A Business Perspective on Open Source – The Enterprise Open Source Day

Business perspectives on Open Source

Together with our friends and partners from Factor Group, Canonical, Nextcloud, Linbit, and OpenNebula, we will be highlighting business perspectives on the use of open source in the enterprise during Enterprise Open Source Day on 10 November 2021. The summit will feature talks from leading industry leaders such as Mark Shuttleworth, Frank Karlitschek and Michael Meeks. Details of the program are available on the event page.

Open Source in large organizations

Open Source is becoming more and more important for businesses building secure collaboration platforms. Over the last years, the various platforms have matured and are as capable, and often better than proprietary solutions, to offer the scale, security and integration large organizations need.

With our partners, we are pleased to invite everyone to participate in the Enterprise Open Source Summit, a virtual event focused on transition strategies and the subsequent successful use of open-source solutions in the corporate environment.

The summit will take place on November 10, co-organized between open-source industry leaders Canonical, Nextcloud, Collabora and Factor Group as well as Linbit and OpenNebula.

Program

Each of us has years of experience with open source in finance, retail, energy, manufacturing, telecommunication, public sector and other areas. We will share our knowledge in a program of keynotes, lightning talks and demos, bringing several customers to talk about their experiences as well. Participants will be able to get answers to their questions first-hand from industry leaders.
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The following questions and strategies will be discussed at the event:

  • Migration from deployed commercial products to open-source solutions
  • Commercial support for open-source solutions and related concerns (scaleability, stability, integration, vendor lock-in and more)
  • Security and creation of fault-tolerant solutions

Find a more complete overview of the program on this page.

Cost

Tickets for the Enterprise open-source Event are available at 150 USD. However, different early bird options are available, offering significant discount on the admission. Secure your seat at the event page.

 

 

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Collaboran talks at the LibreOffice Conference 2021

An online conference all about LibreOffice technology

Hosted by The Document Foundation, the LibreOffice Conference 2021 (LibOCon) will be an online event. The live-streaming of the talks and workshops will be taking place from September 23rd to September 25th. Collabora developers will give interesting talks on LibreOffice technology, Collabora Online and the ecosystem on all three days, providing profound insights around the latest features and developments. This article gives you an overview of our presentations. Meet us at LibOCon 2021 and just one week later at our COOLdays!

Day 1: Thursday, September 23rd 2021

Michael Meeks

 13:00 – 13:30 – Room 1

Collabora Keynote

Michael Meeks, Managing Director of Collabora Productivity and member of the LibreOffice Board, looks at the latest developments around LibreOffice from an organizational and ecosystem perspective.

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Noel Grandin

 15:00 – 15:30 – Room 1

I feel the need… The need for speed…

Optimization is a lengthy process. But also an adventure that requires a bit of detective instinct and plenty of exploratory talent. Discover which adjustments are being made to make LibreOffice even faster and better performing.

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Marco Cecchetti

 16:00 – 16:20 – Room 1

Some improvements for the SVG export filter

Marco Cecchetti reports on progress around the use of SVG in presentations and the improvements in performance and storage requirements on export.

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Tomaž Vajngerl

 16:30 – 17:00 – Room 1

Improved document searching with LibreOffice

Collabora developer Miklos Vajna introduces the latest enhancements to LibreOffice and Collabora Online search that visualize hits across different documents.

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Mike Kaganski

 17:00 – 17:30 – Room 1

Multi-column support in LibreOffice 7.2

The new feature, its relevance, obstacles and implementation status. Mike Kaganski shares his experience, how interesting was it to work on this.

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Day 2: Friday, September 24th 2021

Cor Nouws

 12:00 – 12:30 – Room 1

A year of COOL …

Find out about the improvements that LibreOffice technology in the browser experienced. Hear about success stories and new features in Collabora Online!

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Michael Meeks

 12:30 – 13:00 – Room 1

COOL performance

Recently, we have been focusing our Collobora Online development on improving the feel and slickness of document editing. Come and hear about the things that we’ve found and fixed, both in COOL and also in the LibreOffice core to improve the experience!

