Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) 6.4.0 released

New CODE release brings improved user experience and compatibility

Cambridge, United Kingdom, September 24, 2020Collabora Productivity is excited to announce a new, major release of our product CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) 6.4.0 This release adds a new easier to use interface option with a notebook bar as well as excellent display of Microsoft file format documents. This release not only brings a fresh look, enhanced usability, improved interoperability, and extra functionality. It also marks a harmonization of our version numbering. CODE jumps from 4.2 to 6.4, to align with our other Collabora Office products: for the desktop and mobile devices. This release gives a showcase of our development on the next version of our supported product Collabora Online. CODE and Collabora Online offer privacy as well as the only truly open-source solution for working with and collaborating on rich documents in the cloud.

Attractive and easy to use NotebookBar option in Collabora Online

CODE 6.4 comes with a cool and modern NotebookBar providing another easy to use and pretty access to all rich features. The easily identifiable buttons allow users to quickly select functions and the thematic organization of the tabs is intuitive. Users are encouraged to test the NotebookBar when using CODE and share their experience! Users will of course recognize much of the NotebookBar from the desktop version.

The activated Home tab of the new Notebookbar in Impress in CODE 6.4

Version 6.4 – A huge leap in user-friendliness… and numbering

The new CODE with the NotebookBar marks a big step forward in usability. The version number also makes a big leap with a jump from 4.2 to 6.4. The previous numbering of CODE and Collabora Online reflected the release cycles of our online products, first released in 2016. To simplify things we make the numbering similar to Collabora Office for the desktop. This more accurately reflects the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products. Our mobile apps Collabora Office for Android, ChromeOS and iOS will also catch up in numbering soon.

Saving space and other NotebookBar details

When the user needs to save space, a single click on the active tab will collapse the NotebookBar. All the tabs are still there to use.

Collapsed NotebookBar

 

Open NotebookBar

On the top left of the NotebookBar, either in collapsed or full state, there is the hamburger menu with some important tools for e.g. collaboration and language.

Use the hamburger menu to access more options

How to keep the classic mode

The new NotebookBar is set as the default interface in this new release, however we have no plans to remove the classic menu and toolbar UX – some users and deployments clearly prefer it. To change this back you can select ‘classic’ for the user_interface key in loolwsd.xml, and some integrations will provide their own admin UI for this, to configure it for the whole server.

The new look of Writer, Impress and Calc

In CODE 6.4 the new NotebookBar adapts to the users needs. With each type of document all available features are nicely sorted into clear tabs. The following images are taken from Writer, Impress and Calc.

Quick access, flexible interface option

Our developers worked effortless to provide the user interface that is both feature rich, and also flexible and small… if the user needs that. The following images present some possibilities with text, presentations and data.

New Spreadsheet rendering: freeze rows and columns

Spreadsheet rendering has been re-written from scratch in CODE 6.4! It continues to improve rapidly, please be patient as we work on performance tuning here. One big new feature is that users can now freeze rows and columns with the button on the tab Sheet or the entry in the menu View. Then, when the users scrolls/moves down in the spreadsheet, the chosen rows and columns will stay visible on top and the left. This is similar to the feature that is available in the desktop version of Collabora Office under View > Freeze Rows.

Freeze rows in Calc

Collaborating with annotations to PDF files

Collabora’s products already have many powerful features supporting the increasing use of PDF documents. CODE 6.4 allows users to collaborate around PDF documents by including a new feature to add annotations to PDF documents.

Various Collabora Online integrations let users open PDF files with Collabora Online, for example with a command in the file’s detail menu (More or simply ). After that, a comment can simply be added with Insert > Comment.

Insert annotations to PDF files with Collabora Online

 

Interoperability improvements & consistent rendering

Collabora Online’s interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML file formats, is as excellent as in our desktop product, since all share a large part of the underlying LibreOffice code base. This 6.4 release again adds dozens of improvements in Microsoft OOXML rendering for presentations, smart art, charts and more from the whole community. Some examples are given below:

Text can be set semi-transparent

A new feature in CODE 6.4 is the use of semi-transparent text, that can be set on the tab Font Effects. Therefore now semi-transparent text from OOXML files is shown.

A DOCX file rendering semi-transparent text in CODE 6.4.
A PPTX spreadsheet including semi transparent text in CODE 6.4

Improved import of SmartArt

With the release of CODE 6.4 the import of SmartArt in MS Office documents has been further improved.

The slide displays an imported SmartArt diagram turned Shape in CODE 6.4

Gradient backgrounds in slides

The pitfalls of interoperability nowadays lie in small details. For example, colour gradients in the background of slides used to be lost with the import of Microsoft PPTX files. With version 6.4, this is now fixed.

