CODE 4.2.0 Released with fresh User Interface

Clean look, feature rich Side Bar, and much more

Cambridge, United Kingdom, December 16, 2019Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind bringing LibreOffice to the cloud, is excited to announce a new, major release of our product CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) 4.2.0 This release includes a fresh look, mobile improvements, improved inter-operability, new dialogs and functionality as well as a raft of bug fixes and polish. The release gives you an insight into our soon-to-be released enterprise version Collabora Online 4.2.0. CODE and Collabora Online offer privacy as well as the only truly open-source solution for working with and collaborating on rich documents in the cloud.

CODE logo

What’s new?

This major update of Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) comes with a rich new user interface and is built onto of the stability and performance of our LTS version of LibreOffice: Collabora Office 6.2. It includes many improvements in functionality and user-friendliness. The most obvious new feature is the powerful sidebar on the right. Many settings for text and all kind of properties of objects in the documents can be easily updated here. The sidebar makes it much easier to change tables, colour settings and charts elements in the browser, with close to the same feature richness that is available in Collabora Office on the desktop. The status bar has been redesigned and our powerful function wizard is now available in Calc online. Copy and paste of rich text and content is added for online, and our responsive user interface adapts nicely to mobile phones and tablets.

Rich chart functions from the side bar

When charts are selected, the sidebar now gives access to a wide range of features. For example, you can easily choose chart types from bars, lines and points, pies and more, or whether the diagram should be displayed in 3D.

Other elements of charts can now also be adjusted from the sidebar. You can now determine how and where titles and legends are displayed. Furthermore, many of the visual elements of the diagram can be adjusted here. The sidebar also allows you to define the surface colour, transparency, line types and grid lines.

Click to see that in action:

Click to see the chart sidebar in action

Online function wizard: a powerful tool for formulas

Working with formulas is important and especially for the more complex types, having help with the tenth optional parameter is good. The new function wizard does that and it is new available in Calc from now on. The function wizard grants easy access to all elements of also the most complex formulas. It shows the structure and meaning of different parts of a formula, and more.

Conditions apply: Enhanced formatting options in Calc

Conditional formatting is a powerful feature in Calc. It is enables you to quickly visualize data in a spreadsheet by setting various useful rules on your sheet to adapt the cells formatting, colour, or even add icons when certain criteria are met. While a simplified set of conditional formats was previously available via an icon in the toolbar, you can now also make use of the full dialogs, to be found in the Format menu, to define and manage conditions fully.

Better display in Calc: smooth scaling of spreadsheets

The scaling of spreadsheets has been significantly improved in CODE 4.2.0. While in Calc you could previously only choose between two zoom factors of 100% and 200%, now fine adjustment is are possible to suit. Using the convenient (and redesigned) quick selector in the lower right corner, you can now choose your favourite zoom percentage between 33% and 200%.

More presentation functions in the sidebar

The new sidebar adds many useful functions to Impress. For shapes and outlines, the size, position, colours, transparency, wrapping and so on are easy to change.

The possibilities to alter the slide master and lay out, from the sidebar, are also completely new in CODE 4.2. You can now access extensive layout functionality for slides such selecting masters, layouts and even editing your own master pages. Needless to say, that character settings, fonts types, sizes, colours and spacing can also be easily adjusted from the sidebar.

Handier working with images

Working with images in all document types is easier, more convenient and more precise. The sidebar allows to adjust colour options, such as brightness, contrast or transparency or the red, blue and green portion of the image. Another handy feature is the adjustment of the layer settings of the images. Bring them to the foreground or arrange them in the background – all via the sidebar.

Rich copy and paste between docx and xlsx documents and more… in the browser

People that work online, often have many documents open simultaneously, and want to mash them together into bigger, better documents. So you’ll be glad to learn the CODE 4.2.0 introduces copying of rich formatted content along with images, charts, and other complex elements, between your online spreadsheets, documents and presentations.

New online colour picker

For certain elements there is not only the usual colour selector, offering a palette, but also the colour picker to chose any custom colours needed. Use it with text and background in presentations, lines in spreadsheets and presentations, text and background for floating frames in text documents.

Handling links in Writer has just become more pleasant

CODE 4.2.0 brings very nice enhancements when working with hyperlinks. Whenever the mouse cursor is located next to a link or on it, you will be kindly notified by a pop-up dialogue allowing the real target to be inspected and launched conveniently with a single click.

