Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger! Collabora Online 24.04 is here with enhanced performance, interoperability, and useability

The annual major release of our flagship product Collabora Online is here

Cambridge, 23 May 2024 – We are happy to announce the new major release of Collabora Online 24.04. Collabora Online is our fully-supported enterprise-ready office suite, with millions of supported users globally.

Collabora Online is a powerful, Open Source, collaborative office suite that supports all major document, spreadsheet and presentation file formats, which you can integrate into your own infrastructure on-premise. Collabora Online provides data security and sovereignty, and is ideally suited to the demands of a modern distributed working environment. Delivering a familiar look and feel, Collabora Online’s document collaboration represents a real alternative to other big-brand solutions, giving you control and flexibility.

“We’ve been working hard over the past 12 months to bring even more features, faster performance and smoother interoperability to Collabora Online. We’d love for you to put us to the test, get involved with our latest developments, give us feedback, and work with us to free your documents!”

– Michael Meeks, CEO, Collabora Productivity

Try the Online Demo

Usability

Improving the user experience continues to be a key focus area for development on Collabora Online. Over the past year, we have made a number of changes to the user interface and general usability of Collabora Online as we seek to make Collabora Online more intuitive, simpler to use, and accessible for all users.

Contextual tooltips for easier spreadsheeting

Now working with spreadsheets is easier than ever. With the newly added contextual tooltip a user can start to type a formula – “=s” – and a list of available formulas appear. If there is only one completion candidate – “=sum(” – then the tooltip displays a list of accepted parameters for that particular function followed by its description.

 

Contextual tooltips for easier spreadsheeting
Contextual tooltips for easier spreadsheeting

 

Better and Faster Change Processing

In a bid to speed of the acceptance/rejection process of tracked changes, two new buttons have been added to the user interface – ‘Accept and Move to Next’, and ‘Reject and Move to Next’. While not adding any new functionality, the combination of these two processes into one easy to access button should greatly improve and expedite the processing of tracked changes for our users.

Quick navigation through changes
Bulk accept and reject changes

Additionally, improvements have been made to the change tracking feature – you can now track changes within tables, and also see what changes have been made within a tooltip when you hover over a selection in Writer.

Follow Users – redesigned for better useability

Collaborative working is at the heart of Collabora Online. We have had ‘follow the editor’ functionality for some time in our offering, but this has received a new lease of life with an even more intuitive interface. This is especially useful for conference calls or meetings, enabling all users to follow the note taker without any input required, or to catch up to a location in a document being referred to by another user.

The user list has been reordered, with your own avatar or the user you are following pinned to the top. The remaining editors will be ordered by when they joined the document. To unfollow any user, you need simply to click on either your own, or that user’s avatar.
Follow users for smoother document collaboration

Search for help and keyboard shortcuts

Simplifying things greatly, users can now search within the Online Help and Keyboard shortcuts dialogs to filter for topics and key words. The content is filtered at every keystroke, making it easier to find and discover information while minimising scrolling.

search for help and keyboard shortcuts
search for help filter keywords

 

Insert Comments

Simplifying the process greatly, you can now add comments into your documents with just two clicks. Simply right click > ‘Insert Comment’. No need to go menu diving with Collabora Online 24.04.

right click to insert comments

PDF Improvements

In our continued journey of improving accessibility for all, we’re excited to announce a number of improvements to the handling of PDFs, namely exporting to PDF v.1.7 by default, tagged PDFs produced by default, and hybrid PDFs now storing original ODF documents.

These changes should improve accessibility greatly – tagged PDFs for example include hidden accessibility markups that can improve the reading experience of those who use screen readers and other assistive technologies. A properly tagged PDF can also re-flow to adapt its presentation to different screen sizes, for example to provide a high-quality experience to users of smart mobile devices.

Hybrid PDFs on the other hand store the original ODF document as a PDF compatible file attachment. This is very useful for sharing documents with others as a pdf, while retaining the greater functionality of being able to modify the original file.

pdf improvements collabora online

New Properties & Metadata

You can now apply more custom properties and metadata in additional fields to allow for easier information retrieval and improved contextual information for documents. The additional fields now available include: Contributor, Coverage, Identifier, Publisher, Relation, Rights, Source, Type. You can add these via File ▸ Properties… ▸ Description.
add custom properties and metadata


New Features

This year, we have worked on many exciting new features and UI improvements. Just some of these improvements are listed below.

Cell Protection and Section Editing

We’re excited to announce this new feature inspired by a number of our customers, including a French government ministry – the ability to lock and protect data within spreadsheets. You can now protect your Calc spreadsheets via individual cells, rows, columns or entire sheets. This exciting new feature empowers users to exert greater control over their spreadsheets and collaborate more effectively than ever before.
cell and spreadsheet protection
Similar to Cell Protection in Calc, in Writer you can now easily create and edit sections within text documents, allowing you more flexibility with your formatting and the ability to write-protect or hide parts of a documents. We previously supported sections in Writer, but they weren’t editable. There is now a new ‘Edit Section’ option in section’s local menu. The sections will also appear in the Navigator tab on the right hand side, allowing you to quickly navigate between them.

section protection
protect and lock spreadsheets

 

Improved AutoFilter and New Filtering Options

AutoFilter’s usability has been greatly improved with fewer redundant widgets and a clearer control set. New filter options such as “Filter by Colour” and “Filter by Condition” are also available.

Filter by Colour makes it possible to filter data by cell’s background or foreground colours.

Filter by Condition gives quick access to pre-canned filters (Empty, Not Empty, Top 10, Bottom 10).

filter spreadsheets by colour
filter spreadsheets by colour and condition

 

Improved Read-Only Mode

Access controls are vitally important for any modern document editing solution. Similar to Cell Protection in Calc and Sections in Writer, with our improved read-only mode, our industry-leading, server-enforced controls just got better. Previously, our read-only access was just that – 100% read only. Now we offer much more granular control for documents and spreadsheets. Should your read-only users retain copy and paste access? Or perhaps you want them to be able to read a document and add comments, but not copy or edit contents? No problem with the upgraded read-only mode on Collabora Online.

Additionally, you can now follow hyperlinks in read-only documents. Previously you were not able to click through links in read-only documents – now you can follow links.

Present in Window from Impress

There is now an option to present your slides in a new window (as opposed to a full-screen presentation). This comes handy when the user is in a video conference and has to show slides. The new button is located in the “View” tab called “Present in Window”.

present presentations in window
present presentations in window

Quarantine

We have introduced a new ‘Quarantine’ feature, designed to save documents in the event of the system failing to save changes made to a document due to an unexpected fault.