A gradient slide background in an imported PPTX file

About CODE

CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and to host them themselves in a secure and private environment. For tech-enthusiasts, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE will be improved continuously and our next supported and maintained Collabora Online product will be built from it.

Get CODE 6.4

Thanks to the community!

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for the overwhelming volume of contributions. However we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice technology, you can checkout LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is Open Source, and our contributions to LibreOffice can be expected in the LibreOffice 7.1 release, although we have our own branding and theme. Would you like to be part of the story ? Participate today!

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Collabora Productivity joins the Open Source Business Alliance


Together we are strong. The Open Source Business Alliance is committed to promoting open source software and open standards for a digitally sovereign society with a strong focus on the Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The goal is to establish open source as a standard in public procurement and in the promotion of research and business. To this end, the association with its approximately 160 member companies is available as a contact partner for media, enterprises and institutions. It carries out public relations work and advocates fair, competitive tendering practices.

Make Open Source Rock

Collabora is dedicated to open source software. Our mission statement is to “make open source rock”. The goals and convictions of the Open Source Business Alliance match ours of Collabora Productivity, so it was a very natural step for us to join the network, which already includes many companies that we rank among our partners. The OSB unites under its umbrella working groups on various key topics. We are looking forward to contributing our expertise and commitment in various of those.

On the occasion of Collabora Productivity joining the Open Source Business Alliance published an interview with Michael Meeks (in German language). He emphasizes the possibilities of Open Source in general, but especially the software solutions and services of Collabora Productivity for companies, institutions and organizations that value data autonomy, security and digital sovereignty.

Collabora Online enables European companies to store their data and documents locally on servers in Europe in compliance with GDPR (Michael Meeks)

Join the Alliance

The companies represented in the OSB Alliance have a profile page with their company description and the most important products and services. You can also find a description of the main activities of Collabora Productivity there. Are you interested in the activities of the OSB Alliance? The website offers an overview of events and technology job offers as well as a news section with news from the open source business world. Or would you like to become part of a strong alliance yourself? Good reasons for participation as well as the statutes of OSBA can also be found on the website.

 

 

 

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Collabora Office 6.4 Released

Cambridge, August 4th, 2020 – Today we release Collabora Office 6.4 providing businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and custom support in open source while respecting user privacy and company data security. Changes in Collabora Office 6.4 also support new and enhanced features in Collabora Online.

Excellent Interoperability and World Class Support

Collabora Office 6.4 offers excellent interoperability with all major office formats. Import text documents, spreadsheets and presentations from MS Office files or the Open Document Format and save them just as easily. We maintain the world’s largest team of certified LibreOffice developers and offer our customers a long-term supported version of LibreOffice. Version branch 6.4 of Collabora Office will be supported until August 2023 at least.

New Features in Version 6.4

In addition to improving performance and interoperability, Collabora Office 6.4 brings a number of practical improvements to your work. The newly implemented functions can be found all over the suite. The following are some outstanding examples.

 

Adding Visible Signatures to Existing PDF Files

Collabora Office already had the capability to add a digital signature to an existing PDF file. This still works the same. That signature however is (and was) only visible on the status bar and in file properties; there is no visible signature in the PDF file. Now in Collabora Office 6.4 adding a visible signature has been made possible. You start this new feature by selecting the PDF file with File > Digital Signatures > Sign existing PDF.

 

Addding visible signatures to existing PDF files
Ad visible signatures to existing PDF files

Read all details in this blog post.

 

Send Encrypted PDF Files with Mail Merge

One of the very handy and well established features of Collabora Office Writer, is Mail Merge that directly sends out PDF files. In version 6.4 this function has been extended so that you now can send encrypted PDF files. This enhances the privacy options of your workflow. Find more details in our blog.

 

Encrypt your PDF when sending them with Mail Merge

 

Padded Numbering Up to 5 Characters

Padded Numbering allows you to work with list numbering using a prefix. This is now possible up to four zeros. The feature that was introduced in an earlier version was limited to prefixes of two zeros.

 

A Padded Numbering list with a prefix of two zeros in Writer

 

Set Distance of Shapes to the Bottom of the Page

It can be very handy to specify the vertical position of a shape in text documents by setting the distance at the bottom of the page content area. Until now, this was not possible, although you can do so with the distance at the top of the page content area. If you tried to do the same from the bottom, the shape would be pushed below the margin. Collabora Office 6.4 now fixes this. You can set a negative value for the position to the bottom of the page content area, and the shape will stay in that position. Also when for example the page size is changed, or when other content is added or moved. More details are described in this blog.

