping and more. It all works nicely, and you can visualize your documents as you edit.

Tremendous options to work with images

Find more examples in the earlier announcement for the Intel NUC, for example on sharing and collaborating.

 

About Canonical

Canonical is the publisher of Ubuntu, the OS for most public cloud workloads as well as the emerging categories of smart gateways, self-driving cars and advanced robots. Canonical provides enterprise security, support and services to commercial users of Ubuntu. Established in 2004, Canonical is a privately held company.

About Nextcloud

Nextcloud Hub is the industry-leading, fully open source, on-premises team productivity platform, combining the easy user interface of consumer-grade cloud solutions with the security and compliance measures enterprises need. Nextcloud Hub brings together universal access to data through mobile, desktop and web interfaces with next-generation, on-premise secure communication and collaboration features like real-time document editing, chat and video calls, putting them under direct control of IT and integrated with existing infrastructure.
Nextcloud’s easy and quick deployment, open, modular architecture and emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities enable modern enterprises to leverage their existing file storage assets within and across the borders of their organization. For more information, visit nextcloud.com or follow @Nextclouders on Twitter.

About Collabora

Collabora Productivity created Collabora Online and is therefore the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud. Collabora provides a range of products as well as consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, Collabora 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 support. Collabora’s multi-platform policy is completed with Collabora Office for iOS and Android. 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 www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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How to use and manage Basic and VBA compatible macros in Collabora Online

The release of Collabora Online 6.4.7  and CODE 6.4.7 introduced the possibility to run macros in Online!

Configuration settings in loolwsd.xml: enabling and setting the security level

By default, execution of macros is completely disabled. The administrators can enable that in the security node of the loolwsd.xml configuration file.

<enable_macros_execution desc="..." type="bool" default="false">false</enable_macros_execution>

Once enabled, the administrator can decide which security level should be used for the macro execution. Currently there are two levels:

  • 0 (Low, not recommended) All macros will be executed without confirmation.
  • 1 (Medium, the default) Confirmation required before executing macros from untrusted sources.

<macro_security_level desc="..." type="int" default="1">1</macro_security_level>

Sources for Macros

Macros can be either embedded in the documents, or can be installed on the server. When opening a document with macros, in the security level “1” (Medium), the users will always see the following dialog, and will have to confirm they understand the risk.

Limitations for Macros in Collabora Online

Due to the limitations of editing the documents online, and due to the strict security design of Collabora Online, running macros have several limitation limitations. Following list of examples is not exhaustive, if you find a case that is not working for you, please let us know.

It is not possible to:

  1. Access Database sources, or open and access data as Database source.
  2. Use XForms, Forms, Controls, click buttons.
  3. Access other documents, or open external documents.
  4. Create new document from template.
  5. Mail Merge, or merge all documents in a directory.
  6. Call an external program.
  7. Use the Shell command.
  8. Extract a Zip File.
  9. Get and set the current directory.
  10. Connect to a remote OOo server using Basic.
  11. Create a toolbar for a component type.
  12. Toggle the design mode, or access the toolbars in any way.

Find out more about macros and all the other new features in our Collabora Online 6.4.7 announcement.
 

 

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A wonderful FOSDEM 2021 – Collabora and the LibreOffice devroom

FOSDEM 2021 was virtually different. Although it is sad that there was no opportunity to meet in person and enjoy the flair of Brussels this year, the largest European Open-Source conference was still a wonderful experience. Thank you for the great organization. The presentations of the Collabora developers and the videos (as soon as they are available) can be found in this post. We look forward to meeting you in person next year at the ULB!

Is Collabora making Online Content Management come true?

Saturday, February 6th, 2021. “Collabora Online for your documents” – Michael Meeks discusses with you how we have been improving Online’s UX, features & community!

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

Development in the Cloud can’t be easy.. can it?

Sunday, February 7th 2021. “Lowering the Barrier for New Developers -Developing in the cloud via GitPod”: Listen to Muhammet Kara, what does he know about “Lowering the Barrier for New Developers”?

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

Could LibreOffice speak up, would it love the cloud?

Sunday, February 7th 2021. “How Collabora Online development improves LibreOffice”: Long time – we could even say veteran – LibreOffice and Online developer Jan “Kendy” Holešovský, is a real LibreOffice listener. 😉 Listen to him telling “How Collabora Online development improves LibreOffice”!

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

Inspector X – show your objects!

Sunday, February 7th 2021. “Build-in “xray” like UNO object inspector”: Bringing his magnifier, Tomaž Vajngerl explains developing “Build-in “xray” like UNO object inspector” – a project kindly granted by TDF.

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

LibreOffice trusting PDFium… and vice versa

Sunday, February 7th 2021. “Handling PDF digital signatures in LibreOffice with PDFium”: Miklos Vajna knows all you may want to know about “Handling PDF digital signatures in LibreOffice”.

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

Making Nextcloud Hub COOL

Sunday, February 7th 2021. “Making Nextcloud Hub COOL – Hear how we implemented out-of-the-box collaboration.”: Some titles speak for themselves. What does Michael Meeks know about this?

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

Apple slices easy bits?

Sunday, February 7th 2021. “Porting LibreOffice to macOS on Apple Silicon – Easy bits were easy, hard bits were not so hard”: Tor Lillqvist put his teeth in porting LibreOffice to macOS… Easy or hard?

Watch the video!
Download the presentation!

More great talks in the LibreOffice devroom!

Check the LibreOffice FOSDEM 2021 devroom schedule for more talks about IDE’s, productivity, interoperability, document standards, Maria DB, QA, LibreOffice in the browser, Writer fields, gerrit patches, Lightning talks.

 

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 Collabora Office on Twitter .

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