Collabora Online operates in stateless containers to maximise security and efficiently use system resources. This means no information from documents is saved within a user’s container, nor the ‘state’ of a container from instance to instance. Instead, data required by containers is stored externally in a database or file system. This brings about a number of advantages, for example efficient resource utilisation, since stateless containers require no resources to maintain a state, high scalability, since containers can be easy created without the need to synchronise states, and heightened security, since no file storage is carried out in the end user’s container.

In the unlikely event something unusual happens and the container is unexpectedly closed, the state is lost, and in the case of Collabora Online any document edits since the last save or autosave event will be lost. As explained above, this is by design, and brings about a number of advantages. If however this is of concern to system administrators, the new document quarantine feature (configured off by default) can be enabled, which will store the document in the container image should it need to be recovered after a failure to save.

Background saving

In another speed upgrade, auto-saving can now be carried out in the background. No longer will you or other users have their editing frequently interrupted by an unexpected ‘Saving’ notification. Sometimes it’s the little things that count!

fewer background saving interruptions
Fewer interruptions with 24.04

Interoperability

As well as providing a feature-rich, accessible solution, we also work hard to make sure our offering is compatible and works well with other document editors such as Microsoft Office, or Google Docs. In 24.04, we have aligned our product even more closely with these solutions, making sure that your documents always look their best, no matter who is dressing them!

Smart Justify

After a new line-breaking algorithm was introduced to Microsoft Word, some users may have noticed small rendering differences across products. In a great win for the Open Source community, we’re pleased to announce this discrepancy has now been resolved, with many thanks for this contribution from László Németh, with financial support from the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet programme and NLnet.

The below image shows a composite of pages typeset by Writer (black) and Microsoft Word (red) before and after the update. Before the fix, it is noticeable that the difference in line breaks ultimately resulted in a two-page document for Writer, where Word rendered as one.

smart justify interoperability improvements

As well as being a great improvement in interoperability we also feel this update shows the strength of the Open Source community, the underlying LibreOffice technology , and the flexibility of Open Source solutions.

More information available here.

Simplifying Copy and Paste

Thanks to a new API, the copy and paste process has been much simplified. Permission may now be given for Collabora Online to directly access the clipboard in your browser, removing the previous requirement to download content. Click here for an up-to-date list of browsers with this API enabled (note some browsers may have API enabled, but not on by default).

simplifying copy and paste dialogs
Fewer ‘limited access to the clipboard’ popups in 24.04

 

Better Google Sheets copy/paste

This update should improve interoperability for users copying and pasting information to/from Google Sheets. This involved writing up the majority of previously undocumented protocol for Google Sheets, before ensuring that data copied from Calc includes markers such as <google-sheets-html-origin/> to fully work with Google Sheets. Additionally, data copied from Google Sheets into Calc will retain this marker despite not being used in Calc, ensuring round-trip functionality is maintained.

In our pursuit of ever-better interoperability between platforms as smooth as possible, we trust that this will help users who are either currently working with Google Sheets, or want to know that their data will retain functionality when pasted into other environments.

Improved graphics support

We have improved the way Collabora Online works with SVG and EMF/EMF+ files.

Scalable Vector Graphics files, or SVGs for short, are excellent for being scaleable. This means that when expanded, they will not encounter blurring problems in ways other image formats do. Previously SVGs opened in Collabora Online would default to the SVG’s fallback PNG, rather than rendering the SVG at the appropriate size leading to blurry images in some instances. With this new fix, OOXML should now render the SVG image correctly.

Three interoperability issues related to Windows EMF and EMF+ files have also been resolved – namely the lack of implementation of Polydraw MR, the inability to display bezier lines in certain EMF+ images, and an issue during conversion of especially large documents to PDF with watermarks (~1000 pages).

These fixes further improve our compatibility and interoperability with Microsoft Office and other document editors. Users can now expect a smoother experience when working with SVGs, EMF and EMF+ files containing advanced graphics features.


Performance Improvements

And of course, alongside the feature and user-experience improvement listed above, we have been working hard to further accelerate the performance of Collabora Online. Strap in – because we’re speeding up as we get technical with the performance upgrades!

Faster setup time

With this latest release, we will start authenticating a user as early as getting the first request to load a page – carrying out this authentication in parallel with downloading the document, and serving the related browser files. Compared to previously running these operations in series, this may cut page load times by as much as 50%, depending on the document and system configuration. This should lead to noticeably snappier document opening for end users.

18x faster tile compression

This recent speed-boost stacks two improvement, associated with optimising the rendering and re-rendering process of tiles, and changing the way the threading of this process is handled.

To keep things fast, save on bandwidth and reduce document latency, only changes to document tiles are sent from the server to the end user. For this to happen it is important to efficiently identify changes that require re-rendering for the end user’s screen at any moment. This has been accelerated by using RLE compression and AVX2 processing.

Previously, all potential pixel changes were identified using row cyclic redundancy check (CRC) when looking for changes requiring re-rendering. With the new solution, run-length encoded (RLE) rows are compared instead. Since RLE is a significantly compressed form of lossless data storage, this firstly means that nearly 4x the amount of rendered tiles can be stored in the cache (per view) whilst still making a memory saving. Compression of rows is now implemented using a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) algorithm, which as the name suggests, is able to carry out the same instruction on eight pixels simultaneously. This optimization accelerates RLE generation by 4.5x.

In addition to this 4.5x increase, further improvement to the threading of this process has led to a significant improvement in parallelism – with a 4x or more speed increase depending on how many threads are configured to be used. These wins compound to an 18x speed increase in this process of identifying pixels requiring re-rendering!

Many other performance improvements

In addition to the above, we’ve carried out a lot of work on other under-the-hood engine upgrades for the latest release, which will continue to improve the user experience for our customers. This work is very wide-ranging in scope, but includes much faster threaded calculations in Calc, improved loading of .xlsx spreadsheets with larger numbers of comments, minimised re-rendering of sheets when switching, optimising rendering of rows to be displayed in Calc, and much more.

While it is difficult to quantify exactly how much each of these improvements have decreased load times for any given document, we have spent time profiling many real-world use cases since the last release, and observe noticeably faster load and improved responsiveness of documents in Writer and Calc.

Try the Online Demo

Community

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release and contributes a vast majority of the Collabora Online code. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues in the wider LibreOffice community who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice Technology upon which Collabora Online is built.

All of our code is Open Source, and you can try out all the above features in our latest Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) snapshots on GitHub, along with some of our development work for the next version. Join the Collabora Online Community, take part in easy hacks and discussions in the forum.

Collabora Online 24.04 is built upon the code commits from LibreOffice 7.6 and LibreOffice 24.2.

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity provides Collabora Online, an open-source solution for editing and collaboration, alongside a range of other products and consulting services tailored to enterprise and government needs. With the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers globally, we are dedicated to contributing to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Our business-hardened office suite, Collabora Online for browser and Collabora Office for desktop, ensures long-term, multi-platform support. Additionally, we extend our services with Collabora Office for iOS and Android.

