Released on the 16 of November 2020, the minor release 4.2.12 of Collabora Online brings additional settings to the Sidebar to define Charts in Writer, Calc and Impress. You can now add or change the Titles and Subtitles from Charts directly from the Sidebar module.
How to make use of this
When a chart is selected, the new Title and Subtitle options are available in the Elements group in the Sidebar. The checkbox indicates, that the title element is in use. You can edit titles directly in the text field below. The changes will be automatically applied to the selected chart. Unchecking the box will delete the title.
More new features in Collabora Online 4.2.12
Collabora Online is in permanent development, steadily introducing new features and constantly improving interoperability and user experience. Please check-out our release notes to find out about the latest features and improvements. Would you like to test the latest version with all new features? Then simply request a free demo!
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 .
Three full days dedicated to LibreOffice technology
The LibreOffice Conference 2020, this year also known as oSLO 2020, took place from 15 to 17 October 2020 as a joint online event with openSUSE. The number of participants at the online conference was roughly the same as at an on-site event. A total of over 320 participants had registered on the conference platform. Individual talks were attended by up to 150 people simultaneously. The LibreOffice community in Latin America had organized an additional track in Spanish and Portuguese. Our team contributed 16 talks (find the complete list here). Enjoy some recorded recordings, download the slides and feel free to ask further questions in our forum.
Collabora & the LibreOffice Ecosystem
Some much-acclaimed topics were the lectures by Michael Meeks, which highlighted the exciting and long-standing history of LibreOffice, and those that dealt with the relationship between profit-oriented companies and the voluntary community—and pointed out possible perspectives.
This year’s talks on Collabora Online had a strong focus on improving the user experience. Ashod Nakashian talked about the challenges of integrating Sidebars into Online, while Szymon Kłos explained the path to the NotebookBar, the new optional user interface. Tomaž Vajngerl showed the great new features for PDF files. Pedro Silva held a presentation on visual consistency, user experience, as well as possibilities for customization. He also showed how to join the project. Slides of his talk are also available in Portuguese (as part of the Latin-American Track). Muhammet Kara‘s presentation highlighted the new one-click option, that makes installing Collabora Online by home users much easier.
LibreOffice & Collabora Office
These talks dealt with new functions added to LibreOffice by the Collabora team. This includes the extensive work with the SKIA graphics library, presented by Luboš Luňák, and the digital signing of files in PDF and OOXML, showcased by Miklos Vanja. Collabora Office is now also available on Chrome OS. Jan Holesovsky outlined what it took to port the Android app to Chromebooks.
Collabora Office on Android & iOS
Our mobile apps are a lot of attention. Their huge success recently added 500K users to the LibreOffice user base. Szymon Kłos presented technical details how the LibreOffice Sidebar get re-used on phones. Tor Lillqvist focused, on the latest developments for Collabora Office on iOS, while Jan Holesovsky presented the history of online and mobile.
Living on video?
Missed the conference? Would you like to watch or re-watch some talks? The sessions at the openSUSE & LibreOffice Conference have been recorded and are going to be published. We have a playlist collecting all the talks held by our developers. Find it here on YouTube. We are continuously adding the all published oSLO2020 talks there. In the meantime, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to not miss any updates from us.
New major version of Collabora Online brings improved user experience and compatibility
Cambridge, United Kingdom, November 2, 2020 – Collabora Productivity is excited to announce a new, major release of our product Collabora Online, version 6.4.0. This release adds a new easier to use interface with a notebook bar as well as excellent display of Microsoft file format documents. This release not only brings a fresh look, enhanced usability, improved interoperability, and extra functionality. It also marks a harmonization of our version numbering. Collabora Online jumps from 4.2 to 6.4, to align with our other Collabora Office products: for the desktop and mobile devices. Collabora Online offers privacy as well as the only truly open-source solution for working with and collaborating on rich documents in the cloud.