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Sarper Akdemir

 13:00 – 13:05 – Room 2

PPTX footer export & import interoperability

Sarper Akdemir outlines the challenges around the export & import of Footers in PPTX and how they have been mastered.

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Miklos Vajna

 13:30 – 13:50 – Room 1

Gutter margin in Writer page styles

LibreOffice was already capable of handling various margins in Writer page styles. A missing piece was the support for the gutter margins. Find out, how this was implemented!

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Tomaž Vajngerl

 14:00 – 14:30 – Room 1

Built-in “Xray” like UNO object inspector

When developing macros and extensions in LibreOffice, it is very useful to have an object inspector. The Document Foundation put up a tender to create a built-in Xray-like UNO object inspector. It was awarded to Collabora, and we are now in the process of implementing it. Hear about the progress!

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Tomaž Vajngerl

 15:30 – 16:00 – Room 1

PDF annotations support

The LibreOffice technology in Draw is key to PDF annotations, and the support of a recently added review-based workflow. Find out, how this has been implemented!

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Day 3: Saturday, September 25th 2021

Szymon Kłos

 13:00 – 13:15 – Room 1

JSDialogs improvements over the past year

JSDialogs is a LibreOffice component used to share UI elements with Collabora Online. Hear about the most recent updates added.

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More interesting talks on LibreOffice technology at the COOLdays


We’re excited to announce the COOL Days 2021 – just one week after the LibOCon. The online conference will take place on September 30th and October 1st and feature a vast range of topics around Collabora Online’s technological and commercial development. The 30th of September – Development Day – is focused on developers to share their experiences. The 1st of October – Business Day – concentrates on commercial topics. Discover the COOL Days program.

 

 
 

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Collabora Online 6.4.10 brings better performance with visual and usability wins

Collabora Online 6.4.10 introduces important improvements, in the areas of usability, visual presentation and performance. These can make your work faster and smoother while reducing server load as well. Collabora Online includes a unique WYSIWYG experience, unmatched by others, which now also adds visual anchors for precise positioning of images and objects in Writer, PPTX interoperability improvements and more pleasant scrolling of PDF files. The new features and performance improvements have been extensively tested and are now available for production use. Discover what is new in Collabora Online 6.4.10 and if you don’t know what Collabora Online can do for you, request you free demo today!

A milestone in performance for online collaboration

The performance of Collabora Online is continually improving, particularly for larger groups working on documents, while we also grow our feature set in parallel. This version of Collabora Online comes with a set of significant performance wins. Of a long list, let us mention the following.

  • With a heavily loaded document store – auto-saving of the document could in some circumstances block document editing while autosave was underway. Dealing with the document store on save is now done asynchronously, i.e. in the background, for a smoother experience.
  • The squiggly red-line used to highlight of misspelled words was consuming lots of rendering time, which has now been fixed.
  • Memory handling of messages was less optimal than it could be.
  • The JavaScript in the browser client has a large number of improvements.
  • JavaScript image encoding is optimized and no longer touches large amounts of memory.
  • The document is no longer re-rendered in the browser for every websocket message from the server: instead batching message processing to improve responsiveness and avoid lag.
  • JavaScript and grid line rendering performance in Calc have also been improved.

Some 6.4.10 enhancements in the server back end and improvements for profiling & debugging.

  • A new built-in end-to-end profiler helps to find performance bottlenecks.
  • The ability to enable trace logging for a specific document on a busy server allows problems with individual documents to be diagnosed without having an adverse impact on whole server performance.

 

Object and image anchors in text documents

An image or shape in Writer now can show its anchor point when selected. This makes it easier to position objects: the anchor point is clear, and the anchor can be dragged with the mouse. Of course, an image or shape can be anchored “as character” and be the anchor itself. The anchoring options can be altered via the context menu. Collabora Online offers users a unique WYSIWYG experience, working with either Microsoft DOCX or OpenDocument ODT, with a depth of functionality and detail that is unmatched.