Introducing CODE 24.04: Enhancing Performance, Interoperability, and Accessibility

Introducing Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) 24.04: Enhancing Performance, Interoperability, and Accessibility

Cambridge, 23 April 2024 – We are happy to announce the new major release of Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) 24.04. CODE, the development version of our enterprise-ready office suite, Collabora Online, has over 88 million docker image downloads globally.

Collabora Online is a powerful, Open Source, collaborative office suite that supports all major document, spreadsheet and presentation file formats, which you can integrate into your own infrastructure. Collabora Online provides data security and sovereignty, and is ideally suited to the demands of a modern distributed working environment. Delivering a familiar look and feel, Collabora Online represents a real alternative to other big-brands solutions, giving you control and flexibility.

CODE is perfect for home use or small teams but is not recommended for production environments. Integrated with the Collabora Office core, CODE builds include cutting-edge features, typically with monthly updates. This new major release includes new features targeting the following key areas: performance, interoperability, accessibility, and security.

Below you will find more details on some of the new features and improvements that are available in CODE 24.04 and where you can download it.

“We’ve been working hard over the past 12 months to bring even more features, faster performance and smoother interoperability to Collabora Online. We’d love for you to put us to the test, get involved with our latest developments, give us feedback, and work with us to free your documents!”

– Michael Meeks, CEO, Collabora Productivity

Get CODE 24.04

Usability

Improving the user experience continues to be a key focus area for development on Collabora Online. Over the past year, we have made a number of changes to the user interface and general usability of Collabora Online as we seek to make Collabora Online more intuitive, simpler to use, and accessible for all users.

Contextual tooltips for easier spreadsheeting

Now working with spreadsheets is easier than ever. With the newly added contextual tooltip a user can start to type a formula – “=s” – and a list of available formulas appear. If there is only one completion candidate – “=sum(” – then the tooltip displays a list of accepted parameters for that particular function followed by its description.

Better and Faster Change Processing

In a bid to speed of the acceptance/rejection process of tracked changes, two new buttons have been added to the user interface – ‘Accept and Move to Next’, and ‘Reject and Move to Next’. While not adding any new functionality, the combination of these two processes into one easy to access button should greatly improve and expedite the processing of tracked changes for our users.

Additionally, improvements have been made to the change tracking feature – you can now track changes within tables, and also see what changes have been made within a tooltip when you hover over a selection in Writer.

Follow Users – redesigned for better accessibility

Collaborative working is at the heart of Collabora Online. We have had ‘follow the editor’ functionality for some time in our offering, but this has received a new lease of life with an even more intuitive interface. This is especially useful for conference calls or meetings, enabling all users to follow the note taker without any input required, or to catch up to a location in a document being referred to by another user.

The user list has been reordered, with your own avatar or the user you are following pinned to the top. The remaining editors will be ordered by when they joined the document. To unfollow any user, you need simply to click on either your own, or that user’s avatar.

Search for help and keyboard shortcuts

Simplifying things greatly, users can now search within the Online Help and Keyboard shortcuts dialogs to filter for topics and key words. The content is filtered at every keystroke, making it easier to find and discover information while minimising scrolling.

PDF Improvements

In our continued journey of improving accessibility for all, we’re excited to announce a number of improvements to the handling of PDFs, namely exporting to PDF v.1.7 by default, tagged PDFs produced by default, and hybrid PDFs now storing original ODF documents.

These changes should improve accessibility greatly – tagged PDFs for example include hidden accessibility markups that can improve the reading experience of those who use screen readers and other assistive technologies. A properly tagged PDF can also re-flow to adapt its presentation to different screen sizes, for example to provide a high-quality experience to users of smart mobile devices.

Hybrid PDFs on the other hand store the original ODF document as a PDF compatible file attachment. This is very useful for sharing documents with others as a pdf, while retaining the greater functionality of being able to modify the original file.

New Properties & Metadata

You can now apply more custom properties and metadata in additional fields to allow for easier information retrieval and improved contextual information for documents. The additional fields now available include: Contributor, Coverage, Identifier, Publisher, Relation, Rights, Source, Type. You can add these via File ▸ Properties… ▸ Description.


New Features

This year, we have worked on many exciting new features and UI improvements. Just some of these improvements are listed below.

Cell Protection and Section Editing

We’re excited to announce this new feature inspired by a number of our customers, including a French government ministry – the ability to lock and protect data within spreadsheets. You can now protect your Calc spreadsheets via individual cells, rows, columns or entire sheets. This exciting new feature empowers users to exert greater control over their spreadsheets and collaborate more effectively than ever before.

Similar to Cell Protection in Calc, in Writer you can now easily create and edit sections within text documents, allowing you more flexibility with your formatting and the ability to write-protect or hide parts of a documents. We previously supported sections in Writer, but they weren’t editable. There is now a new ‘Edit Section’ option in section’s local menu. The sections will also appear in the Navigator tab on the right hand side, allowing you to quickly navigate between them.

Improved AutoFilter and New Filtering Options

AutoFilter’s usability has been greatly improved with fewer redundant widgets and a clearer control set. New filter options such as “Filter by Colour” and “Filter by Condition” are also available.

Filter by Colour makes it possible to filter data by cell’s background or foreground colours.

Filter by Condition gives quick access to pre-canned filters (Empty, Not Empty, Top 10, Bottom 10).

Improved Read-Only Mode

Access controls are vitally important for any modern document editing solution. Similar to Cell Protection in Calc and Sections in Writer, with our improved read-only mode, our industry-leading, server-enforced controls just got better. Previously, our read-only access was just that – 100% read only. Now we offer much more granular control for documents and spreadsheets. Should your read-only users retain copy and paste access? Or perhaps you want them to be able to read a document and add comments, but not copy or edit contents? No problem with the upgraded read-only mode on Collabora Online.

Additionally, you can now follow hyperlinks in read-only documents. Previously you were not able to click through links in read-only documents – now you can follow links.

Present in Window from Impress

There is now an option to present your slides in a new window (as opposed to a full-screen presentation). This comes handy when the user is in a video conference and has to show slides. The new button is located in the “View” tab called “Present in Window”.

Quarantine

We have introduced a new ‘Quarantine’ feature, designed to save documents in the event of the system failing to save changes made to a document due to an unexpected fault.

Collabora Online operates in stateless containers to maximise security and efficiently use system resources. This means no information from documents is saved within a user’s container, nor the ‘state’ of a container from instance to instance. Instead, data required by containers is stored externally in a database or file system. This brings about a number of advantages, for example efficient resource utilisation, since stateless containers require no resources to maintain a state, high scalability, since containers can be easy created without the need to synchronise states, and heightened security, since no file storage is carried out in the end user’s container.