Attractive and easy to use NotebookBar option in Collabora Online
Collabora Online 6.4 comes with a cool and modern NotebookBar providing another easy to use and pretty access to all rich features. The easily identifiable buttons allow users to quickly select functions and the thematic organization of the tabs is intuitive. Users will of course recognize much of the NotebookBar from the desktop version.
Version 6.4 – A huge leap in user-friendliness… and numbering
The new Collabora Online with the NotebookBar marks a big step forward in usability. The version number also makes a big leap with a jump from 4.2 to 6.4. The previous numbering of Collabora Online reflected the release cycles of our online products, first released in 2016. To simplify things we make the numbering similar to Collabora Office for the desktop. This more accurately reflects the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products. Our mobile apps Collabora Office for Android, ChromeOS and iOS will also catch up in numbering soon.
Saving space and other NotebookBar details
When the user needs to save space, a single click on the active tab will collapse the NotebookBar. All the tabs are still there to use.
The hamburger menu also packs some important tools for e.g. collaboration and language.
How to keep the classic mode
The new NotebookBar is set as the default interface in this new release, however we have no plans to remove the classic menu and toolbar UX – some users and deployments clearly prefer it. To change this back you can select ‘classic’ for the user_interface key in loolwsd.xml, and some integrations will provide their own admin UI for this, to configure it for the whole server.
The new look of Writer, Impress and Calc
In Collabora Online 6.4 the new NotebookBar adapts to the users needs. With each type of document all available features are nicely sorted into clear tabs. The following images are taken from Writer, Impress and Calc.
Quick access, flexible interface option
Our developers worked effortless to provide the user interface that is both feature rich, and also flexible and small… if the user needs that. The following images present some possibilities with text, presentations and data.
New Spreadsheet rendering: freeze rows and columns
Spreadsheet rendering has been re-written from scratch in CODE 6.4! It continues to improve rapidly, please be patient as we work on performance tuning here. One big new feature is that users can now freeze rows and columns with the button on the tab Sheet or the entry in the menu View. Then, when the users scrolls/moves down in the spreadsheet, the chosen rows and columns will stay visible on top and the left. This is similar to the feature that is available in the desktop version of Collabora Office under View > Freeze Rows.
Collaborating with annotations to PDF files
Collabora’s products already have many powerful features supporting the increasing use of PDF documents. Collabora Online 6.4 allows users to collaborate around PDF documents by including a new feature to add annotations to PDF documents.
Various Collabora Online integrations let users open PDF files with Collabora Online, for example with a command in the file’s detail menu (More or simply …). After that, a comment can simply be added with Insert > Comment.
Collabora Online’s interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML file formats, is as excellent as in our desktop product, since all share a large part of the underlying LibreOffice code base. This 6.4 release again adds dozens of improvements in Microsoft OOXML rendering for presentations, smart art, charts and more from the whole community. Some examples are given below:
Text can be set semi-transparent
A new feature in CODE 6.4 is the use of semi-transparent text, that can be set on the tab Font Effects. Therefore, now semi-transparent text from OOXML files is shown.
Improved import of SmartArt
With the release of Collabora Online 6.4 the import of SmartArt in MS Office documents has been further improved.
Gradient backgrounds in slides
The pitfalls of interoperability nowadays lie in small details. For example, colour gradients in the background of slides used to be lost with the import of Microsoft PPTX files. With version 6.4, this is now fixed.
About Collabora Online
Collabora Online 6.4 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 technology, you can check out LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is open source, and available to the public on GitHub. Would you like to be part of the Online-story? Check the new website for Onlinewith information, easy hacks and a forum for Online, and participate today!
Autumn is just around the corner. For many participants in the GSoC 2020, a busy and instructive summer full of hacking on open source projects came to an end a few weeks ago. Commits have been contributed and final reports have been written. This year experienced Collabora Productivity developers were again mentors for various projects of the Google Summer of Code for the LibreOffice project. Here are some examples of projects our team helped to succeed!
