CODE 22.05 Released with Powerful New Features like Grammar Checks, Sparklines and “Jumbo Spreadsheets”

This New Major Release Brings Grammar Checking, Giant Spreadsheets and Performance Wins

Cambridge, June 29, 2022 – Collabora announces the availability of Collabora Online Developer Edition (CODE) 22.05. The latest major release targets three key areas: ease of use, performance, and interoperability. It demonstrates the company’s mission of being the technology leader in collaborative editing. Collabora Online businesses the most effective and secure document creation environment with dedicated support and depth of development horsepower. CODE 22.05 is preceding the next major release of our long-term supported business suite Collabora Online. This free developer version includes all features and enhancements that will be available in our enterprise version, expected later in July. The CODE releases allow every interested user to learn and test new features on an early stage. As always, your feedback on possible issues is much appreciated! CODE is the collaboration suite offering home users and early adopters the best features, interoperability in open source, while respecting user privacy and data security. In this announcement, we are showcasing some of the latest functionalities added to Collabora Online.

 

Get CODE 22.05

 

Using Grammar and Style Checks in the Browser

Grammar checking in a Writer Document in CODE 22.05

Starting with version 22.05 we introduced the support for external grammar checkers. You can now benefit from the style and grammar checker by LanguageTool in your browser. To make use of this feature, you have to enable this inside Collabora Online’s configuration file. Depending on whether you are using a free or a premium account, both the quality and amount of the suggestions may vary. We would like to express our gratitude to Nicolas Christener and his wonderful team at Adfinis for making this great feature a reality.

 

“Jumbo Spreadsheets” with 16k Columns in Calc

CODE 22.05 increases the maximum number of columns available in Calc to 16384

Collabora Online does now support up to 16384 columns in spreadsheets. This is a sixteenfold increase in the maximum number of columns compared to previous versions. Previously, Calc would display an error message on opening large sheets that exceeded 1024 columns. Combined with up to one million rows per spreadsheet, Calc can now handle enormous amounts of data on the right hardware. Previous performance improvements in Calc paved the way for this feature, which also increases the interoperability with Excel spreadsheets from Microsoft. This work was funded by DEVxDAO as part of their mission to support open-source and transparent research and development of emerging technologies and frameworks.

 

Sparklines Now Available for Calc

Sparklines for Calc have arrived in CODE 22.05

Sparklines are mini-charts found in Microsoft’s XLSX format. The support for them premieres with the release of Collabora Office 22.05. Sparklines are always defined for one cell, but different ones can be grouped together. There are three different ways of displaying Sparklines. They can be displayed as lines, bar charts or stacked as win-loss charts. The Sparklines feature can be accessed through the right-click dialog. The unique data for a Sparkline is defined in the data range.

This feature was made possible by funding from NGI and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871498. For more information on the technical background, see Tomaz Vajngerl’s blog.

 

Webp support available for all types of documents

CODE 22.05 supports the WebP format across all modules

WebP is a graphics format for lossy or lossless image compression. It can be used for both static and animated images and is also supported by the vast majority of modern browsers. The current version of CODE now allows for importing images in WebP format. The graphic format can now be used in all document types, i.e. in text documents, spreadsheets, presentations as well as Draw files.

 

Content Controls in Writer: Dropdown, Picture and Date Types

Content Controls menu in Collabora Online Writer 22.05

Writer now has content controls functionality, a new way to set properties on a piece of text, primarily for form filling purposes. This feature improves compatibility with the DOCX format. There are now five types of inline Content Controls that can be imported and added to Collabora Online. Writer had already included form controls and fieldmarks, providing similar features. However, there are some differences in their behaviour. Among other differences, Content Controls can contain rich text and a set of properties. Instead of fieldmarks, they can’t span over different paragraphs. Here is a small summary of the capabilities of the new Content Controls.

  • Rich Text Content Controls simply show an indicator when you’re inside the content
  • Checkbox Content Controls contain a single character, but you can interact with them: clicking on the content control toggles the checked state of the checkbox
  • Dropdown Content Controls have a list of dropdown items. Each item is a display-text and value pair, allowing to differentiate between a human-readable string and a machine-readable value.
  • Picture Content Controls allow the author of a form to pre-format the image before the filler of the form inserts the actual image.
  • Date Content Controls were emulated with Writer fieldmarks in the past, which created trouble during export, since Word itself doesn’t have a date form-field.
Date Content Control in Collabora Online 22.05
Date Content Control Properties in Collabora Online 22.05

This feature has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871498. For more information on the technical background, see Miklos Vajna’s blog post.