In the unlikely event something unusual happens and the container is unexpectedly closed, the state is lost, and in the case of Collabora Online any document edits since the last save or autosave event will be lost. As explained above, this is by design, and brings about a number of advantages. If however this is of concern to system administrators, the new document quarantine feature (configured off by default) can be enabled, which will store the document in the container image should it need to be recovered after a failure to save.

Background saving

In another speed upgrade, auto-saving can now be carried out in the background. No longer will you or other users have their editing frequently interrupted by an unexpected ‘Saving’ notification. Sometimes it’s the little things that count!

Fewer interruptions with 24.04

Interoperability

As well as providing a feature-rich, accessible solution, we also work hard to make sure our offering is compatible and works well with other document editors such as Microsoft Office, or Google Docs. In 24.04, we have aligned our product even more closely with these solutions, making sure that your documents always look their best, no matter who is dressing them!

Smart Justify

After a new line-breaking algorithm was introduced to Microsoft Word, some users may have noticed small rendering differences across products. In a great win for the Open Source community, we’re pleased to announce this discrepancy has now been resolved, with many thanks for this contribution from László Németh, with financial support from the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet programme and NLnet.

The below image shows a composite of pages typeset by Writer (black) and Microsoft Word (red) before and after the update. Before the fix, it is noticeable that the difference in line breaks ultimately resulted in a two-page document for Writer, where Word rendered as one.

As well as being a great improvement in interoperability we also feel this update shows the strength of the Open Source community, the underlying LibreOffice technology , and the flexibility of Open Source solutions.

More information available here.

Simplifying Copy and Paste

Thanks to a new API, the copy and paste process has been much simplified. Permission may now be given for Collabora Online to directly access the clipboard in your browser, removing the previous requirement to download content. Click here for an up-to-date list of browsers with this API enabled (note some browsers may have API enabled, but not on by default).

No more ‘limited access to the clipboard’ popups in 24.04

 

Better Google Sheets copy/paste

This update should improve interoperability for users copying and pasting information to/from Google Sheets. This involved writing up the majority of previously undocumented protocol for Google Sheets, before ensuring that data copied from Calc includes markers such as <google-sheets-html-origin/> to fully work with Google Sheets. Additionally, data copied from Google Sheets into Calc will retain this marker despite not being used in Calc, ensuring round-trip functionality is maintained.

In our pursuit of ever-better interoperability between platforms as smooth as possible, we trust that this will help users who are either currently working with Google Sheets, or want to know that their data will retain functionality when pasted into other environments.

Improved graphics support

We have improved the way Collabora Online works with SVG and EMF/EMF+ files.

Scalable Vector Graphics files, or SVGs for short, are excellent for being scaleable. This means that when expanded, they will not encounter blurring problems in ways other image formats do. Previously SVGs opened in Collabora Online would default to the SVG’s fallback PNG, rather than rendering the SVG at the appropriate size leading to blurry images in some instances. With this new fix, OOXML should now render the SVG image correctly.

Three interoperability issues related to Windows EMF and EMF+ files have also been resolved – namely the lack of implementation of Polydraw MR, the inability to display bezier lines in certain EMF+ images, and an issue during conversion of especially large documents to PDF with watermarks (~1000 pages).

These fixes further improve our compatibility and interoperability with Microsoft Office and other document editors. Users can now expect a smoother experience when working with SVGs, EMF and EMF+ files containing advanced graphics features.


Performance Improvements

And of course, alongside the feature and user-experience improvement listed above, we have not neglected to further accelerate the performance of Collabora Online. Strap in – because we’re speeding up as we get technical with the performance upgrades!

Faster setup time

With this latest release, we will start authenticating a user as early as getting the first request to load a page – carrying out this authentication in parallel with downloading the document, and serving the related browser files. Compared to previously running these operations in series, this may cut page load times by as much as 50%, depending on the document and system configuration. This should lead to noticeably snappier document opening for end users.

18x faster tile compression

This speed-boost stacks two improvement, associated with optimising the rendering and re-rendering process of tiles, and changing the way the threading of this process is handled.

To keep things fast, save on bandwidth and reduce document latency, only changes to document tiles are sent from the server to the end user. For this to happen it is important to efficiently identify changes that require re-rendering for the end user’s screen at any moment. This has been accelerated by using RLE compression and AVX2 processing.

Previously, all potential pixel changes were identified using row cyclic redundancy check (CRC) when looking for changes requiring re-rendering. With the new solution, run-length encoded (RLE) rows are compared instead. Since RLE is a significantly compressed form of lossless data storage, this firstly means that nearly 4x the amount of rendered tiles can be stored in the cache (per view) whilst still making a memory saving. Compression of rows is now implemented using a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) algorithm, which as the name suggests, is able to carry out the same instruction on eight pixels simultaneously. This optimization accelerates RLE generation by 4.5x.

In addition to this 4.5x increase, further improvement to the threading of this process has led to a significant improvement in parallelism – with a 4x or more speed increase depending on how many threads are configured to be used. These wins compound to an 18x speed increase in this process of identifying pixels requiring re-rendering!

Many other performance improvements

In addition to the above, we’ve carried out a lot of work on other under-the-hood engine upgrades for the latest release, which will continue to improve the user experience for our customers. This work is very wide-ranging in scope, but includes much faster threaded calculations in Calc, improved loading of .xlsx spreadsheets with larger numbers of comments, minimised re-rendering of sheets when switching, optimising rendering of rows to be displayed in Calc, and much more.

While it is difficult to quantify exactly how much each of these improvements have decreased load times for any given document, we have spent time profiling many real-world use cases since the last release, and observe noticeably faster load and improved responsiveness of documents in Writer and Calc.

Get CODE 24.04

Community

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release and contributes a vast majority of the Collabora Online code. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues in the wider LibreOffice community who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice Technology upon which CODE and Collabora Online are built.

All of our code is open source and available to the public on GitHub. Join the Collabora Online Community, take part in easy hacks and discussions in the forum.

CODE 24.04 is built upon the code commits from LibreOffice 7.6 and LibreOffice 24.2.

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity provides Collabora Online, an open-source solution for editing and collaboration, alongside a range of other products and consulting services tailored to enterprise and government needs. With the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers globally, we are dedicated to contributing to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Our business-hardened office suite, Collabora Online for browser and Collabora Office for desktop, ensures long-term, multi-platform support. Additionally, we extend our services with Collabora Office for iOS and Android.

Collabora Online 23.05 Released, Empowering Users with Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration Features

Cambridge, July 25, 2023 – We are happy to announce the new major release of Collabora Online 23.05.

Collabora Online provides businesses a richly featured, collaborative and secure document creation environment with dedicated support backed by decades of experience. This new release includes new features targeting three key areas: accessibility, interoperability and usability.

