Gutter Margins and PPTX import improvements available in Collabora Office 6.4-33

Version 6.4-33 of Collabora Office introduces the new Gutter Margins feature developed by Collabora to the desktops and includes several fixes regarding the PPTX import, improving the way Collabora Office handles shaped Bitmaps.
The latest developments around our business-hardened and supported LibreOffice distribution are documented inside the release notes. Learn more about how Collabora Office can help you to control your data and business in our 6.4 announcement; or order a free demo!

 

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Improving printed publications with Gutter Margins

Collabora Office 6.4-33. Add Gutter Margins to text documents

The Gutter Margin feature has first been published in Collabora Online 6.4.6. The new Writer feature adds an extra space to the side margin, top margin, or inside margins of documents. The gutter margin makes sure that the text of a printed publication is not obscured by the binding. Since the Gutter Margins feature is also available in Microsoft Word, this feature is an interoperability improvement, too.

How to use Gutter Margins

Access the Gutter Margin feature via the menu option Format > Page Styles… and select the page tab. Alternatively, you can access the Page Style though a right-click or via a left-click on the style button in the status bar at the bottom. Inside the Page Style dialog you will find several new options to adjust the size and the position of the gutter.

Gutter Margins: The new settings are available inside the Page Style dialog

 

PPTX import improvements for shaped bitmaps

Collabora Office 6.4-33 includes improvements on the PPTX import of shaped images

Collabora Office 6.4-33 includes various code stability fixes and improvement regarding the import of shaped bitmap images created in MS Office. Earlier, shaped bitmap graphics of PPTX presentations could be rendered inaccurately, or in some cases the shape could get lost. Thank you to SUSE for sponsoring this work. This is fix is another great interoperability improvement that will also become available in the next version of LibreOffice.

Original: shaped image produced in MS Office
Earlier: Shaped images might not be imported accurately into LibreOffice & Collabora Office
Collabora Office 6.4-33: true to the original PPTX import of shaped images

 

Read more about Collabora Office 6.4

Read all about the new Collabora Office 6.4. Or try it yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or simply click the button below.

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CODE 6.4.7 enables Macros and provides Draw online

The latest version of the Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) 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 reworked Style preview in the NotebookBar.

 

Please checkout the latest features – and give your feedback

CODE gives you the latest and greatest features in online collaboration earlier than our supported version Collabora Online. Of course, we would love to hear about your experiences. Please leave your feedback on CODE in the community forum or report any possible issues on GitHub.

 

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!

CODE 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 ConnectorToolbox is available from the Home tab in Draw online

Enabling VBA compatible macros for online

CODE 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 CODE 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.

 

Initial 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. We do expect some rough edges at the time of releasing CODE 6.4.7 – for example the pinch-to-zoom behavior is still sub-optimal, you can expect a bit of a flicker when the zoom has finished. Please do update to the latest 6.4.7 and report your findings, we will do several smaller iterations with fixes for CODE 6.4.7. Please refer to the Feedback section above to see how to help out.

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).

 

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 MS Office users.

In CODE 6.4.7 the integration that embeds Collabora Online can choose per-user as they construct the iframe, which they want to select. If you are interested in implementing an option in your integration, please check how to use UIMode in the Theming of Collabora Online part 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 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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Collabora Online 6.4.6 – Gutter Margins enhance text documents, Fontwork text art, many improvements

Collabora Online 6.4.6 makes it easier to produce professionally printed materials and at the same time more fun to work with. The two new features responsible for this are the Gutter Margins, currently only available in Online, the newly added Fontwork objects and more fixes. These features, first released in CODE 6.4.6, have been tested extensively and are now also available in the business-hardened version of Collabora Online. You can find additional information on GitHub and inside the Collabora Online 6.4 release notes.

 

Professional page formatting with Gutter Margins

Writer now features improved support for gutter margins. This is often requested for government documentation and really popular among our users in Asian countries. Mind that this new feature is not yet available for Writer on desktop. You can test it on desktop though, with the unstable snapshot of our supported Collabora Office version. This work is of course also being committed to the next LibreOffice release.