 

 

Export Larger Pages from Draw using PDF 1.6

Using PDF 1.6, exported PDFs can now be larger than 508 cm (200 inch). Before the size was limited because of the possibilities of the PDF 1.5 specification. Since PDF files from Collabora Office, or more specifically from Draw, can be used to create banners, a limitation of 5 meters only is of course, impractical. More background on this can be found in this blog.

 

Export large PDF from Draw

 

Semi-transparent Text in Writer

Collabora Office 6.4 supports semi-transparent text, as it is also supported by Microsoft Word for DOCX files. So this again represents an interoperability improvement. In this blog you can find more details.

 

Interoperability improvement. Semi-transparent text in Writer

 

Upstream LibreOffice and more…

Collabora Office is based on the stable LibreOffice branch with extra features and fixes. Collabora Office 6.4 has the capabilities as described in the LibreOffice 6.4 release notes, of which quite some, especially these for our customers, have been introduced in earlier versions of Collabora Office. Of the 6.4 features, quite some have been added by our Collabora Productivity team. As an outstanding example, we feature the Full PDF Export for Spreadsheets.

Full-Sheet Previews option on the PDF Export Dialog
Full-Sheet Previews option on the PDF Export Dialog

 

About

Collabora Office is the LibreOffice-technology based suite for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office 6.4 provides businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and L3 support.
Collabora is privileged to work with so many great contributors to the LibreOffice project and appreciates all the amazing work done by so many that is also included into Collabora Office 6.4. This, our annual release, contains much work that was contributed to LibreOffice 6.3 and then LibreOffice 6.4. These cover all manner of areas from significantly improved filters, performance improvements, 95+% of online features and improvements, rendering along with a powerful redaction feature.
Please do find the full credits here.

Migrate with our demo of Collabora Office 6.4

You can try Collabora Office 6.4 yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or just click the button below.

Try the Demo

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Collabora Office ships for Chromebooks

London, July 24 2020 – Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind LibreOffice in the cloud, announces the immediate availability of Collabora Office for Chromebooks, its first native productivity tool for Chrome OS.

User control of documents on Chrome OS

Chromebooks are popular, and their use continues to grow rapidly. However, until now they have lacked a rich office productivity tool that users could combine with their choice of storage, to regain control over their files and privacy.

Today, we make a new release of Collabora Office, the LibreOffice-technology based suite for professional, mobile, and online use, available ready to run on Chromebooks!

Privacy Shield

Chromebooks are not the only relevant positive trend. The desire to keep control over data and document storage is another. With digital sovereignty becoming a hot topic for regional and national administrations and by the EU, who have launched a special program in this area.

The recent EU court ruling that declares that the US Privacy Shield conflicts with the GDPR, has further raised people’s awareness of digital freedom and sovereignty.

Education

Since Chromebooks are attractive and affordable PCs, they are present everywhere these days and with today’s release of Collabora Office, users control over their files and privacy is back. Because of the rich features it is not needed to use Microsoft or Google for professional use or for study. These benefits, make education an area where both Collabora Online and Chromebooks are widely used.

Collabora is thrilled to provide even more convenient products for schools and universities. […] We are glad to serve our many partners in the education market, and together to protect the privacy of students.”
– Michael Meeks, General Manager at Collabora Productivity

Collabora Products are popular because they allow organizations to have applications and storage on-site and be GDPR compliant, still working with excellent collaboration and interoperability tools for office productivity.

Rich editing, work with images, comment and more in windows mode

Working with partners

While Collabora has developed almost the entirety of this mobile technology and UX, we are profoundly grateful for support from our partners. For this release, we are indebted to AMD for helping to bring the existing Android app to their next generation of extraordinary Chromebooks.

Really richly featured

Chromebook’s popularity clearly shows that businesses and education increasingly opt for the reliable and straightforward Google platform. But do users get a great feature richness to work on their files?
With the new Collabora Office, users get an app that not only supports all their documents (from Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, DOC, XLS, PPT to the open standards ODF) and offers viewing and working on text and contents, but also provides rich editing with a handsome interface for e.g., images, page formatting, charts, and indices.


Setting the right Bullets and Numbering style

Working with Columns in text files

Save to your private cloud only

Private friendly cloud storage solutions, such as Nextcloud and ownCloud, provide plugins for Chrome OS that allow users to write directly to their private cloud, without having to save to the device first, after which the file would be saved directly on the Google or Microsoft server storage as well..

Collabora Office matches perfectly with the wish to save directly to your own cloud. It allows users to use the mentioned plugins with ease and not be forced to save their office documents to someone else’s server anymore.