Beautiful new icons and a redesigned theme

The new design of the icons embellishes the upper toolbar. The new theme is tidier has more generous spacing, and is clearer in general. It should increase productivity and reduce friction. Buttons that are selected have a clearer and more distinct highlight too.

The status bar also benefits from our visual redesign. Not only does it look cleaner, it also improves quick access to the functions located there. The language of documents can now also be set via a popup.

Table editing in the side bar and table handles

In Writer it is now possible to manipulate tables extensively from the sidebar and we also added easy to use in-document selection handles, choose either or both. Previously the table dialog had to be used, which was far less convenient. These handles make adjusting row height and column width very user-friendly.

You want to insert rows or columns from here? Of course! Or delete some or all of them? a click! Furthermore, the sidebar also allows you to set the background colour of the cells or to fine-tune their height and width of rows and columns. It becomes even more interesting if you select several cells. Then you can also merge them from the sidebar or distribute them evenly.

 

Table of contents

In text documents, the full table of contents can now be configured with the new dialogs. So even online, you can customize your complex table of contents in a few clicks according to your wishes. For example edit the entries and change style, background or columns.

About CODE

CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users that want to start to run their own online office suite. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and host them themselves in their own controlled and private environment. For them and also for tech-enthusiast, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE gives the possibility to be the first to use new features. It will be improved continuously and our next enterprise Collabora Online product will be built from it. Note that we recommend our supported and maintained enterprise release: Collabora Online for business and production environments. CODE warns users that they might want support after 10 concurrent documents or 20 concurrent users. Find out how about the different ways to install CODE on our product page.

Get CODE 4.2.0!

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New: Collabora Office for Android

Great new interface and editing – in beta

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

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

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

(Please don’t miss the announcement of the release of February 2020!)

 

(minimal version Android 5.0)

What it looks like

Text file and image details – Collabora Office for Android

Typing in a text document – Collabora Office for Android

Inserting and editing tables – Collabora Office for Android

More great interface details

Text file with spreadsheet embedded – Collabora Office for Android

Image handling in text document – Collabora Office for Android

A new front end, re-using Collabora Online

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

 

Shape editing – Collabora Office for Andoid

 

Spreadsheet in Collabora Office for Android

 

Rich documents in Collabora Office for Android

 

Getting involved

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

Rich history and community growth

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

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

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

Thanks to everyone that contributed

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

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

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

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

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

About Collabora Productivity:

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

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Collabora sponsoring LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp in Ankara

On November 13 more than 120 students in Ankara Hacettepe University’s Beytepe Campus joined the first session of the LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp, a course for students with interest in C++. There is a session every week, until the end of the semester.
 
Collabora Sponsored LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara
 

 

The announcement of the course was received with enthusiasm at Twitter!

 

The first sessions gave a broad introduction on the course, Free Software & Open Source, LibreOffice & Collabora and requirements for the course. And after that, really into development: installations & setup, different IDEs, git, gcc, clang and the basics of C++.

 

 

 

The instructor of this course, Muhammet Kara, recently also held a talk about Google Summer of Code. Starting from that point, then doing a project for LibreOffice, he grew to a developer working for Collabora.

After the first session, Muhammet tells “There were many enthusiastic participants, even some from outside the town. I’m sure that at the end of the course, there will be many students with pretty good skills in C++ and LibreOffice development.

This course in Ankara can be organized thanks to of course support of the Hacettepe University for the use of the amphitheater, Hacettepe ACM Student Chapter for the local/logistics organization, Collabora for sponsoring, and the enthusiasm and knowledge that Collabora developer Muhammet Kara is putting into it.

The weekly sessions will be given until the end of the semester, January next year. So if you’re motivated and love open source.. you may still be able to join 🙂 !

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Winners of the open source classic award at DINAcon!

On 19th October 2018, at Welle7 Workspace in Bern, Switzerland, we attended DINAcon – the conference on digital sustainability. Our General Manager, Michael Meeks, had a talk about “How best to migrate to LibreOffice”, where he explained the best ways to move to a supported Open Source and Open Standards solution. Also, he talked about Collabora’s latest work with our partners, and our new tool to migrate existing legacy Visual Basic line of business apps.