Collabora Online 23.05 introduces a sleeker and more intuitive user interface, designed to simplify and optimise the user experience. With a clean and modern look, navigating through various applications, accessing essential tools and accessing new features has never been easier.

Below you will find an overview of the exciting new features and improvements that are available in COOL 23.05 and where you can download it.

Accessibility Features

Accessibility features are created to provide comfort to all users, for example, those who prefer to use just a keyboard, those who cannot see the screen very well or those who have impairments.

Dark Mode and Custom View Settings

Per view settings, allows us to render views differently – including various options such as showing non-printing characters or spell checking underlines in different views, in addition to Dark Mode.

As anyone who’s worked on an important proposal late into the night will tell you, staring at a bright screen and concentration don’t often go hand in hand. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce Collabora Online’s Dark Mode.

Dark Mode

Keyboard Shortcuts

The majority of computer users will use keyboard shortcuts to speed up their work and minimise the need to switch between different input devices. Previously, when collaboratively editing a file in Collabora Online, the shortcut settings were set to the language of the first user.

Now, the keyboard shortcuts have been expanded to allow all users to be able to use their own language’s keyboard shortcuts when editing a file collaboratively.

Another improvement to using keyboard shortcuts is the ability to hold the ‘Alt’ key to highlight your shortcut options for learnability.

Javascript Dialogs

We understand the importance of making software accessible to everyone. That’s why we’ve introduced a new feature that allows screen readers to access menus and dialogs. We have moved the dialog rendering to the client-side as JSDialogs, and converted all of our vex library usage to JSDialogs too, to enable higher accessibility.

This change will make it easier for those with visual impairments to navigate and interact with their documents through text-to-speech or braille displays. These accessibility wins bring benefits for everyone: in our previous releases we had 3 dialog types with 3 different looks. Now we have introduced a more consistent look across the board using JSDialogs.

Initial Screen Reading Support

Designed to assist users with visual impairments, this feature unlocks a world of possibilities, ensuring the visually impaired can participate in online collaboration.

Our initial enablement works in tabbed view mode and allows Writer to read paragraphs from the document as they are navigated through. When a user types, the screen reader reads the entered content.

For selections, after selecting ‘Hello’, the screen reader will typically say: “Hello, selected”. In the same way, if text is deselected, the screen reader reports the state change: “Hello, unselected”. Screen reading is a complex area that is best tuned to an individual users’s needs, and NVDA provides a rich palette of functions that can be toggled on or off. Moreover there are specific shortcuts for explicitly asking the NVDA screen reader to read the focused paragraph, the current text selection and so on.

This initial screen reader support is currently only supported for tabbed mode. Screen reader support is not enabled by default, since it is a resource consuming feature. It can be turned on by toggling within the UI (Help → Accessibility Support) or modifying the coolwsd.xml configuration file. Search for the accessibility section in coolwsd.xml and set the enable item to true.

Interoperability Features

For some time, users and organizations have faced a major challenge when trying to find an alternative to Microsoft’s widely-used productivity suite: the issue of file compatibility and interoperability. These improvements continue to build on our already solid base of excellent interoperability.

Document Themes

Document themes are predefined formatting settings that you can apply to a whole document to easily change and re-purpose its appearance, add your own branding and give it a consistent feel. They usually include a combination of specific colours and fonts for heading, subheadings and body text. When the formatting is changed within the theme, it will change across all parts of the document following that formatting.

Themes also allows the user to choose between multiple default looks of objects when inserting and changing, which are derived from the current theme.

To apply a document theme:

Select on the top bar ‘Format → Theme’

Select the theme you’d like to apply

Press ‘Ok’

To create a document theme

Select on the top bar ‘Format → Theme → Add’

From here you can define colours for each part of your document.

Document Themes in Writer

Multi-page Floating Tables in Writer

This new feature is a combination of two existing capabilities. Multi-page tables and floating tables. Multi-page tables are tables than span their content over more than one page. Floating tables are tables inside a floating frame. This allows you to wrap text around them, which is particularly useful for brochures. Previously, it was not possible to combine these two features.

Floating frames used to work only on a single page. Now you can create floating tables that span across multiple pages. It improves interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML format. It also significantly improves interoperability with tables that have been accidentally floated by users in Microsoft Office – often by just adjusting table sizing and positioning. This is frequently a problem in mis-designed Government forms – where tables are used for rendering borders, these should render and be editable with this update.

If you are interested in the complex technical challenges behind this feature, we encourage you to take a look into the series of posts by developer Miklos Vajna. There’s also a very insightful talk presented at COOL Days 2023 on YouTube. This feature is is still under active development, with some minor issues on specific use-cases to be ironed out, but you can make use of it in COOL 23.05 now.

Multi-page Floating Tables

Compact View of Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables are a flexible and powerful analysis tool for mixed data sets. Collabora Online can create and import Pivot Tables. The feature had first been introduced to Online in early 2021 together with numerous statistical tools. Meanwhile, the feature has seen further interoperability improvements. Collabora Online Calc is now able to preserve the more recent Excel default of compact Pivot Tables created in Excel. In addition to the more accurate visual representation, this improvement also avoids incorrect cell references.

Multi-Stop Gradients

Exciting improvements have been made to the under-the-hood renderer! Our rendering engine has been enhanced and can now handle even more complex gradients. You can now turn up the visual appeal of your document by incorporating multi-stop gradients into shapes, borders, and other elements. This update is essential for anyone who works with intricate graphics – bringing improvements and better interoperability for existing documents and making it easier to collaborate on more complex designs and graphics.

Improved Frame Anchoring and Position

COOL 23.05 includes improved compatibility with older document-framing descriptions including better positioning for frame handling, better support for combining/splitting frames and overlapping frames, fixes to some cases where parent styles were ignored, and fixes to avoid UI anchor changes that caused movement on the page.

64-bit Zip Support

The Zip64 standard extends numerous internal limitations in the XLSX and ODS formats used to compress documents. While the old zip limitations are enough for most practical user cases, documents with enormous amounts of content embedded could occasionally run into such limits. With support for Zip64 included in 23.05, editing and working with huge spreadsheets is now possible in Collabora Online. Zip64 also serves as a replacement – replacing the older standard for smaller files.

Zip64 support makes for exciting news for all, whether you’re a pro handling massive documents or a casual user who will surely benefit from the interoperability improvements! Everyone can expect improvements across the board.

Usability

Page Navigation

Page navigation plays a crucial role in enhancing the user experience, especially when creating large documents in Writer. It allows users to move seamlessly between sections, structure their documents and find the content they are searching for easily within complex documents.

The existing navigator functionality will now be viewable in the sidebar, allowing you to jump to each section by simply double clicking the headings. You can find this by clicking ‘View → Navigator’ and it will appear in the sidebar. From here you can jump to headings, tables, images, hyperlinks and more.