 

Interoperability improved with headers and footers in PPTX presentations

Headers and footers in PPTX presentations can now be edited online, further improving the WYSIWYG experience and also interoperability with other applications. The functionality can be accessed via the Header & Footer button at the Insert tab. The header function in Impress is reserved for the notes and handouts. Footers can be used on slides. In the dialog the Footer and Header text is defined. Other adjustments, such as font, colour and position, can be done via the master slide. These are features that users are familiar with from desktop applications as Collabora Office, which had a new major release recently.

 

Smoother reading of long PDF files

Collabora Online 6.4.10: Working with PDF is now even more convenient.
Collabora Online 6.4.10: See the smooth scrolling through PDF files in action. (Click to enlarge)

When opening PDF documents in online, it is now easy to scroll through them smoothly. In contrast to their previous rendering as one page at a time, now it is possible to read PDFs like Writer documents: continuously. Needless to say, all the already familiar benefits of working with PDF in Collabora Online, such as commenting on documents, will continue to be available in their familiar form.

A more consistent and beautiful interface that makes working fun

Collbora Online 6.4.10 comes with many improvements that enhance usability and makes the application visual more attractive. We would like to highlight the following examples:

Find & replace un code 6.4.10
Click to enlarge: The Find & Replace button is now available in the Home tab of Writer in Collabora Online 6.4.10
  • Dialog showing copy & paste shortcuts, and warning information around pasting content, are now consistent and in a clear style.
  • Multiple improvements in the NotebookBar. Thanks to Andreas Kainz for all of the help here.
    • The NotebookBar has its spacing optimized, and is a few pixels smaller
    • Usability of the NotebookBar has been improved by promoting some items to big buttons
    • In Writer, the Find & Replace button added to the Home tab
    • Some obsolete buttons have been removed (e.g. the Thesaurus from the NotebookBar in Calc)
    • The box to change the document name has been reworked and is now easier to work with
  • The dialog Help > About and Help > Keyboard shortcuts are improved: users will no longer close them accidentally. In addition, it is now possible to copy the content.
  • The search toolbar at the bottom now gives clearer feedback when a search text is not found. Earlier that was hard to notice.
  • Spreadsheet tabs are more distinct with added contrast and multiple cosmetic fixes.
  • The spreadsheet tabs’ context menu only shows the options that are relevant when eg. there is only one sheet.

    • Various close buttons and other icons have improved positioning.
    • The settings in the CSV Import dialog are better positioned and easier to use, and horizontal scrolling through columns is enabled.
  • After inserting a shape or a table, the NotebookBar will switch to the Draw tab or Table tab
Click to enlarge: Many usability improvements in help menus of Collabora Online 6.4.10

You can find more details on UI improvements in our release notes.

 

Errata

This release contains a few known issues which we will be addressing in a regular nano update in the next week, including: an admin console issue with the (as yet unreleased) latest Debian, some selection issues, a layout corner-case with writer comments, and a copy/paste issue with large images. Look out for a 6.4.10 release that addresses these.

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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GSoC 21 Projects mentored by Collabora for LibreOffice

Collabora mentors students on LibreOffice projects during this year’s Google Summer of Code

Summer is synonymous with the opportunity to participate in beautiful projects. Let’s look at the students who work in improving LibreOffice during the Google Summer of Code. This year, four of the approved GSoC projects for the LibreOffice community are mentored by Collabora developers. Find out about the improvements they are currently implementing!

Tests for the VCL graphic backends

The Visual Class Library (VCL) tests identifies if a graphic backend works correctly. This is especially important if the backend depends on the client hardware or drivers (like e.g. on Skia/Vulkan). This task’s main objective is adding more test cases to the pre-existing tests, and implementing a usable UI for users to test the graphic’s feasibility themselves. This project can be considered as of medium difficulty and requires C++ knowledge. It has been taken over by Akshit Kushwaha who is being mentored by Collaborans Tomaž Vajngerl and Luboš Luňák.

