How-to use Sparklines in Collabora Online

What are Sparklines?

Sparklines are miniature charts that are heavily simplified and typically fit into a line of text or a cell on a spreadsheet. Their first appearances date back to 18th century chivalric novels and the display of barometric signatures of the notorious 19th century Krakatoa eruption. Unlike classic charts, Sparklines are meant to be succinct and located right where they are discussed. Microsoft’s XLSX format has included these mini-charts for quite some time. With the major release of Collabora Office 22.05, Sparklines became available within the LibreOffice Technology ecosystem. Shortly afterwards, they were also implemented in Collabora Online 22.05 and LibreOffice 7.4.

Creating Sparklines in Collabora Online

If you open a .XLSX or .ODS spreadsheet including Sparklines inside Collabora Online, the miniature charts will be preserved. If you want to create a new Sparklines chart from scratch in Collabora Online, you should start by selecting the row or column of cells you would like to visualize. Right-click, and chose “Sparklines > Insert Sparklines…” from the context menu. The “Sparklines Properties” dialog will appear including the chosen input range. The button besides the “Output range” field allows you to choose the cell the Sparkline will be created in.

Select the data range from the row or column, right-click and choose “Insert Sparkline” to create a new miniture chart
In the “Sparkline Properties” dialog click on the “Output range” icon to postion the chart

Formatting Sparklines in Collabora Online

If you would like to edit or customise the appearance of a group of mini charts, right-click on the Sparklines and chose “Edit Sparkline Group…”. This will summon the “Sparkline Properties” dialog and grant access to several different settings. You can for instance choose between three different types of Sparklines. Just like Office 365, Collabora Online allows you to create a miniature Line Chart, a Column Chart or a Stacked Chart (Win/Loss). You can also customise the visual appearance by adjusting the line width or choosing individual colours for special points in the graph (marker, high/low point, first/last point).

Right-click on a Sparkline and choose “Edit Sparkline Group…” for the formatting options
Adjust the appearance of Sparklines inside the “Sparkline Properties” dialog

Test this in Collabora Online or CODE

The Sparkline feature has been introduced to Collabora Online with the major release 22.05. 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 bleeding-edge features first. Find all the instructions here.

 

 

Thank you for making this possible

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.

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Collabora Online Powers Diagrams in ownCloud 10.9

New Frontend and Diagrams in ownCloud 10.9

The latest version of ownCloud Server brings various performance improvements, including significantly speeding up how ownCloud clients examine the contents of user accounts. This is especially beneficial for those users with a lot of files and large directory structures. The update has also introduced a new frontend. The “richdocuments” extension of Collabora Online supports both the old and new frontend and integrates flawlessly into either of them. At the same time, a new document type has been introduced. The ownCloud Server can now open and edit Diagrams.

Using Diagrams with ownCloud & Collabora Online

The use of the new Diagram file type is very straightforward. Below we are describing how to create a Diagram from scratch inside the new and the old interface and how to edit exiting Diagrams through the ownCloud server web interface.

Accessing documents with Collabora Online from ownCloud’s new frontend

Create or Open a Diagram in the Old Frontend

To create a new diagram inside the old web frontend, simply click the plus icon within the folder navigation above the file list. In addition to the familiar document types (word processing, spreadsheet & presentation), you will now also notice an orange Diagram option. Select this to open an empty diagram document. Diagrams are displayed in a light orange icon and include the extension .odg in their file name. Existing Diagrams will be opened through a click on the file.

Create or Open a Diagram in the New Frontend

The handling within the new frontend is very similar. The new web interface includes an updated new button over the file listing. Click it and choose the new Diagram option to start a Diagram from scratch inside the current folder. Diagrams are also displayed in a light orange icon and include the extension .odg in their file name. Existing Diagrams will be opened through a click on the file or through a context menu that opens with a right-click.

A Diagram opened in Collabora Online 21.11

Edit Diagrams with Collabora Online and ownCloud

Diagrams can also be created outside ownCloud and Collabora Online using Collabora Office Draw or LibreOffice Draw. Diagrams offer a variety of options to edit documents with (vectorized) graphics, shapes, text, FontArt and the smart connector tool that has been introduced in Collabora Online 6.4.8. Furthermore, it is of course possible to work with tables and charts. Diagrams is suitable for creating print products such as flyers or posters, but also organigrams, flow charts or technical drawings. Working within the Diagrams module is very intuitive as it is similar to the approach of creating a presentation in Impress. Further information on the range of functions can be found in the Draw online help.

Discover Collabora Online and ownCloud

Collabora and ownCloud are proud to offer a combined commercial solution including Collabora Online. Based on the LibreOffice technology core, we continue to develop this functionality in response to the evolving needs of our customers. Find out more and request your free demo.