Navigating through Writer Documents

Simple Page Number Insertion

A wizard dialogue box has been added, combining inserting the required headers, footers, and page number fields into a single, easy to use, familiar dialog for users.

This features all the common alignment options, support for a variety of languages, and a preview.

Simply select ‘Insert → Page Numbers’ and you will see a dialogue box appear which enables you to customise the positioning, alignment and style of page numbers. There are a variety of supported languages available including Asian and Cyrillic styles.

To remove page numbers, simply delete the page number in one of the footers and it will remove the page numbers on all pages.

Simple Insertion of Page Numbers

Impress Hidden Slides

Impress introduces a new feature. Now a user can hide and show slides on the Slide Pane by right clicking and choosing ‘Hide Slide’ or ‘Show Slide’. They will then shown or hidden throughout the full screen presentation.

Show and Hide Slides in Impress

Core New Features Introduced in 22.05 Updates

Since the major release of COOL22.05 in June 2022, many new features have been introduced throughout the year. These have had extensive testing and are now officially core features of Collabora Online 23.05.

Improved Hyperlink Pop-ups

The Collabora Online UI sees constant updates, improving the experience based on user feedback. One of the obvious changes can be seen in the way hyperlinks are handled in documents. Now, when clicking on a hyperlink, a small pop-up dialog appears, allowing several options. You can click the URL to follow the link (a pop-up will warn you, if you are leaving for an external page), you can copy the link, edit or delete it. The new and improved hyperlink pop-ups are available for all modules of Collabora Online and do significantly improve the handling of links – especially inside spreadsheets.

Improved Hyperlink Editing

In Nextcloud, you can also see a small link preview of the URL which can help when searching through links.

Image Preview of Hyperlinks

Reference Management and Bibliographic Data with Zotero

Zotero is an open-source reference management software allowing users to manage bibliographic data and related research materials. It allows users to share bibliography libraries and notes, choosing from different citation styles. Collabora Online can now browse all the existing records of one’s Zotero library, enabling users to insert, remove, and refresh references, citations, and notes or to automatically generate bibliographies. This makes Collabora Online an excellent solution for research and academia alike.

Users will need to enter a valid Zotero API key into their office settings, if you don’t see a setting there – why not encourage your integrator to add it: it should be easy. More details on the Zotero plug-in are available on our blog. We hope to see more Collabora Online integrators making this feature available soon.

Add Citations with Zotero

AI Based Translations with DeepL

DeepL is a leading AI company based in Germany. It offers the DeepL Translator, a translation tool based on a machine learning model that is trained by a large team of linguists. The plug-in is connected to the DeepL API and makes these high-quality translations available directly in Collabora Online without having to leave the document you are working on. To make use of it, it will need to be configured inside coolwsd.xml. Find out more about it on our blog or in the Collabora Online SDK. Once the feature is enabled, translating text inside a Writer document is as easy as selecting it, clicking the “Translate” button and choosing the target language from dialog.

Translations Using DeepL

PDF & EPUB Export Options

Previously PDF was from exported with default settings from Writer. Now we have a tabbed dialog full of options, including accessibility, permissions, image quality and more. Similarly to PDF export, we enabled the EPUB export options dialog in Collabora Online. EPUB is the most widely supported vendor-independent XML-based e-book format.

Community

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release and contributes a vast majority of the Collabora Online code. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues in the wider LibreOffice community who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice Technology upon which CODE and Collabora Online are built.

All of our code is open source and available to the public on GitHub. Join the Collabora Online Community, take part in easy hacks and discussions in the forum.

Typographical Editing

New optional hyphenation settings are available to give rules for adjusting text flow. You can now limit hyphenation within paragraphs, set a minimum word length for hyphenation and opt to not hyphenate the last word of a paragraph.

This work was done by László Németh, NISZ.

Change Tracking in Numbered Lists

When making changes within numbered lists, the numbering has now been fixed to show actual and original numbers within the document.

This work was done by László Németh, NISZ.

Change Tracking in Lists

Table Style Design Support

You can now modify table styles and create new ones in Impress and Draw. Modified styles are saved into documents, and can be shared via templates. You can access this function by right-clicking on a design in the Table Design Sidebar panel.

This work was done by Maxim Monastirsky.

Table Styling Options

Other community wins include:

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is a leading provider of innovative software solutions, catering to the needs of individuals and businesses worldwide. With a focus on usability, performance, and security, Collabora Online empowers users to accomplish their goals efficiently and effectively.

Collabora Online 23.05 is the latest enterprise release of our widely integrated, secure office suite. It is suitable for large-scale deployment and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates and the ability to help direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many other major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organisations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control of them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host COOL on your own hardware or integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty and GDPR compliance. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our Partner’s integrations and try an online demo. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner.

 

CODE 23.05 Released, Empowering Users with Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration Features

CODE 23.05 Banner Image

Collabora Productivity Unveils Highly Anticipated Update to CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition), Empowering Users with Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration Features

Cambridge, June 13, 2023 at 13:00 CEST – We are happy to announce the new major release of Collabora Office Development Edition (CODE) 23.05. CODE is the free developer version of our enterprise version, Collabora Online, and includes all the features and enhancements that will be available in Collabora Online 23.05. CODE is targeted at home users and technology enthusiasts, and for those, 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 freely available on GitHub.

Below you will find an overview of the exciting new features and improvements that are available in CODE 23.05, as well as how to install the latest version.

 

Get CODE 23.05

 

Continuously Improving the User Interface

Collabora Online Development Edition introduces a sleeker and more intuitive user interface, designed to simplify and optimise the user experience. With a clean and modern look, navigating through various applications and accessing essential tools has never been easier.

 

Accessibility Features

Keyboard Shortcuts

The majority of computer users will use keyboard shortcuts to speed up their work and minimise the need to switch between different input devices. Previously, when collaboratively editing a file in CODE, the shortcut settings were set to the language of the first user.

Now, the keyboard shortcuts have been expanded to allow all users to be able to use their own language’s keyboard shortcuts when editing a file collaboratively.

Another improvement to using keyboard shortcuts is the ability to hold the ‘Alt’ key to highlight your options for learnability.

Page Navigation

Page navigation plays a crucial role in enhancing the user experience, especially when creating large documents in Writer. It allows users to move seamlessly between sections, structure their documents and find the content they are searching for easily within complex documents.

The existing navigator functionality will now be viewable in the sidebar, allowing you to jump to each section by simply double clicking the headings. You can find this by clicking ‘View → Navigator’ and it will appear in the sidebar. From here you can jump to headings, tables, images, hyperlinks and more.