Arriving ahead of native platform curve

With the release of Collabora Office for mobile devices version 4.2.5, Chrome OS is fully supported by Collabora Office. Our products now run on iOS, Windows, Android, Chromebook, and Linux and of course, in any modern browser.

Collabora Office brings its first native productivity tool for Chrome OS, ahead of Google’s recently announced work to bring Microsoft’s Office to Chromebooks. The currently available mobile Microsoft Office apps in contrast provides just a limited set of features.

Remember that, to be able to enjoy the Collabora Online on a Chromebook, a recent version of Chrome OS, that includes the Android Runtime (for Google Play), is required.

On the technical side, the new Collabora Office release supports two new platforms: x86 and AMD64. X86 was needed to run native on the Chromebooks, and with AMD64 we matched the need for a a 64-bit version, as required by Google Play.

Users of Collabora Office on Android may remember that the first Android builds were able to start up on Chromebooks. However that was by coincidence. These worked under a slower emulation, and were missing lots of required polishing and performance.

Collabora Office for Chrome OS can be installed from Google Play

 


More information

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Collabora Online as default in Nextcloud Hub

London, June 3 2020 – Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind LibreOffice in the cloud, announces the immediate availability of Collabora Online as the default collaboration and office app in Nextcloud Hub starting from today’s released Nextcloud 19 featuring an easy installation for users with just a few clicks.

Easy to install for every user

Collabora Online will be shipped out of the box with the new Nextcloud 19 Hub. A special community server has been developed, that can easily be installed with a single click by every user, and so avoiding web server and docker containers installation and configuration.

Collabora Online has been available as integrated solution for many productivity use cases for more than three years. However, feedback from home users and the community showed an increasing need for a much easier way to setup LibreOffice online. Users found configuring separate certificates, ports, docker images, and so on too complex, so Collabora created a totally new way to deploy Collabora Online using an innovative PHP proxy and a new custom protocol. With the release of NC 19, this work is ready to use: the new app “Collabora Online: built-in CODE server” can be installed and activated with a single click.

The new app is the same fully functional productivity solution that people already know, with the same feature richness, easy collaboration and excellent interoperability as a normal CODE – Collabora Online Development Edition – installation. Naturally it has its limitations in performance and scalability that are provided by a normal server installation.
This makes it much easier for people to make the right choice, with an open standards based, solution built on fully open source code that respects their privacy. It has never been easier for users to work and collaborate on office documents online, on their own hardware.

“Nextcloud Hub is a really valuable solution for teams and home office users, packed with great features.” says Michael Meeks, General Manager at Collabora Productivity “it is great to work together to make it much easier to deploy innovative, open source solutions that respect users’ privacy and freedom, and to delight our community and customers.”

“We are really pleased to be able to have Collabora Online as an integrated component of Nextcloud Hub” said Frank Karlitschek, CEO of Nextcloud GmbH.“being able to sell & support Collabora Online, the cloud version of LibreOffice, together lets us build a customer base that can sustain and accelerate the innovation and feature richness that delights our users.”

Try out the latest developments – The adventure continues

To make it possible to install Collabora Online as a single click app, without servers and docker containers, a completely new structure has been developed. We continue to work to build on accelerate, and further integrate this brand new PHP proxying functionality and we would love to hear your feedback.
Of course, Collabora’s focus on delivering support for the growing market of organizations, business, educations and administrations, that need a scalable, secure and reliable productivity solution, is unchanged – and we recommend a professional and supported installation with direct websocket connections for all these cases.

Collabora Online Lite

Together with the new Collabora Online single click install we are providing a new ‘Lite’ version of Collabora Online with limited deployment and support activities, and a different pricing model. More information can be found in our blog here: https://www.collaboraoffice.com/release-news/collabora-online-lite-version

About Collabora

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud, providing Collabora Online and a range of other 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 support. Collabora’s multi-platform policy is completed with Collabora Office for iOS and Android.
Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries.

About Nextcloud

Nextcloud offers the industry-leading, fully open source, self-hosted Content Collaboration Platform, combining the easy user interface of consumer-grade cloud solutions with the security and compliance measures enterprises need. Nextcloud brings together universal access to data through mobile, desktop and web interfaces with next-generation, on-premise secure communication and collaboration features like real-time document editing, chat and video calls, putting them under direct control of IT and integrated with existing infrastructure.

Nextcloud’s easy and quick deployment, open, modular architecture and emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities enable modern enterprises to leverage their existing file storage assets within and across the borders of their organization. For more information, visit nextcloud.com or follow @Nextclouders on Twitter.

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