 

New Formula Input Bar with Pure HTML

Faster native rendering of the input of formulae in Calc

We continue working in the conversion of various UI components in Collabora Online to “native” HTML widgets. This helps to get better user experience, especially on touch and mobile devices. This time we have converted the formula bar which is used to edit data in cells inside a spreadsheet.

Previous “tunnelled” approaches had some disadvantages like a blurry look under some conditions and a cursor position setup depending on pixel-based coordinates. Now the edit field is rendered by the browser, ensuring a crisp display of text under all circumstances and resolutions. The position of the caret is represented as a logical value and also handled by the browser. This adds a lot of benefits to the user experience. It has now become much easier to type into the formula bar, especially on touch devices.

New formula input bar in CODE 22.05 using a touch device

 

Bandwidth wins and improved performance with Deltas

Previous versions of Collabora Online have managed documents as a series of tiles, when a tile is invalidated by its contents changing, new tiles have been compressed and sent. Interestingly this cost usually outweighed all other rendering and managing of document content. In this version we adopt a simple time-based compression – whereby for actively changing tiles we send the user a small set of changes since the last tile. Thus if you type a ‘period’ we can generate a tiny compressed change for just those pixels. This gives up to a 75% bandwidth saving depending on your workload – as well as saving CPU time. We also have laid the foundation for switching to a far faster zstd compression library in the 22.05 lifetime to save yet more CPU cycles and serve more users from the same server hardware.

 

Accessibility Check Helps to Create Documents According to the PDF/UA Standard

Accessibility Check in CODE 22.05

The current version of CODE includes a new Accessibility Checker. This helps to create documents according to the PDF/UA standard. Published as an International Standard in 2012 (ISO 14289), the PDF/UA format provides clear normative terms for achieving accessibility in the PDF format. The goal is to enable users to use documents without assistance from others, and to be able to receive the same value from the content as people without disabilities. This is accomplished by standardization of the content structure within the PDF files and the technology capabilities available to the end user, including PDF readers and assistive technologies (AT).

The Accessibility Check is part of the first step in an ongoing journey to improve accessibility, both in Collabora Online (Browser) and Collabora Office (Desktop). The Accessibility Check button can be found in the Review tab. The dialog shows a list of all issues found in the text document. Through a quick access button, it is possible to access the critical element. The issue is highlighted. See this article for more details on the already implemented checks.

 

Faster Rotation of Bitmap Graphics

Fast image rotation in Collabora Online 22.05

The rotation of bitmap graphics has undergone a significant speed improvement. When rotating graphics via the button (the slightly off-set filled circle above a selected graphic), the movement is now much smoother and easier to position. This improvement makes manipulating bitmap graphics much more comfortable. Here’s how you can try it for yourself. Select a bitmap graphic by clicking on it. Move the cursor to the grey circle above the graphic. The cursor now changes into a palm. Now move the palm cursor to the right and left as you wish while holding down the left mouse button.

 

Dynamic Configuration of Multiple Hosts

 

Collabora Online uses a WOPI-like protocol to interact with hosts who want to integrate Collabora Online. The improved admin configurations allow for multiple WOPI hosts with multiple aliases. This means you can use a single Collabora Online server with different software integrations at the same time. It is also possible to manage these hosts dynamically without a server restart. This makes Collabora Online much easier to deploy and configure, particularly when scaling to integrate with large numbers of different services. All of this saves cost and reduces management complexity, making this feature especially interesting for hosting companies. We have summarized the technical background information on Multihost Configuration inside our SDK documentation.

LibreOffice Technology

CODE and Collabora Online are built with LibreOffice Technology by the LibreOffice community in which we love to participate. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work.

 

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. The code is available on GitHub.

 

Get CODE 22.05

 

Open Source – so feel welcome to join

Before we conclude with some final improvements and news, we really want to let you know about all the people that did the hard work. Thanks to the community that made this release possible! 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. All of our code is open source, and available to the public on GitHub. Would you like to be part of the Collabora Online success story? Check the new website for Online with information, easy hacks and a forum for Online, report issues, and participate today!

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Collabora Office 22.05 brings features, performance wins, and excellent Interoperability

The new Collabora Office 22.05 brings improved performance and better interoperability

Cambridge, May 30th, 2022 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the new major release of Collabora Office. With improved interoperability, better performance, and new features we can enhance the productivity of all users. Collabora Office, for macOS, Windows and Linux, is an enterprise version of the world’s most popular open-source office productivity suite LibreOffice. It is the foundation for new versions of our online collaboration suite Collabora Online, and also will power our apps for iOS, Android and Chrome OS.