Creating a powerful Text Style deck

Text Style deck mock-up by the LibreOffice design team

The current styles deck sidebar is going to see a redesign. The paragraph and character styles will be merged into a single Text Style deck, as illustrated in the mock-up to the left. Furthermore, Anshu Khare, who has picked-up this project, does also want to rework the filter workflow. Anshu Khare is being mentored by Collaborans Tomaž Vajngerl and Mike Kaganski and Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice design team.

Making SVM format independent of the VCL Metafile

The SVM file is a 1-to-1 pullout of the content of the VCL Metafile. We mentioned the VCL already before. It is a complex code area and since the SVM should not change, stay consistent, modernizing and updating VCL is very hard. Now after this task, there will be a test for the SVM format. And there will also be new classes, making it easier to update/improve VCL. This project can be considered of medium difficulty. It is being taken over by Panos Korovesis who is being mentored by Tomaž Vajngerl and Miklos Vajna.

100 paper cuts

100 Paper Cuts is a versatile and multifaceted project in which Bayram Çiçek will be implementing enhancement requests and solving some issues on the UX side of LibreOffice. This requires knowledge in C++ and the ability to read other peoples code. Due to its nature, the difficulty of this project can vary. Bayram Çiçek is being mentored by Collaboran Muhammet Kara and Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice design team.

More Projects – Boost.Gil 2D convolution and correlation

Apart from those for the LibreOffice project, Collaboran developers participate in other Google Summer of Code projects. For the Boost C++ Libraries organization, a 2D convolution and correlation algorithm aligned with existing 1D convolution and correlation is to be implemented. Prathamesh Tagore will improve the existing prototype and make it ready for release. He is being mentored by Collaboran Pranam Lashkari, who was himself a successful GSoC scholarship holder a few years ago.

We wish all participants an equally successful and insightful summer and would like to thank all mentors for devoting the time necessary for the success of these projects. At Collabora, we believe that the sharing of knowledge is an essential part of open source and also a driver of progress and innovation.

Searching for a mentor? Join us GitHub!

Google Summer of Code is an excellent opportunity to learn to work in many open-source projects. But where to find mentors during the rest of the year? We suggest you to take a look at the code of Collabora Online on GitHub and join the growing community there, with easy hacks to get started and regular round-ups. Community Mentor Muhammet Kara and the rest of our team of open-source developers are there and willing to share their vast experience.

Join the Collabora Online community

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Collabora Office 21.06 brings enhanced productivity and smoother migration

The new Collabora Office 21.06 release enhances the productivity of all users and improves interoperability

Cambridge, June 28th, 2021 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the new major release of Collabora Office. By enhancing the productivity of all users with design improvements, as well as smoothing document interchange through improved interoperability, better performance and more, this new release makes migration even simpler for organizations.
Collabora Office, for Mac OS, Windows and Linux, is an enterprise version of the worlds most popular open source office productivity suite LibreOffice. This forms the foundation for online collaboration as Collabora Online, and powers apps for iOS, Android and Chrome OS. The whole suite offers businesses and professionals the best features, interoperability, LTS, and custom support in open source, while respecting user privacy and corporate data security. With this release, we unify the version numbers to a more user-friendly scheme based on release year and month.

Pick the interface that is more familiar and effective for you

Collabora Office has a great choice in user interfaces: a tabbed NotebookBar (for users familiar with recent Microsoft Office versions), as well as a traditional menus and toolbars. In addition we provide an optional side bar tool palette that makes best use of available horizontal screen space. With easy access to tools users can quickly find what they need. An additional feature of Collabora Office 21.06 allows you to see a preview of the Graphical User Interface style to help you to choose the one that best serves your needs and habits. Certain new features, such as the new Style Preview widget discussed below, only fit inside specific UI modes.


Helping users understand their use of styles

Styles make it easy to quickly create beautiful consistent office documents of all kinds: presentations/drawings, spreadsheets and text documents. However, some users are confused by styles and prefer to use direct formatting such as ‘bold’ or ‘italic’ which is then hard to adapt to style the document consistently. To overcome this hesitance the new Collabora Office offers users the new features Styles Inspector and toolbar Style Preview.