Page Navigation Example Screenshot
Navigate through documents easily in CODE 22.05

JSDialogs

We understand the importance of making software accessible to everyone. That’s why we’ve introduced a new feature that allows screen readers to access menus and dialogs. We have moved the rendering of the dialog rendering to the client-side as JSDialogs, and converted all of our vex library usage to JSDialogs too, to enable higher accessibility.

This change will make it easier for those with impairments to navigate and interact with their documents through text-to-speech or braille displays. We hope this change helps create more inclusive software, and we will continue to strive to provide software that is universally accessible to everyone.

These accessibility wins bring benefits for everyone: in our previous releases we had 3 dialog types with 3 different looks. Now we have introduced a uniform look across the board using JSDialogs.

WAI-ARIA Annotation

WAI-ARIA, the Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies.

To enable screen readers to be able to read our user interface the WAI-ARIA annotations ensure that users know not only what text is currently displayed on-screen, but also the function of each part of the screen. Assigning ‘roles’ to html elements enables screen readers to know how to interact with a page. For example whether text is a hyperlink or a certain box is clickable or not may be immediately obvious to most users, for those with visual disabilities this may not be the case. By adding ARIA roles to elements, we can allow the screen reader to present the end user any additional information.

WAI ARIA annotation is currently available in compact mode.

Initial Screen Reading Support

Designed to assist users with visual impairments, this feature unlocks a world of possibilities, ensuring everyone can participate fully in online collaboration.

Our initial enablement allows writer to read paragraphs from the document as they are navigated through. When user types the screen reader reads the entered content.

For selections, after selecting ‘Hello’, the screen reader will typically say: “Hello selected”. In the same way, if text is deselected, the screen reader reports the state change: “Hello unselected”. Screen reading is a complex area that is best tuned to an individual users’s needs, and NVDA provides a rich palette of functions that can be toggled on or off.

Moreover there are specific shortcut for asking explicitly the NVDA screen read for reading the focused paragraph, the current text selection and so on. This function

Initial screen reader support is currently available in compact mode. Screen reader support is not enabled by default, since it is a resource consuming feature. It can be turned on by modifying the coolwsd.xml configuration file. Search for the accessibility section in coolwsd.xml and set the enable item to true.

Dark Mode and Custom View Settings

Per view settings, allows us to render views differently – including various options such as showing non-printing characters or spell checking underlines in different views, in addition to Dark Mode.

As anyone who’s worked on an important proposal late into the night will tell you, staring at a bright screen and concentration don’t often go hand in hand. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce Collabora Online’s Dark Mode.

Dark mode selector in 23.05
Dark mode selector menu
Dark mode menu items
Dark mode menu items

Interoperability Features

For some time, users and organizations have faced a major challenge when trying to find an alternative to Microsoft’s widely-used productivity suite: the issue of file compatibility and interoperability. These improvements continue to build on our already solid base, and we will continue to strive to offer the best possible level of compatibility in the office suite market.

Multi-Stop Gradients

Exciting improvements have been made to the under-the-hood renderer! Our rendering engine has been enhanced and can now handle even more complex gradients. You can now turn up the visual appeal of your document by incorporating multi-stop gradients into shapes, borders, and other elements. This update is essential for anyone who works with intricate graphics – bringing improvements and better interoperability for existing documents and making it easier to collaborate on more complex designs and graphics.

It has been great to work with allotropia on this excellent feature.

22.05 Multi-stop gradient example
Multi-stop gradients in 22.05
23.05 Multi-stop gradient example
Multi-stop gradients in 23.05

 

64-bit Zip Support

The Zip64 standard extends numerous internal limitations in the XLSX and ODS formats used to compress documents. While the old zip limitations are enough for most practical user cases, documents with enormous amounts of content embedded could occasionally run into such limits. With support for Zip64 included in 23.05, editing and working with huge spreadsheets is now possible in Collabora Online. Zip64 also serves as a replacement – replacing the older standard for smaller files.

Zip64 support makes for exciting news for all, whether you’re a pro handling massive documents or a casual user who will surely benefit from the interoperability improvements! Everyone can expect improvements across the board.

Compact View of Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables are a flexible and powerful analysis tool for mixed data sets. Collabora Online can create and import Pivot Tables. The feature had first been introduced to Online in early 2021 together with numerous statistical tools. Meanwhile, the feature has seen further interoperability improvements. Collabora Online Calc is now able to preserve the more recent Excel default of compact Pivot Tables created in Excel. In addition to the more accurate visual representation, this improvement can also avoids incorrect cell references.

Document Themes

Document themes are predefined styles and formatting settings that you can apply to a whole document to easily change and re-purpose its appearance and give it a consistent style. It usually includes a combination of specific colours and fonts for heading, subheadings and body text, as well as sizing, alignment, indentation, spacing and other visual effects. When the format of the style is changed within the theme, it will change across all parts of the document following that style.

To apply a document theme:

Select on the top bar ‘Format → Theme’
Select the theme you’d like to apply
Press ‘Ok’

To create a document theme

Select on the top bar ‘Format → Theme → Add’

From here you can define colours for each part of your document.

Document theme example image
Change the Style of Your Documents in One Click

Multi-page Floating Tables in Writer

This new feature is a combination of two existing capabilities. Multi-page tables and floating tables. Multi-page tables are tables than span their content over more than one page. Floating tables are tables inside a floating frame. This allows you to wrap text around them, which is particularly useful for brochures. Previously, it was not possible to combine these two features.

Floating frames used to work only on a single page. Now you can create floating tables that span across multiple pages. This feature has been primarily developed for Collabora Online, but is useful on the desktop version, Collabora Office, too. It improves interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML format. It also significantly improves interoperability with tables that have been accidentally floated by users in Microsoft Office – often by just adjusting table sizing and positioning. This is frequently a problem in mis-designed Government forms – where tables are used for rendering borders, these should render and be editable with this update.

If you are interested in the complex technical challenges behind this feature, we encourage you to take a look into the series of posts by developer Miklos Vajna. There’s also a very insightful talk presented at COOL Days 2023 on YouTube. This feature is is still under active development, with some minor issues on specific use-cases to be ironed out, but you can make use of it in CODE 23.05 now.

Multi-page floating table example image
Tables Are Now Optimised to Span Multiple Pages

Improved Frame Anchoring and Position

CODE 23.05 includes improved compatibility with older document-framing descriptions including better positioning for frame handling, better support for combining/splitting frames and overlapping frames, fixes to some cases where parent styles were ignored, and fixes to avoid UI anchor changes that caused movement on the page.

 

Ergonomics

Simple Page Number Insertion

A wizard dialogue box has been added, combining inserting the required headers, footers, and page number fields into a single, easy to use, familiar dialog for users.

This features all the common alignment options, support for a variety of languages, and a preview.