Analysing Writer documents with the “Style Inspector”
The “Style Inspector” is a great new tool. You can access it through a new icon (an eye combined with a pencil) in the Sidebar (also via “Sidebar Settings”). The Style Inspector displays in full detail (and hierarchical) all styles and also direct formatting applied to a cursor position in a Writer document. So you can analyse, identify problems and clean them up. Sometimes formatting in documents is messy and people mix styles with direct formatting. The Style Inspector allows you to see that.
The feature is available for testing in pre-released development versions of LibreOffice. Shivan Kumar Singh picked up the proposal from the LibreOffice Design Team. He was mentored by Collaborans TomažVajngerl and MikeKaganski with Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice Design Team. Take a look into Singh’s final report! It is an inspiring a guide on how to approach a big project like LibreOffice.
Improving the way to find and add extensions
There are many useful extensions to LibreOffice and users should be able to find them easily! Like in app stores like Gnome Software or the Play Store. That is basic idea behind “Tight Integrations” and the proposal from the LibreOffice design team. Yusuf Keten made this his GSOC project a success and added the possibility to search and sort the through extensions without having to leave LibreOffice. You start this new way to search with a clear yellow star with a download arrow, that is in the templates dialog, at the icons in the view options, or from the galleries pane in the side bar.
If you are curios about this handy extensions feature you can already test and find it in the latest LibreOffice pre-releases. Yusuf was mentored ba Collabora’s Muhammet Kara and Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice design team. Find all the details of Yusuf’s work in his final report.
“I learned a lot of things during the GSoC. Although GSoC is finished, I will continue to contribute to LibreOffice. I am very happy to be part of the LibreOffice community.” (Yusuf Keten)
Changing the contour – shadows are becoming blurry
Did you know, that in LibreOffice the shadows are just a copy of the object? There are already a lot of settings to change their appearance, like its colour, its angle, the transparency and distance behind the object. Mentored by Collaboran’s TomažVajngerl and Miklos Vajna, Ahmad Ganzouri added another option. The “Blurry Shadows” make use of the already implemented BitmapFilterStackBlur and make the shape of the shadow look very realistic. Find the details around the development in Ahmad’s final report. We have seen the Blurry Shadow option in the master branch and expect it to be available to all users in Version 7.1 of LibreOffice. The option can be easily accessed via the “Area” dialog in “Objects & Shapes” or directly via the corresponding Sidebar module.
Searching for a mentor? Join us GitHub!
Google Summers of Code are an excellent opportunity to learn working in many open source projects. But where to find mentors during the rest of the year? We recently moved the code of Collabora Online to GitHub. You will find a growing community there, with easy hacks to get started. Community Mentor Muhammet Kara and the rest of our team of open source developers are there and willing to share their vast experience.
The updated release of Collabora Office for Android and iOS now supports opening password protected documents and is available for F-Droid. Thus the open source app running on your mobile devices – mind that ChromeOS is supported too – is again gaining in both features and user support.
Opening password protected documents
Just click on the document you’d like to open. In case it is a password-protected document Collabora Office will display the field for the password entry. Needless to say that this naturally works for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations alike, be it DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, ODT, ODS, ODP,or ..
Now available for F-Droid!
Regularly users have asked us about the availability of Collabora Office for F-Droid, the community driven platform focusing on free and open source apps for Android. And now it’s here! Currently we provide two versions: the 4.2.x release – already longer existing, and the snapshot of the unstable 6.4 line. With the latter you can help us test the latest and greatest features! Something we really appreciate, so do contact us 🙂 !
However.. searching in the F-Droid site app list, you will not find it; first you will have to add the repo. Of course the F-Droid community provides a simple and clear HowTo.
In short: you need to add the following third party repository: https://www.collaboraoffice.com/downloads/fdroid/repo/ (see the QR-code below).
Collabora Office is the first fully functional mobile document editor for F-Droid. Thanks to the F-Droid community for helping to make this possible. Shortly we’ll publish a post adding more details to the story and possibly addressing some questions too.
Where to get the new Collabora Office for mobile?
Just install or update your Collabora Office app from the Play Store or App Store. And for F-Droid, see the info just above here!