 

 

About ownCloud

ownCloud develops and provides open-source software for content collaboration, allowing teams to easily share and work on files seamlessly regardless of device or location. Hundreds of millions of users worldwide already use ownCloud as an alternative to public clouds – and thereby opt for more digital sovereignty, security and data protection. Find more information online at owncloud.com or follow @ownCloud on Twitter.

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. Keep up to date on all latest developments by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Mastodon.

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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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Collabora Online 21.11.3 Released – Dynamic Configuration of Multiple Hosts Saves Cost and Reduces Management Complexity

The latest update of Collabora Online brings significant configuration improvements allowing users to dynamically connect multiple WOPI hosts with a single Collabora Online Server. This makes Collabora Online easier to deploy and configure, especially when scaling to integrate with many different services. Collabora Online 21.11.3 also brings several improvements to the user experience, like the way complex commenting cases are handled. Several visual enhancements are also included. All the technical details of this version are available in the release notes.

Dynamic Configuration Saves Cost and Reduces Management Complexity

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 as Nextcloud, ownCloud, EGroupware, Moodle, Alfresco or an Univention Corporate Server. It is 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 host companies. We have summarised the technical background information on Multihost Configuration inside our SDK documentation.

The comments section in Collabora 21.11.3 saw different visual and usability improvements

Improvements for Complex Commenting Cases

Icon of a collapsed thread

The way Writer renders comments has improved significantly with recent updates. When you respond to a comment, the original comment is visually highlighted and indented, making it much clearer to locate the referenced element inside the document. Collabora Online does now display comments in different ways depending on the window’s width. On smaller displays, comment threads will be displayed collapsed – as a small icon with an indication of the number of replies. This is particularly useful on laptops or tablets. On large screens comments we be displayed fully expanded. These overall visual improvements significantly enhance the look and feel of the comment section and make the collaborative editing processes more effective.

 

 

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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Log4j – When Business Choices Undermine Technology


Late in 2021, the Log4j software vulnerability hit the news. This was, and remains, a widespread security risk that impacted Government institutions and commercial organisations that knowingly or unknowingly installed this free piece of software distributed by the non-profit Apache Software Foundation.

Log4j seems not to be the best advertisement for Open Source as this incident has exposed some of the downsides of a more informal approach to software delivery and maintenance. Having said that, it’s well worth reflecting on the large number of derelict and unsupported systems out there in active use in many companies. From Windows XP, to obsolete or unsupported enterprise systems.

Michael Meeks, General Manager of Collabora Productivity, said:

“Organisations deploy solutions that use off-the shelf Open-Source components all the time, which is fine, but they often fail to get the necessary maintenance and support for them. The Log4j vulnerability is a stark reminder of the issues that can arise when this happens and organisations are left to sort out a major problem with little, if any, formal support.”

Open Source and Corporate Responsibility?

In the case of Log4j, the damaging bit of software is supported by a group of Apache volunteers. They are all well meaning and have worked hard to try address the root cause, but when it comes to important or even critical infrastructure, is it really appropriate to rely on software with such informal, part-time support?

Michael Meeks, commented:

“Open Source is unquestionably a force for good. It’s next to impossible to build a significant technology stack without it today. Nevertheless, the Apache Log4j incident calls into question the relationship between Open Source and commercial users and how they can safely unlock the huge business benefits offered by Open Source software deployment.”

“The point remains that when dealing with important infrastructure all software deployed in the enterprise should be supported by a team of dedicated, full-time experts, who can pro-actively engage with risks, and swiftly respond to users’ needs and any problems that may occur. That should create a positive, contributing linkage between between the end-user and the Open Source project.”

Collabora Online Support and Security

In the light of Log4j and the wide-spread problems this has caused, it’s important to emphasise that Collabora Online, which is based on the LibreOffice technology core, benefits not only from paid maintenance and support, but also a significant long term technical investment in code review, linting, fuzzing and extensive automated testing from the community that all end-users should demand of their software applications, combined with the obvious benefits of scrutiny of Open Source code.

Collabora Online is fully supported by a full-time team. Should any problems be discovered they can be easily reported, and dealt with. This includes a support platform and direct contact with engineers. This is further enhanced with a full and complete range of technical documentation, comprehensive SLAs and signed security updates. Users of Collabora Online are never left alone to deal with any problems.

Security is a critical factor in design. Not only does Collabora Online ensure end users can collaborate securely, confident that only those permitted can access documents, but because it can be easily implemented onto an end user’s own infrastructure they have full control over network access and the servers it is hosted on, further protecting data sovereignty.

“All complex software has problems and, despite our best efforts, there are always more to find,” said Michael Meeks. “Having a supplier who is continuously engaged with the community in identifying, fixing, designing around and keeping their customers safe should be a key part of all enterprises open source procurement.”

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