Simply select ‘Insert → Page Numbers’

and you will see a dialogue box appear which enables you to customise the positioning, alignment and style of page numbers. There are a variety of supported languages available including Asian and Cyrillic styles.

Page number wizard example image

Core New Features Introduced in 22.05 Updates

Since the major release of CODE 22.05 in June 2022, many new features have been introduced throughout the year. These have had extensive testing and are now officially core features of 23.05.

Choosing the citation style before inserting a first citation with Zotero in Collabora Online

Reference Management and Bibliographic Data with Zotero

Zotero is an open-source reference management software allowing users to manage bibliographic data and related research materials. It allows users to share bibliography libraries and notes, choosing from different citation styles. Collabora Online can now browse all the existing records of one’s Zotero library, enabling users to insert, remove, and refresh references, citations, and notes or to automatically generate bibliographies. This makes Collabora Online an excellent solution for research and academia alike.

This is currently a Nextcloud exlusive feature. Users will need to enter a valid Zotero API key into their office settings. More details on the Zotero plug-in are available on our blog. We hope to see more Collabora Online integrators making this feature available soon.

Zotero references example image

AI Based Translations with DeepL

DeepL is a leading AI company based in Germany. It offers the DeepL Translator, a translation tool based on a machine learning model that is trained by a large team of linguists. The plug-in is connected to the DeepL API and makes these high-quality translations available directly in Collabora Online without having to leave the document you are working on. To make use of it, it will need to be configured inside coolwsd.xml. Find out more about it on our blog or in the Collabora Online SDK. Once the feature is enabled, translating text inside a Writer document is as easy as selecting it, clicking the “Translate” button and choosing the target language from dialog.

DeepL translation example image 001
1. Select the text

 

DeepL translation example image 002
2. Click the Translate button
DeepL translation example image 003
3. Select the target language

Improved Hyperlink Pop-ups

The Collabora Online UI sees constant updates, improving the experience based on user feedback. One of the obvious changes can be seen in the way hyperlinks are handled in documents. Now, when clicking on a hyperlink, a small pop-up dialog appears, allowing several options. You can click the URL to follow the link (a pop-up will warn you, if you are leaving for an external page), you can copy the link, edit or delete it. The new and improved hyperlink pop-ups are available for all modules of Collabora Online and do significantly improve the handling of links – especially inside spreadsheets.

Get CODE 23.05

Community

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release and contributes a vast majority of the Collabora Online code. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues in the wider LibreOffice community who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice Technology upon which CODE and Collabora Online are built.

All of our code is open source and available to the public on GitHub. Join the Collabora Online Community, take part in easy hacks and discussions in the forum.

Typographical Editing

New optional hyphenation settings are available to give rules for adjusting text flow. You can now limit hyphenation within paragraphs, set a minimum word length for hyphenation and opt to not hyphenate the last word of a paragraph.

This work was done by László Németh, NISZ.

Other community wins include:

  • Improved positioning of glyphs
  • Improved change tracking
  • Easy sheet searching dialog in Calc
  • and many more commits from LibreOffice 7.4 and LibreOffice 7.5.

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is a leading provider of innovative software solutions, catering to the needs of individuals and businesses worldwide. With a focus on usability, performance, and security, Collabora Online empowers users to accomplish their goals efficiently and effectively.

How to Manage Bibliographic Data With Zotero and Collabora Online

 

Collabora Online & Zotero

Zotero is an open-source reference management software allowing users to manage bibliographic data and related research materials. It allows users to share bibliography libraries and notes, choosing from different citation styles. Collabora Online can now browse all the existing records of one’s Zotero library, enabling users to insert, remove, and refresh references, citations, and notes or to automatically generate bibliographies. This makes Collabora Online an excellent solution for research and academia alike, as well as an ideal option when working with Zotero research assistant.

 

Setting-up Zotero for Collabora Online

Setting up Zotero for Collabora Online in Nextcloud

At the time of writing, the Zotero integration is available to Nextcloud users with installed Richdocuments (v7.1.0 and up). All that is required to use this feature is Collabora Online, Nextcloud with Nextcloud Office app (richdocuments) installed and a valid Zotero API Key. Zotero users can create or edit their API keys at zotero.org/settings/keys and then simply copy it into the respective field inside the office settings (Administration Settings > Office) of their Nextcloud instance. All private properties related to the user remain private at all times, while public properties remain accessible to other users and are handled separately.

Inserting Citation and Choosing Citation Style

Choosing the citation style before inserting a first citation with Zotero in Collabora Online

Place the cursor on the position in your Writer document where you would like to highlight a citation. In the “Reference” menu or tab – depending on which user interface you are using – choose “Add Citation”. If this is the first time a citation is added to the document, a style prompt will show up, allowing you to choose from numerous citations styles – for example, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA Style, ISO-690, APA Style, Oxford Style Guide and many more. Setting the citation style needs only be done once, the chosen citation style will be stored inside the document. The work to be cited can be chosen from a pop-up dialog including your personal and shared libraries on Zotero. Large libraries can be filtered using the search bar.

Adding Citation from the Zotero library in Collabora Online (Tabbed UI)
Choosing a work to cite from the Zotero library in Collabora Online
Select footnotes or endnotes in the preferred style

 

Refreshing Citations and Style

Refreshing citations from the Zotero library in Collabora Online

It’s a common workflow for authors to add a series of incomplete records to their library as a first step, and then adding additional metadata. Another common request is to be able to change the citation style for a document. This is important when submitting works for different publications, but also if for instance a citation style gets updated to a newer edition. Collabora Online allows these updates to be made easily.

Pressing the button “Refresh Citations” (or selecting the respective item inside the menu of the Compact View UI) fetches the updates from your Zotero library. A message at the button of the document keeps the user informed about the progress of this process. Updating the Citation Style is also straightforward. The option “Citation Preference” opens the above-mentioned Citation Style dialog, allowing users to switch styles for the whole document at any time.

 

Creating a Bibliography and Inserting Notes

Adding an auto-generated bibliography inside Collabora Online

The Zotero integration allows users to make a clear distinction between notes and citations in Collabora Online. Inserting a note works similar to inserting a citation. Choosing this option from the UI will open the dialog and grant access to the notes of the user’s Zotero library. Notes are quite flexible items that can include HTML, formatting and emojis.

A bibliography of the works cited in the document can be generated automatically with a simple click. It appears at the position where the cursor is located. Collabora generates only the pure bibliography without additional text or placeholders, so the heading can be added according to your preferences (index, glossary, bibliography).

 

Try it in Collabora Online or CODE

The Zotero integration has been introduced to Collabora Online with the release of Collabora Online 22.05.10 in February 2023. You can test the feature in our free demo. Tech enthusiasts may also like to test it inside an installation of CODE, the free Collabora Online Development Edition, intended for home users and Developers who would like to help to test the latest features first. Find all the instructions here.