Style Inspector: a powerful tool to understand your Writer documents


The Style Inspector allows the user to inspect the rich hierarchical detail behind the styles (and direct formatting) applied to a cursor position in a Writer document. That makes it easy to diagnose the cause of unusual formatting in text documents and to clean it up.

This feature was developed in different phases, having been part of a Google Summer of Code (GSoc) 2020 project that had been mentored by Collaborans. For those interested in a fuller account of this phase of the work please see this earlier blog entry or the final report of the scholarship holder. Naturally, you can also modify any style through the Style Inspector.
Click to see it in action

Style Preview: easily select the styles you want

The appealing new Style Preview widget gives you a visual feedback about the currently applied style in the selected area of the Writer document. The selected style inside the widget always follows the cursor position. This makes it much easier to create attractive looking headings and document structure that can be later styles to taste in addition to the existing power-users keyboard shortcuts of <ctrl>-1,2,3 etc. to select heading styles.

This feature was first made available in our flagship product Collabora Online in the browser and has now been brought to the desktop Notebookbar. It is available in the home tab of the “Tabbed” User Interface.

The Style Preview widget is available through the Home tab in the Tabbed User Interface

Improved interoperability across the board

Collabora Office is known for excellent support of all file formats, from legacy binary formats to recent Microsoft Office XML documents. Even so – corner cases pop up where we can improve and to help our users and customers migrate. There have been more improvements here than we can list but we show a few highlights of the various ways in which Collabora Office 21.06 improves interoperability. Improved PPTX filter, special effects on shapes, better spreadsheet formula, margins and much much more.

Improved PPTX import


Collabora Office 21.06 includes many improvements around importing PPTX files. As you see in this example, you can now import images that were cropped into custom shapes and they will be displayed as expected. The new PPTX filters improve the import of several types of cropped images with transformations such mirroring and greyscale conversion.

Office 365: Original custom shaped image in a PowerPoint slide
In earlier versions of LibreOffice the image would lose the custom shape upon import
Collabora Office 21.06: True to the original import of shaped images from PPTX

Glow and Soft Edge effects for shapes


Collabora Office 21.06 introduces further features to manipulate shapes according to your preferences. Once a shape is selected, you can choose the radius of the Glow effect and its Soft Edges within the sidebar using the Effects parameter. Furthermore, you can select the colour and the degree of transparency of the effect. This function can be applied to all shapes across Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw.

Collabora Office 21.06: Apply Glow and Soft Edges to shapes

 

Improved interoperability & printing with gutter margins

A good example of the many improvements to Writer’s interoperability is the addition of an extra space to the side margin, top margin, or inside margins of documents. This gutter margin makes sure that the text of a printed publication is not obscured by the binding. Implementing this feature improved interoperability with Microsoft Word documents that use it. You can find the relevant settings via the Page Style dialog.

Many Excel compatible formulae improvements and extensions

Many functions have been improved both to extend interoperability with Excel, and to add new functionality. Support for sheet-local scoped names has been added to INDIRECT(), and both TEXT() and OFFSET() have been is adapted to various corner cases to behave identically to the competition. TEXTJOIN() and CONCAT() now handle array & matrix arguments row-wise for improved compatibility. In addition functions that use powerful regular expressions now correctly honour case-insensitivity flags.

Accessibility checking on PDF export

A new feature has been added to make documents more accessible. PDF/UA or ISO 14289 is a specification that defines requirements for accessibility in a PDF document. When exporting a document to PDF you can now run a test that is helpful in checking various features against the Universal Accessibility standards requirements. You can also run the Accessibility Check independently from the Tools menu. This feature was sponsored thanks to the Dutch Standardization Forum. Find more details about which checks have currently been implemented in Tomaz Vajngerl’s blog but do keep in mind that not all requirements can be checked automatically.