How to use the new gutter margins

This margin type can be specified explicitly, and it is also possible to select whether the gutter should be located on the left or at the top. The feature works with mirrored margins as well and is very useful for printed publications. To utilize this feature, access the Page Style dialog through the Layout tab. In the Page dialog you will find a new Gutter option below the Margin settings. On the right-hand side there is a drop-down menu that lets you choose the Gutter position (left or top). The small page icon in the dialog renders a preview of the margin size.

Microsoft Word also includes a gutter margin option, so this feature is also an interoperability improvement. When importing or exporting documents, this feature is now supported with DOCX, DOC, ODP, and RTF formats. While the feature has been primarily developed for Collabora Online, it is also available in the desktop version. If you are interested in more, and technical, details of this implementation, please take a look at the blog by developer Miklos Vajna.

1. Define the size of the gutter margin
2. Choose the position of the gutter margin
3. A preview of the gutter margin’s size and position is rendered in the dialog

Fontwork – graphical text art for your documents

Fontwork objects are fun to work with and are a good way to add some visual highlights to your documents. Using them in Collabora Online is very straightforward. After choosing a Fontwork object from the gallery, double-click the object to update the text. When selected, the colour, transparency, and the orientation of the graphical text can be adjusted through the Sidebar. The new Fontwork panel makes it easy to work with the characters’ height, or change the alignment and the character spacing. If you are using Collabora Online via your mobile phone’s browser you will benefit from the mobile-friendly interface, as shown in these images.

The main colour of the Fontwork object is defined by the Area colour, similar as to when working with Shapes. You can also choose from different types of fills (e.g. colour, gradient, bitmap, pattern) and set the transparency. Secondary or tertiary colours of Fontwork can be defined through the Line or Shadow colour.

Mobile optimized Fontwork interface. Click to enlarge!
1. Choose Fontwork from the Galery
2. Edit shape, letter height and alignment in the Sidebar panel.
3. Define Colour, Type of fill & transparency level in the Area panel

 

New configuration option for integrators

Collabora Online now does support the FileUrl property of WOPI. This is a URI to the file location that the WOPI client uses to get the file and can be used to get the file instead of a GetFile request. FileUrl brings better performance in some configurations and has been implemented in cooperation with partners.

 

 

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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CODE 6.4.6 Introduces Fontwork, Gutter Margins and More Improvements

The latest version of the Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) 6.4.6 introduces new features and improvements. The newly introduced Fontwork feature, allows you to create the well known graphical text art objects inside Collabora Online. The feature can be accessed via the Insert tab, both on the NotebookBar and in the classic UI. The Fontart Gallery allows you to choose from a set of different text art objects, each of which can be customized via the Sidebar. It is now also possible to define gutter margins. And of course there is more!

Use the latest features now – and do give your feedback

CODE gives you the latest and greatest features in online collaboration earlier than the supported version Collabora Online. Of course, we would love to hear about your experiences. Please leave your feedback on CODE in the community forum or report any possible issues on GitHub.

How to use the attractive Fontwork objects

Working with Fontwork in Collabora Online is very straightforward. After choosing a Fontwork object from the gallery, double-click the object to update the text. When selected, the colour, transparency, and the orientation of the graphical text can be adjusted through the Sidebar. The new Fontwork panel makes it easy to work with the characters’ height, or change the alignment and the character spacing. If you are using Collabora Online via your mobile phone’s browser you will benefit from the mobile-friendly interface, as shown in these images.

The main colour of the Fontwork object is defined by the Area colour, similar as to when working with Shapes. You can also choose from different types of fills (e.g. colour, gradient, bitmap, pattern) and set the transparency. Secondary or tertiary colours of Fontwork can be defined through the Line or Shadow colour.

Mobile optimized Fontwork interface. Click to enlarge!
1. Choose Fontwork from the Galery
2. Edit shape, letter height and alignment in the Sidebar panel.
3. Define Colour, Type of fill & transparency level in the Area panel

 

Easier and better page formatting in Writer with Gutter Margins

Writer now features improved support for gutter margins. This is often requested for government documentation and really popular among our users in Asian countries.
Mind that this new feature is not yet available in the Writer on desktop. You can test it on desktop though, with the unstable snapshot of our supported Collabora Office version. And the work is of course also committed for the next LibreOffice release.