The whole suite offers businesses and professionals the best features, interoperability, Long-Term Support (LTS), and bespoke development services in open source, while respecting users privacy and corporate data security. For news and improvements in the consecutive updates, check this release notes page.

“Jumbo Spreadsheets” with 16k columns in Calc

Collabora Office 22.05 increases the maximum number of columns available in Calc to 16384

A frequently requested feature is that Calc in Collabora Office now supports up to 16384 columns in spreadsheets. This is a sixteenfold increase in the maximum number of columns compared to previous versions. This capability was previously available as an experimental feature, but with the current fine-tuning, it is now available to all users by default. Previously, Calc would display an error message on opening large sheets and crop the data in the extra columns. Combined with up to one million rows per spreadsheet, Calc can now handle enormous amounts of data on the right hardware. Previous performance improvements in Calc paved the way for this feature which also increases the interoperability with Excel spreadsheets from Microsoft. If you are interested in the technical details, we recommend you take a look at Luboš Luňák’s developer blog. This work was funded by DEVxDAO as part of their mission to support open-source and transparent research and development of emerging technologies and frameworks.

Sparklines are now available in Calc

Sparklines for Calc have arrived in Collabora Office 22.05

Sparklines are mini-charts found in Microsoft’s XLSX format. The support for them premieres with the release of Collabora Office 22.05. Sparklines are always defined for one cell, but different ones can be grouped together. There are three different ways of displaying Sparklines. They can be displayed as lines, bar charts or stacked as win-loss charts. The Sparklines feature can be accessed through the right-click dialog. The unique data for a Sparkline is defined in the data range.

All three types of Sparklines displayed horizontally and vertically

This feature was made possible by funding from NGI and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871498. For more information on the technical background, see Tomaz Vajngerl’s blog.

Word-style border fixes available for pages, tables and paragraphs in Writer

Improved rendering of Word-style borders for pages, tables & paragraphs in Collabora Office 22.05 Writer

In Collabora Office 22.05 we have been looking at Writer and how it can better render Word-style borders around pages, tables and paragraphs. Word users expect to be able to import their documents to Writer and have a rendering that is true to the original. A series of fixes to the way page, table, and paragraph borders of OOXML documents are imported into and painted in Writer meets this desire. This is done conditionally, so existing ODF documents are left unchanged. As a result of this work, Writer now has a set of improvements to better render Word-style borders around pages, tables and paragraphs. Thank you to Docmosis and TUBITAK for making this work by Collabora possible. Find out more about the technical background in Miklos Vajna’s development blog.

Linked paragraph and character styles arrive in Writer

caption

With the release of Collabora Office 22.05 Writer has now the ability to handle linked character styles and paragraph styles from Word documents. This improves interoperability and may improve the style previews and the UI of future releases. Earlier, links were lost on round-trips between Writer and Word which led to unwanted displays inside the style pickers. This work was made possible thanks to Docmosis. Find more details in the developer blog.

Adding links to shapes in Writer

It is now possible to add links to shapes in Writer

The latest version of Collabora Office introduces the ability to add hyperlinks to shapes in Writer. This option was previously only available in spreadsheets and presentations, but not in text documents. At the same time, links in shapes were previously also lost when importing Word documents, so this feature also improves interoperability. To make use of this feature, simply select a shape and choose the hyperlink symbol from the GUI. Editing of exiting hyperlinks is also possible through the right-click dialog. Many thanks to our ecosystem partner allotropia for implementing this.

Improved shadows for tables in presentations

The interoperability of transparent shadows in tables saw further improvements in Collabora Office 22.05

The way Impress handles shadows in tables saw additional refinements. Now it correctly renders shadows for table shapes, even if the shadow itself or the fill of the table cells have transparency. This is another enhancement of the compatibility with Microsoft’s PowerPoint with regard to the support of transparency in table cell fills and table shadows. We’d like to thank our partner SUSE for making this improvement possible, find more details in Miklos Vajna’s developer blog.

New PowerPoint-compatible screen sizes available in Impress

New PowerPoint-compatible screen sizes available in Writer

A few new PowerPoint-compatible screen sizes have been added to the Paper Format options inside the Slide Properties. The “Widescreen” option is currently used in PowerPoint, while the different “On-screen Show” options are used in previous versions of PowerPoint and Google Slides. Any exported file created with these sizes will be treated as a preset size (as opposed to a user size). The same applies on import. Thank you to Jun Nogate for the work on this!