If you missed his talk then check out the slides above for the complete presentation:

Download the slides from the presentation “How best to migrate to LibreOffice”!

DINAcon Awards!

Great news from Bern – we won the open source classic award at DINAcon! 🙂

For this award were running a lot of amazing open source products, including Collabora Online and Collabora Office. We are honored to receive this award – it is a big motivation for the whole team! Thanks a lot everyone for your support.

Hacknight

The conference ended with the hacknight and of course that we couldn’t miss it. It was the perfect time to work on LibreOffice bugs. 🙂

Digital Economy Award

Another nomination! Collabora Office & Collabora Online are nominated for the Digital Economy Award 2018 and our partners, Adfinis SyGroup, presented about our products in front of the jury of the Swiss Digital Economy Award. (Thank you, Nicolas. 🙂 )

The winners will be announced at the Digital Economy Award Night, on November 21, in the Hallenstadion in Zurich. Until then, fingers crossed. 🙂

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LibreOffice Conference in Tirana, Albania!

This year the LibreOffice Conference was held in Tirana, Albania from September 25 to September 28, 2018. As a tradition, all our team was there and gave several talks.

Sept. 25th: Tuesday – Team building day

The special Collabora team-building event happened just before the LibreOffice Conference, on Tuesday, September 25, 2018! In the sunny city of Tirana, we played an exciting Stand-up paddling game, learned more about the history of Albania by visiting the National Museum and then we had a relaxing lunch in a traditional restaurant in Tirana.

Sept. 26th: Wednesday – First day

The first day of the LibreOffice conference started! Marina Latini and Italo Vignoli welcomed us at this edition of LibOCon, three days full of interesting presentations. Also, we had the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, who gave a warm welcome to everyone at the city of Tirana. He shared the progress done by the Municipality of Tirana by implementing open source software.

We are thrilled to be the largest code-committer this year (with 5302 code commits), alongside Red Hat and the community!

Collabora was again this year a proud sponsor of the conference and Michael had a presentation regarding the involvement Collabora has with LibreOffice! 🙂

From Collabora Productivity team Luboš had a talk about “Reducing Build Time“, Tor about “Improving LibreOffice as a MSO replacement for Automation and VB Clients“, Tomaž about “Image Handling Rework“, Jan about “New features in the Online since the last conference“, Ashod about “PDFium for better PDF rendering and editing“, Luboš about “Improving Calc parallel calculations“, Mike about “Central Configuration Management for LibreOffice in Windows networks” and the last one was by Tamas about “Database migration in LibreOffice“.

Of course that even this year we couldn’t miss out on handing some really nice swag for the participants! 🙂

In the evening it was the time for the community dinner that took place at Brauhaus. A very lovely evening that we spent enjoying the delicious food under the company of the friendly LibreOffice community. At the end of the dinner, we had a surprise for everyone – we celebrated our 5th anniversary!

Sept. 27th: Thursday – Second day

The second day of the conference started very early and with a lot of energy. On the second day, we had talks from Michael about “Meet the Engineering Steering Committee”, Ashod about “Shrink and Load: Optimizing for speed and footprint“, Michael about “Economics, Marketing & LibreOffice”, Andras about “Level 3 support case studies” and Luboš about “Profiling with Callgrind“.

The HackNight took place on Thursday, from 7 PM, at Destil where we spent the night hacking on LibreOffice and enjoying some pizza!

Sept. 28th: Friday – Third day

Last day of the conference! On the third day of LibOCon our team members Szymon, Miklos, Marco, Jan and Tor had various talks. Szymon had a talk about “Latest improvements in PPTX support“, Miklos about “Editing ReqIF-XHTML fragments with Writer“, Marco about “Adding support for grouping header entries in Calc Online“, Jan about “Async dialog execution – what is that and why it’s needed” and Tor about “Recent Mac-specific bug fixing and possible future Mac-specific work“.

And we came to the end of the conference, celebrating the birthday of LibreOffice and announcing the next city where will be hosted LibOCon!

Even this year LibOCon was a great event. Kudos to the organizing team for their great job!

See you soon in Almeria, Spain!

PS: PS: If you missed LibOCon and you are interested to see the presentations from our team, we have thought about you too! 🙂 You can download all the hybrid PDF files by clicking the button below or one by one through the links in this article. Files are under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.

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