Improved performance in Calc

Collabora continues to put a lot of effort into enhancing the performance of the software. As an example the streamlining of the Find & Replace functionality in Writer resulted in a 50 percent performance improvement. Another would be the scrolling and opening speed of large XLSX files which has been much improved. In Collabora Office 21.06, we have fundamentally revised the way spell checking is done in Calc with a new spell check that prevents continual re-rendering as strings are processed, while also caching spell-checking information yielding considerable performance improvements. Similarly AutoFilter searching is much improved for large numbers of unique records.

Highlight elements of your mathematical formulae with colour

Collabora Office 21.06 provides access to the complete HTML colour palette for displaying elements in formulae and equations within Math. In addition to the basic colours, which can be selected under attributes, there is an easy-to-use palette of colours available in the pane. This useful function comes from LibreOffice 7.1 and was developed by Dante Doménech.

Improved language handling in Writer

The core model of language annotation in LibreOffice is that languages are explicitly assigned to regions of text. This can easily lead to unexpected results when documents that have been created in one local language (without specifying it further) are opened by another user with a different local language setting. Instead of a powerful but potentially confusing “multi languages” result, Writer now resets the language to the user’s UI locale if no document language had been defined. This more consistent behaviour was previously introduced to Calc and Impress and is now also available in Writer.

More attractive and realistic, interoperable shadow effects


In earlier versions, shadows used to be rendered as solid copies of objects. The new Blur option adds more realistic shadows to them. The feature is available through the Shadows tab in the Area dialog or directly through the corresponding setting in the Sidebar. This feature was initially developed during a GSoC20 project by Ahmad Ganzouri and mentored by the Collaborans Tomaž Vajngerl and Miklos Vajna, who later implemented further refinements to it.

Collabora Office 21.06: Add a realistic blur to shadows

Shadowed tables in Impress

Shadow effects are a great way to add depth and appeal to elements. They are available for many objects, such as shapes, and have recently received feature enhancements such as the blur effect. For tables within presentations, shadows are now also available through the Table Properties dialog. The newly added feature incorporates all these extended presentation features including blur.

Collanora Office 21.06: Add shadows to tables in Impress

Making it easier to find and install extensions


There are many useful extensions created to extend both Collabora Office and LibreOffice and make users more productive for certain tasks. These use the thousands of powerful and extensible UNO scripting methods that we export. However these have been more difficult to find and install. In Collabora Office 21.06, without having to leave your workflow, you can easily find them near where they are used wherever you see the download-extensions icon. Users can easily search and add extensions from a store like interface. This feature was proposed by the LibreOffice design team and was a GSoC 2020 project mentored by Collabora. You can access the feature through the icon (a yellow star with a download arrow) in the Templates dialog, the Icon Style option or from the Gallery located in the sidebar.

Please click on thumbnails to enlagre.

 

21.06: The Collabora Office of the year

It’s obvious that this major version of Collabora Office not only introduces lots of benefits for users and enterprises, but also changes our versioning scheme. In the past, the numbering was based around the LibreOffice numbers. The new system now, makes it easier for users to recall the pedigree of their version, when it was originally released and to be more aware of our annual version refreshes. The first two digits of the scheme refer to the year, the last two to the month of the initial release. Smaller subsequent updates will be denoted with an appended digit, and a further nano release.

Collabora Office 21.06 splash screen

About Collabora Office

Collabora Office is the LibreOffice Technology-based suite for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office 21.06 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 included into Collabora Office 21.06. This, our annual release, contains much work that was contributed to LibreOffice 7.0 and then LibreOffice 7.1, for a deep dive on detail and credits please do peruse these.

Its easy to migrate to Collabora Office 21.06

You can try Collabora Office 21.06 yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today!

Try the Demo

Thanks to the community!

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing many new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for a significant volume of contributions. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute to this and the upstream LibreOffice Technology. Find the details in either the release notes above or the LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work! LibreOffice is a friendly community offering many ways to get involved. Alternately, if you are interested in joining the Collabora Online community, you will find several easy ways to started inside our community hub – we look forward to
welcoming you.

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