How to use the new gutter margins

This margin type can be specified explicitly, and it is also possible to select whether the gutter should be located on the left or at the top. The feature works with mirrored margins as well and is very useful for printed publications. To utilize this feature, access the Page Style dialog through the Layout tab. In the Page dialog you will find a new Gutter option below the Margin settings. On the right-hand side there is a drop-down menu that lets you choose the Gutter position (left or top). The small page icon in the dialog renders a preview of the margin size.

Microsoft Word also includes a gutter margin option, so this feature is also an interoperability improvement. When importing or exporting documents, this feature is now supported with DOCX, DOC, ODP, and RTF formats. While the feature has been primarily developed for Collabora Online, it is also available in the desktop version. If you are interested in more, and technical, details of this implementation, please take a look at the blog by developer Miklos Vajna.

1. Define the size of the gutter margin
2. Choose the position of the gutter margin
3. A preview of the gutter margin’s size and position is rendered in the dialog

 

New configuration option for integrators

Collabora Online now does support the FileUrl property of WOPI. This is a URI to the file location that the WOPI client uses to get the file and can be used to get the file instead of a GetFile request. FileUrl brings better performance in some configurations and has been implemented in cooperation with partners.

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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Collabora contributes help to make LibreOffice 7.1 great

The latest version of LibreOffice brings a range of enhancements. Many of the improvements are the result of the work of Collabora developers. We show you a selection of these contributions below, but for a complete overview and full community credits you can checkout the LibreOffice Release Notes.

 

More attractive Objects with new Blurry Shadows

Shadows used to be rendered as solid copies of objects. The new Blur option adds more realistic shadows to objects. The feature is available through the Shadows tab in the Area dialog or directly through the Sidebar. This feature was developed during a GSoC20 project by Ahmad Ganzouri mentored by the Collaborans Tomaž Vajngerl and Miklos Vajna. Several refinements were implemented by Collabora later on.

 

Business Ready and Online!

Collabora loves LibreOffice and is glad to be a major contributor to the LibreOffice ecosystem. Of course we offer business ready versions for the desktop – Collabora Office – with LTS and SLA serving your business needs, also to retain control over your ICT.
And for online collaboration, we are leading the development of Collabora Online – built on top of LibreOffice. Get more info or a demo.

Further significant SmartArt improvements

Collabora is constantly adding improvements to the import of SmartArt objects from PPTX. Some of these were already present in Collabora Office 6.4 and also in Collabora Online 6.4. The latest developments by Miklos Vajna are now implemented in LibreOffice 7.1. Find all the technical details in Miklos’ last corresponding blog entry and the one before that.

 

Much faster Find & Replace

Many of Collabora’s contributions are aimed at enhancing the performance of LibreOffice and Collabora Office. Often this streamlining is the work of Collaboran Noel Grandin. For this release, it has resulted in a 50 percent performance improvement in the Find & Replace function of Writer. Performance improvements in Calc include spell checking, by Dennis Francis, and Autofilter, by Luboš Luňák and Eike Rathke of Red Hat.

 

Add visible digital signatures to existing PDF files

It is now possible to add visible digital signatures to existing PDF files. Earlier, this had been limited to invisible signatures. We first introduced this feature with the release of Collabora Office 6.4. Find all the technical details for this implementation in Miklos Vajna’s development blog.

 

NotebookBar now shows preview of Styles

Another new feature, that makes working with styles easier, is the Styles Preview widget that has been added to the NotebookBar. Nice work by our colleague Szymon Kłos.

 

Many more Contributions

LibreOffice 7.1 includes many more contributions by Collabora. For example: Writer now supports anchoring shapes relative to the bottom of the page; an issue in the formula input box which had occurred in Calc during the freezing of rows/columns was resolved; templates in Writer are now locale-independent; handling of cached field results in Writer has been improved. We would like to say: a big thanks to all our partners and customers helping us to make this work possible! Find out more about all the new features and improvements in the LibreOffice 7.1 Release Notes.

 

Discover Collabora Office

Collabora Office is the LibreOffice-technology based suite for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office provides businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and L3 support. Collabora is privileged to work with so many great contributors to the LibreOffice project and appreciates all the amazing work done by so many that is also included into Collabora Office. You can test the latest version of Collabora Office yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or just click the button below.

 

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