Many performance improvements across all modules

In addition to improving interoperability, one of the main areas of activity for Collabora engineers is the continued improvement of performance. In the new main version of Collabora Office, significant performance improvements can be found in all modules, which were achieved by streamlining the code. For example:

  • The export speed of complex PDF documents has increased in Writer
  • The load speed of large RTL documents was improved in Writer
  • The rendering speed of complex Writer document has increased
  • Calculation performance improvements for Calc
  • Improved opening speed of XLSM & XLSX files
  • Improved inserting speed of large Charts in Calc
  • Improved speed of lookup functions in Calc
  • Improved speed for auto-filtering in Calc
  • Improved use of threads for calculations in Calc
  • Improvements on shape rendering in Impress & Draw

About Collabora Office

Collabora Office is the LibreOffice Technology-based suite for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office 22.05 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 outstanding work done by so many that is included into Collabora Office 22.05. This, our annual release, contains much work that was contributed to LibreOffice 7.3 and then LibreOffice 7.4, for a deep dive on detail and credits, please do peruse these. It’s easy to migrate to Collabora Office 22.05. You can try Collabora Office 22.05 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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Collabora Office 21.11 for Android, iOS and Chrome OS Lifts Mobile Productivity to the Next Level


Powerful Office Productivity in Your Pocket

Cambridge, April 13, 2022 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of a new major release of Collabora Office for mobile devices and Chromebooks. This version of our free app for Android, iOS and Chrome OS includes numerous advanced productivity features, excellent document compatibility and a much improved user experience.

“Collabora Office on Mobile is a real alternative to proprietary office editors on Android, iOS and Chrome,” said, Nicolas Christener, CEO at Adfinis. “We are pleased to have contributed to Collabora’s work on this new version, which delivers a much-improved tablet sidebar and user experience.”

“This version of Collabora Office brings a year of work and improvement both from our team and the underlying LibreOffice Technology, ” said, Michael Meeks, General Manager of Collabora Productivity.  “We love to work alongside the community, as well as partners like Adfinis who understand the importance of digital sovereignty for enterprise customers wanting to edit their documents on the go.”

 

Performance Improvements

Collabora Office 21.11 for mobile devices has inherited many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4 life-cycle and have already been included in the Collabora Online core. We have been accelerating JavaScript, and we’ve made auto-spell checking and AutoFilter quicker.

Faster and More Responsive Sidebar on Tablets

Collabora Office 21.11 introduces a sidebar for tablets. This is both a performance and usability improvement. It uses the same new JavaScript engine as Collabora Online 21.11, making it far more responsive and natural looking. With its more snappy responding buttons and controls, it is a major improvement for all users.

Contextual Toolbars Enhance User-Experience

The new contextual toolbar in Collabora Office 21.11 improves the usability of the mobile application. The toolbar (at the bottom of the app) now reacts dynamically to the active selection. For example, if a user selects text the bottom bar will display actions related to text. If the user selects a shape, the bottom bar changes to display only actions related to that particular object type (shape) or the selected element (table, shape, image). Thanks Andreas Kainz for working on this 🙂

 

Improved Import of PPTX with Shaped Images

Collabora Office 21.11 includes many interoperability improvements around the import of PPTX files, that had first been introduced to the desktop and to Collabora Online. Images within shapes – even those converted to greyscale or mirrored – are now displayed true to the original on the mobile app.

 

Better Shadow Effects

In earlier versions of the mobile app, shadows used to be rendered as solid copies of objects. The new Blur option now allows for a more realistic rendering of the shadows. This option can be accessed via the Edit button inside the mobile app and the Shadows option in the dialog. A checkbox allows you to activate the blur effect. You can customise the blur effect with the plus and minus controls.

 

Glow and Soft Edge Effects for Shapes

Collabora Office 21.11 introduces further options, which allow you to manipulate shapes in a more granular way. Once a shape is selected, you can add and change Glow effects and Soft Edges through the Effect dialog available in the Edit menu. In addition, it is now possible to choose the colour and the degree of transparency of the effect. This function is also an interoperability improvement and is available for shapes across all document types (Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw).

Thanks to the Community

This release is a community effort, and we fully appreciate and acknowledge their hard work that has made it possible!  A few weeks ago, we already celebrated the wonderful work of these people in this blog post.

 

Download Collabora Office 21.11

Collabora Office for iOS, Android and Chrome OS is available through the Play Store and App Store. We also provide the latest snapshot .apk for Android for download! While the iOS version is already available to all users, the Android and Chrome OS releases will be rolled to Play Store users gradually. A vibrant and welcoming community has evolved around Collabora Online & Collbaora Office. If you would like to get in touch or get involved, visit us in the forum or on GitHub.

 

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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Talks and Slides by Collabora at FOSDEM 2022

FOSDEM 2022 – The Talks and Slides from the Collabora Team

Whether on-site in Brussels or as an online event like the last two years, FOSDEM is and remains the largest and most important gathering of Open-Source developers in Europe. We’d like to express our gratitude to the community and the organisers. The Collabora team gave numerous talks in the LibreOffice Technology devroom. Missed a presentation? Below you will find links to all videos and to the downloads of the slides.

 

Gülşah Köse

LibreOffice Technology devroom

OOXML Document Analysis

Collabora developer Gülşah Köse explains how we respond when we receive a problematic OOXML document from a customer and demonstrates the solution to a sample bug. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Miklos Vajna

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Document Themes in LibreOffice Impress and Elsewhere

LibreOffice has been capable of handling colour palettes on its UI for a while. Meanwhile, the competition introduced document themes, which are a fixed set of 12 colours, to be attached to various parts of documents. See what we have done to bring themes to LibreOffice and find out what still needs doing and how you can help. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Gökay Şatır

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Canvas For Rendering UX

Gökay Şatır shows why we chose to use Canvas for rendering the UI and the document, and explains the structure we created to execute this task. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!


Mert Tümer

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Editing Simulation

Performance measurements are really challenging. This presentation by Mert Tümer covers how we can achieve reliable and repeatable performance tests by implementing clever tools that simulate realistic use cases. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Jan Holesovsky

LibreOffice Technology devroom

LibreOfficeKit Recent Developments

LibreOffice can be used by other applications via its C++ API called LibreOfficeKit. Primary use cases for this are document conversion and editing in Collabora Online. The LibreOfficeKit is currently being expanded. Jan “Kendy” Holesovsky talks about these recent developments See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

 

Michael Meeks

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Online Performance – Making Collaborative Editing Quicker

Collabora Online has a novel model that re-uses the core LibreOffice Technology to provide rich collaborative editing. Recently, we have been focusing our development on improving the look and feel of document editing. Watch Michael Meeks talk about how Online performance wins are making browser-based collaborative editing quicker. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Szymon Kłos

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Building Collabora Online UI Based on the LibreOffice Components

JSDialog is a “framework” for sharing UI components between Collabora Online and LibreOffice. It was used to bring the Sidebar, the NotebookBar, and dialogs to the web. It provides native HTML widgets connected to the original LibreOffice code, giving the user rich editing options even on mobile devices. Watch Szymon Kłos‘ talk for a brief summary of what has already been done and how it works. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Pranam Lashkari

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Collabora Online on Kubernetes – Setup & Deployment

See this talk by Pranam Lashkari for a comprehensive demonstration of how to deploy Collabora Online using Kubernetes. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Ashod Nakashian

 16:00 – 16:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Collabora Online: Async-Saving Design and Testing

This talk explores the challenge of saving and uploading documents to the storage server in an asynchronous way, to improve performance, user experience and also ensure higher reliability and resiliency. Ashod Nakashian covers both the design and the challenges of testing a highly critical component of a production product.

See details Join video & conversation

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Henry Castro

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Macro Dialog Feature

Watch Henry Castro‘s talk on the implementation of a Macro Selector Dialog on the client side to execute VBA macros on the server side. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s 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’s 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 hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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Collabora Online 21.11 Delivers New Features and Interoperability Improvements

Powerful Document Collaboration in a Secure, Private Cloud Environment

Cambridge, January 20, 2022 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of a major new release of Collabora Online, which makes collaborative editing even more productive. This new release enhances personal and team productivity with design improvements, as well as smoother document interchange through improved interoperability, better performance and more.

Collabora Online is the collaboration suite that offers businesses and professionals the best features, interoperability, LTS, and custom support in open source, while respecting user privacy and corporate data security.

 

Addressing the Needs of Our Users

This new major version of Collabora Online is a further example of our ongoing development and commitment to ensuring it continues to address the evolving needs of our users in a rapidly changing world where choice, distributed working, privacy and data security have never been more important.

 

Quicker Functional Sidebar

The new Sidebar is “native” to your browser, thus much more responsive and always functional and easy to use

Collabora Online 21.11 introduces a new “native” sidebar. It is both a performance and usability improvement. It is now drawn directly on the screen by the browser by JavaScript, and no longer constructed on the server and then sent to your browser, making it far more responsive and natural looking. With its more snappy responding buttons and controls, it is a major improvement for all users!

The new sidebar at a glance:

  • Polished appearance
  • Better user experience
  • Faster responding buttons
  • Faster responding drop-down menus.
Collabora Online 21.11: Many elements, like dropdown menus, respond much faster in the new native Sidebar

 

View Documents More Easily

A number of new buttons in the NotebookBar improve the user experience when viewing documents. Zooming, full-screen view or switching the sidebar on and off are now accessible via clear buttons in the layout tab, and no longer only via the status bars or the burger menu. It makes these frequently used functions even easier to find.

 

Performance Improvements

Collabora Online 21.11 brings together many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4.x lifecycle as well as some more advanced optimisations. These are rather hard to screenshot for your viewing pleasure for obvious reasons, but the next two images are a try at least.

There is a lot to tell on asynchronous save, accelerating of JavaScript, saving network traffic, improved multi-user editing and more. Specifically, in spreadsheets, we’ve made auto-spell checking and AutoFilter quicker. Take a look at this performance blog post for more background from a technical point of view.

 

Ongoing Work!

We continue to work to profile and optimise uses-cases that are important to our users, and the upcoming 21.11 micro-releases will exhibit more continuous improvement in this area – as well as ongoing improvements to our document pixel compression to make things even faster and lighter. It’s well worth staying up-to-date with the latest releases.

 

Right-to-left Support Available for All Document Types

Collabora Online 21.11 now supports right-to-left (RTL) text input within all modules. This makes it easier to create and edit documents in Persian or Arabic. The text direction can be set in the “Format” tab under the option “Page Style” (or “Slide Style” for presentations). The code in Collabora Online can detect several RTL language settings and will mirror the user interface accordingly.

 

Calc-Excel Compatible Formulae Improvements

Many functions in Calc 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 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.

 

Interoperability Boosted by Improved PPTX Import

Collabora Online 21.11 includes many interoperability improvements around the import of PPTX files, which we had already implemented in Collabora Office. Images within shapes – even those converted to greyscale or mirrored – are displayed online true to the original.

 

Better Shadow Effects

In earlier versions, shadows used to be rendered as solid copies of objects. The new Blur option now allows for a more realistic rendering of the shadows. The options of the feature can be accessed via the Shadows tab in the Area dialog or directly through updated “native” Sidebar. This feature was initially developed during a GSoC 2020 for the LibreOffice project mentored by Collaborans and then implemented with further refinements in Collabora Office 21.06 and is now also available online.

 

Glow and Soft Edge Effects for Shapes

Collabora Online 21.11 introduces further features allowing to manipulate shapes in a more granular way. 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 improves interoperability as it can be used for all shapes across Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw.

 

Consistent Use Of Language Identification

The basic model of language annotation that Collabora Online inherited from the LibreOffice core explicitly assigned languages to regions of text. This can easily lead to unexpected results when documents 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. The current behaviour is more consistent.

 

Shadowed Tables For Use in ODS and PPTX Presentations

Shadow effects are a great way to add depth and appeal to elements. They are available for many objects, such as shapes, and include a range of feature enhancements and parameters, such as the blur effect and transparency. For tables within presentations, shadows are now also available in Collabora Online through the Table Properties dialog.

 

Miscellaneous Changes

In addition to the larger features, there are, of course, numerous smaller changes:

  • Internet Explorer 11 – dropped. This saves significant code complexity in some areas e.g. copy-paste, simplifies testing, and removes legacy javascript polyfills.
  • Auto-cleanup – on by default. We now, by default, are more aggressive towards processes that are idle and are consuming a large amount of CPU, after around five minutes of this behaviour they are killed, to disable that checkout the ‘cleanup’ section in coolwsd.xml.
  • cool conversion. We have migrated our legacy loleaflet and lool paths to browser and cool – which impacts a number of configuration files and binaries. Integrators should continue to use the URLs they receive from the hosting/discovery end-point. Those with reverse proxy and/or HA setups may need to update their proxy configuration with a simple search & replace, please refer to updated documentation of proxy settings. For more information, please read our upgrade notes.

 

Thanks to the Community

This release is a community effort and we fully appreciate and acknowledge their hard work that has made it possible!  A few weeks ago, we already celebrated the wonderful work of these people in this blog post.

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s 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’s ideal for organisations 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 hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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